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The Marksburg

Listed under Castles & Palaces in Koblenz, Germany.

  • Photo of The Marksburg
  • Photo of The Marksburg
  • Photo of The Marksburg
Photo of The Marksburg
Photo by ronlyons
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The Middle Rhine region of Germany between Mainz and Koblenz is dotted with dozens of medieval castles towering above the River Rhine. One castle stands alone among them as the only castle never to be destroyed, the Marksburg. The castle was built in the 12th century to protect the village of Braubach. It was owned until 1283 by the Archbishop of Mainz, a member of the house of Eppstein. The daughter of the Count of Eppstein married Eberhard von Katzenelnbogen, and when she died the castle became the possession of the Counts of Katzenelnbogen, who already owned many of the other Rhine Castles in the region. The Marksburg was never destroyed but it did see its share of action during the Thirty Years War and again during Louis XIV’s campaigns in the 17th century. The castle’s darkest hour came during World War II when it came under direct shellfire in March of 1945 by American forces fighting against German soldiers that were hiding in the castle. Although it suffered considerable damage to the keep and most of the roofs, the castle held strong. The Marksburg is a fine example of castle architecture and defense. It uses its position atop a cone shaped hill to add to its defenses. The castle is triangular in shape with the massive Chapel Tower located at the south corner and a tall slender keep in the center of the courtyard. The rooms inside the castle and their furnishings show that life in the Marksburg was simple but comfortable. The armory contains fine examples of arms and armor from different centuries. The castle has a very informative guided tour that lasts about 50 minutes. The Marksburg is home to the Association for the Preservation of German Castles (Deutsche Burgenvereiningung).

Written by  Ron Lyons Jr..

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