Reichenstein Castle (Germany)
Rhineland-Palatinate See list of castles in Germania
The castle Reichenstein, also called Falkenburg, is a castle in the UNESCO World Heritage site Upper Middle Rhine Valley. It stands on a hillside on the eastern slope of the Binger forest above the Rhineland-Palatinate community of Trechtingshausen in the district of Mainz-Bingen. The city of Bingen is only about 5 km (air line) in the southeast direction.
The first documentary mention of the Höhenburg dates back to 1213, when the abbey of Kornelimünster near Aachen, Philipp III. of Bolanden as "castellanus" and Vogt. A first conquest in 1253 is partly doubted or rejected in the professional world. The siege, conquest, and destruction of King Rudolph of Hapsburg in 1282 is well documented. The castle was forbidden to be rebuilt. From 1290, the ruins were owned by the Palgraves, who renounced them in 1344 in favor of Kurmainz. This was followed by a fast new building. A double ring wall enclosed a rectangular residential tower and an inner courtyard of the main castle. On the north was a foreshore.
In 1397, after the Pope had appointed Johann II of Nassau Archbishop of Mainz, disregarding the election of the Mainz cathedral chapter, Archbishop Gottfried von Leiningen, elected in 1396, entrenched himself in the castle. It was only after tough negotiations that he renounced the bishop's chair, and was instead resigned to the office of the Dompropst of Mainz. His submission prevented a new storm on the castle and a possible further destruction.
The ruin before reconstruction; Steel engraving around 1832 by Henry Winkles after William Tombleson's Rhine views
Since the 16th century the castle was left to decay. The remains were broken up in 1689 in the Palatine Succession War. In 1834 Franz Wilhelm von Barfus bought the ruins and converted a tower to his residence. In 1877 his heirs sold the castle to the Freiherrren von Rehfuß and the 1889 to the consul Chosodowsky.
The castle was built by Baron Nikolaus of Kirsch-Puricelli, a wealthy industrialist and owner of the Rheinböllerhütte, who built a neo-gothic English-style residential castle from 1899 to 1902 by Regensburg architect Strebel. Further residential buildings and a view tower were erected on the site of the Vorburg. Reichenstein was the last castle in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which was rebuilt in the sign of the Rheinromantik.
Today, the complex is home to a castle museum with a large collection of historical weapons and armor, as well as a cast-iron Takenplatten from the Stromberger Neuhütte and the Rheinböllerhütte as well as a restaurant and will be a hotel again at the end of the year 2015. In the castle, the living quarters are preserved as they were a hundred years ago. In the castle chapel and the old rooms, even today weddings can take place.