The Castle Garden in Rothenburg is the site where the royal family of Hohenstaufen established its imperial castle in 1142. King Conrad III reigned over his kingdom from here, but was the only ruler who actually used Rothenburg Castle. As his sons died relatively early, the castle quickly lost its importance, but not before it had formed the seed for the germination of the town.
Starting from the castle, the settlement spread over the hill, until it had become one of the ten largest towns in the Holy Roman Empire by the year 1400, with a population of over 6,000. An earthquake destroyed the castle complex in 1356 and the stones of the ruins – a valuable commodity at the time – were used to build the city walls. Only the Chapel of St. Blaise was renovated after the quake. However this building was not originally a chapel, but rather the 'Upper Ducal House', probably the conference building where the king received his guests. The building was dedicated as a chapel after the renovation and now serves as a memorial to the fallen of the two World Wars. The Chapel of St. Blaise is also the site of the memorial to the pogrom of 1298, the original of which is in the Imperial Town Museum.
After entering the Castle Gardens, the visitor will be drawn to the wonderful view of the southern part of the town and the Tauber Valley to the left, as well as the Double Bridge and the Kobolzeller Church.
Another interesting feature of the Castle Gardens are the geometric flower beds from the 17th/18th century with eight sandstone figures representing the four seasons and the four elements.
If you look into the valley having passed through the gardens, you will see a bright blue tower, known as the Topplerschlösschen, the House of Mayor Toppler. Built in 1388, it was built by the powerful Mayor Toppler for his own pleasure. Previously surrounded by water, the castle is where he met with dignitaries such as King Wenzel. There is also a memorial to Toppler in the Castle Gardens. Since September 2010, the park is also adorned with a column in memory of the royal house of the Hohenstaufen dynasty.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.