Castle Reichenstein

Castle Reichenstein, which is also known as ‘Falkenburg’, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage region of the Middle Rhine Valley. It is situated in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, close to the town of Trechtingshausen.

Castle Reichenstein
Castle Reichenstein, Traveler100, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The castle was first mentioned in 1213 by steward Philipp III of Bolanden. Early mentions of occupations are often cast in doubt by historians but the castle was besieged and destroyed by King Rudolph of Habsburg in 1282 and left in ruins until it was rebuild and enforced in 1344.  

In 1397 the pope named Johann II. of Nassau as the next archbishop of Mainz, despite the local election of Gottfried of Leiningen, who withdrew to Castle Reichenstein. After long negotiations, he conceded and accepted a minor post within the local clergy, avoiding the castle being attacked and potentially destroyed. 

Castle Reichenstein
Castle Reichenstein, © MFSG / Wikimedia Commons

From 16th century, the castle was left unmaintained and the ruins were destroyed completely during the 1689 Nine Years’ War. 1834 it was bought by Franz Wilhelm von Barfus, who restored the ruin to become his residence. In the following years, it was sold several times and remained in private ownership. The modern look is based on the English, Neo-Gothic style, which was commissioned by the rich industrialist Baron Nikolaus of Kirsch-Puricelli between 1899 and 1902. 

Reichenstein was the last of the romantic Rhine castles to be re-erected. Today, it houses a museum with a large collection of historic weapons and armour. Since 2015, visitors can enjoy a restaurant and a hotel. In the castle itself, the rooms are kept as they were over 100 years ago and the chapel is used for wedding ceremonies. 

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