Did you know that Marksburg Castle is the only Castle on the Rhine that has never been destroyed? And no wonder!.....sitting majestically on top of the hill you could see the enemy for miles!
Sadly we didn't have time to visit the castle - to be honest, I was looking forward to going up in the little green tram ;o) Anyway, check out Globetrott's pages for the inside view.
Click the website below to learn everything you need to know about Marksburg Castle.
Link to the Barn Accommodation Tip.
You will also see a fine collection of medieval iron armours in the Marksburg. You will realize that the average people had been smaller in medieval times than today and I really wonder, how it was possible to walk or move at all inside such an armour.
In my 4th photograph you will see a weaving loom and some spinning wheels and the last photo shows some interesting details in another room of the castle Marksburg.
In order to be able to survive a long time in such a castle in medieval times it was absolutely necessary to have the most important craftsmen inside the castle as well, and a smithy was certainly one of the most important professions of that times. You will see it at the beginning of the guided tour through Marksburg, and the smithy is fully equipped and it seems as if the smith had just left for a few minutes and will be back again at his job afterwards...
It was interesting to see the living quarters of Marksburg: in a certain way they are less "romantic" than you might see them in modern movies about that time, but in general this kind of furiture was certainly a great achievment in medieval times and a lot more comfortable way of living than the ordinary people had at that time.
Fischertor is one of the few watchtowers dating back to the medieval times and it was part of the town-fortification, directely at the river Rhine.
On my last 2 photographs you will see 2 other towers of the townwall, they became part of the modern city and the one on my last photo is Obertor, the one that you will have to pass by, when driving to Marksburg. Make a short stop there, because there are also the most beautiful halftimbered houses next to it (not shown on my pic of the tower, but behind of it - see my next tip!)
The village of Braubach is full of lovely halftimbered houses, all of them are in perfectly restored condition and they are used for everyday living since hundreds of years. In the facades of these houses you will mostly find the year, when it was built or restored and there you will see that many of them are dating back to the beginning of the 17th century.
Take the guided tour through the Marksburg castle because you will hardly see such an authentic interior with medieval weapons and furniture like in the Marksburg, that was never defeated or destroyed and it also was never modernized within the last 700 years. A guided tour is your only way to see this castle and the cannons that you will see in these photographs are quite impressive inside a large hall with windows into every direction - its also a great point for a view for tourists from there.
This is the old town-centre,maybe 100 meters away from the river Rhine and next to the old tower that you will see in my last photograph ! These lovely half-timbered houses are dating back to 1610 and they are in perfect condition and used for everyday-living.
The building in my main photo is Hotel and restaurant Schwanen, dating back to 1693 -read more about it in my accomodation-tips !
Once that you arrived at Marksburg you will stand in front of its entrance and wont see a lot of it, except some closed gates and high walls. The only way to see more of it is to take one of the guided tours that will start on a regular basis, every 15 or 20 minutes. Photography is no problem at all during the guided tour !
Guided tours in the summer-season :
March 8th till Nov. 2nd (for 2008):
admission is between 10.00am and 05.00pm,
the guided tours will start a few min later
and will take 50 min each !
From Nov. 07 till March 7th, 2008 :
between 11.00am and 04.00pm
for other years please check their webpage below!
entrancefee is 5 euros / pupils 3,50
family-ticket (2+2) is 13 euros
Marksburg is the best sight of Braubach : Marksburg is the only medieval castle in the area of the Middle-Rhine, that was almost not changed or adapted in later centuries and it was also never destoyed.
Marksburg is the seat of the so-called "Deutsche Burgenvereinigung" (German castle assosiation) and it holds a big library with a total of 12.000 books.
Marksburg castle is 150 meters above the Rhine and you will be able to drive up by car or take a small road-train from Braubach, it is called "Marksburgbahn" !
Marksburg castle is open for visitors :
photography during the guided tour is allowed !
Castle spotting along the Rhine can come up with some interesting observations. I knew the name of the first Castle in the pictures and subsequently found some interesting facts. The Castle is named Pfalzgrafenstien but it was not always a castle. Built as a toll in 1326 as a response to Pope John XXXll dispute with the King of Bavaria, King Ludwig. The Pope had asked the King to remove the toll at Kaub. The King refused and built another toll on the rocky island of Falkenau. Later the toll building was enlarged and converted into a castle. From the picture you will notice it is back under construction. Most of the castles in this area have been converted or entirely re built, as you can see the second picture shows a castle turned into a hotel and the third converted into a railway bridge.
Marksburg Castle dates back to around 1117 it changed its name some time in history from Burg Brubach and was built high up on a cone shaped hill. Overlooking the Rhine and the tiny town of Braubach its purpose was solely defence. Marksburg is the only medievil castle in these parts to escape ruin or romantic renovation despite some additions in the 17th, 18th and indeed the 20th. century Marksburg retains its medievil charm and character. The castle was once used as a state prison before coming into the care of the Deutsche Burgenvereinigung - the German Castles Association in the 1900's, the Association is the oldest private initiative for preservation of historical buildings in Germany. They do a good job in preserving the past and indeed bringing the past into the future
The only way to see the interior of the castle is by guided tour. The tour is in German only, foreign visitors can follow the tour with an information sheet, the tour lasts around fifty minutes, the tour details well what life was like in the 14th. Century. Hardly any of the exhibits are from the Castles past, most have been donated or aquired since around the 1900's but the furnishings and utensils give a good impression of simple day to day living in a castle in bygone times. The castle is open daily all year (except 25th & 26th December) times are 24th. March - 4th November 10.00 - 17.00 2nd. November - 23rd. March 11.00 - 16.00 summer hours 9.00 - 17.00. Guided tours are also available in English, French and Japanese for groups of 20 or more advanced notice is required for this.
Admission price Adult 5.00 euros Child 3.50 Student 4.50 Families 2 adults & 2 or more children 13.00 euros Groups of 20 or more 4.50 per person
i don't have much experience in touring castles, but this one seemed quite rustic. i understand that they have made some changes to the main turret (evident in the more recent pictures vs. the older pictures) to preserve the castle. i don't have details on that, but it was well worth taking the tour. their website is quite informative.
Since Roman times the Rhine valley has been a line of communication of vital strategic importance. In the Middle Ages the German emperors used it for their frequent progresses into Italy and merchants sent their goods along it, up and down-stream. Anyone owning a castle overlooking the valley was in a strong position, since he was able to survey and regulate the flow of traffic and levy tolls on merchants.
One such castle is Marksburg. This castle, towering on a high crag above Braubach, is the only fully preserved medieval fortress on the Rhine. At the beginning of the 13th century, it was first known as "Braubach Castle," and belonged to the Lords of Eppstein. During the 13th century it passed into the possession of the Counts of Katzenelnbogen, who turned it into a fortress.
From 1479 to 1803 the Marksburg, as it had come to be known, was under the uninterrupted rule of the Landgraves of Hesse and thereafter, until 1866, of the Duchy of Nassau.
In 1866, the castle, together with the town of Braubach, passed to Prussia and in 1900 it was purchased by the Association for the Preservation of German Castles. Restorers set to work, fitting it out as a typical fortress of the late Middle Ages.