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Spirits of Reichenstein Castle

Listed under Paranormal in Aachen, Germany.

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Schloss Reichenstein is truly atmospheric, with dark stone walls, narrow windows and crenellated battlements that bring its turbulent history vividly to life. It was initially built to protect the village (now the city of Aachen) from invasion in the early eleventh century and the local abbey appointed a castellan baron to manage it. Towards the end of the following century, several generations of barons who lived at the castle began to impose illegal tolls on ships and carriages in the Rhine area, and engaged in a reign of terror until they were deposed in 1253 by the Rhine League, and the castle was destroyed. However, several successive groups of feudal barons kept up this practise and the castle was destroyed and rebuilt on numerous occasions, in different styles. The final rebuilding began in 1899 and was instigated by Baron Kirsch-Puricelli, who took ownership of it and restored it as faithfully as possible with the use of its original plans, incorporating a great deal of neo-gothic artistry. It now functions as an impressive, mediaeval-style hotel and restaurant and is the happy setting of a number of romantic, gothic legends but there is also one very grim tale that is said to explain the many apparent sightings of a headless ghost in the castle. Rudolf von Habsburg is said to have had the robber barons and their accomplices hanged from trees in the nearby forest and one of them, Dietrich von Hohenfels, begged the king to spare the lives of his nine sons, who had already clearly been corrupted by their father's criminal ways. The legend tells that the king suggested a seemingly impossible bargain to von Hohenfels; namely, that the executioner would strike off his head with a sword in the presence of all his sons, who would stand in a line next to him. If he managed to walk the length of the line after his decapitation, then the sons' lives would be spared. Unbelievably, von Hohenfels's headless corpse is said to have met the challenge and succeeded, and his sons lived. The chapel near the castle was supposedly built by von Hohenfels's descendants in order to allow them to pray for forgiveness on his behalf, but despite their pious attempts to save his soul, its headless presence is said to have remained on earth ever since, in eternal limbo.

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Written by  larapiegeler.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The Location is wrong! It is not in Aachen, but located along the Rhine river a few hundred KMs south!

1 Reply

Thanks for letting us know!

where is it located?

what city is it in in Germany??

1 Reply

Hi Kelsey - have a look at the map on the right above...

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