Castle Rolandseck – The Legend of Roland the Knight

This is the legend of how the Caste Rolandseck was build by Roland, the nephew of Charlemagne. He had married Hildegund, the daughter of the Lords of Castle Drachenfels and the two lived happily together until Roland was called to arms against the Moors. Heavy-hearted, the lovers parted and Hildegund waited patiently for the return of her husband. However, word reached her of Roland’s last stand (one of the most famous legends of the knights of Charlemagne) and she was informed that he had died together with his most trusted knights. Three days she spend in her chamber without taking food or water, admitting nobody. Finally, when she emerged, she left her father’s castle for a nearby abbey called Nonnenwerth to become a nun. 

Castle Rolandseck
Castle Rolandseck – Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

However, rumours of Roland’s death had been exaggerated and despite his ordeal he returned. Returning to Castle Drachenfels he learned that his wife had taken her vows and in his despair promised that he himself would also deny himself to marry another. He build a castle close to the abby and it was called Castle Rolandseck. Here he stood every day listening to the choirs sing and smiled as he knew that Hildegund was well and it was his greatest joy to see her as part of a procession. 

On day though, she was not with the others and the church bells rang to signify that a nun had died and he knew that she had passed away. From this day, he found no rest and continued to stand at his window each day until finally his servants found him dead on the floor. Thus ends the story of Roland, the great hero. The castle itself lies in ruins, but his window frame stall stands and is still referred to as Rolandsbogen and visitors come to look at the abby Nonnenwerth.

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