Hofhegnenberg Castle construction began originally in the early 14h century, when the ministerial family Hegnenberg left their original motte-and-bailey castle at today’s Althegnenberg, only five kilometres away from Hofhegnenberg. Between 1399 and 1540, Hofhegnenberg was no longer under the rule of the Hegnenberg family but had instead been passed as a fiefdom from one ducal pfleger, or overlord, to another. In 1557 the medieval castle was reconstructed and the work continued until 1790.
Hofhegnenberg Castle is characterized by a remarkable overall structure with an intriguing architectural potpourri composed of stylistic elements ranging from Medieval to Renaissance, Baroque and even Neo-Gothic. There are several elements within the building complex dating as far back as to the 16th and 17th century, such as carved-stone coats of arms of the noble family Hegnenberg emblazoning different areas of the facade. One of these can be found in the inner courtyard next to the massive wooden portal leading to the St Maria chapel, incorporated in the castle’s north wing. This particular stone tablet dates back to either 1623 or 1628, which cannot be clearly determined at this point, as the engravings have become too eroded to make an unambiguous reading possible.
The castle’s main four-wing complex is overall dominated by rectangular structures, and comprises 5 gable-roofed buildings, all different in height with a belfry towering above all other structures and a Neo-Gothically altered gateway building to the west, framed by two shorter towers, one of which is topped by an onion dome. The adjoining farmyard was once located on the estate’s westside, but relocated and entirely rebuilt during the 19th century to the north, where it still stands today.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.