Lahnstein and Lahneck Castle – A short overnight visit

Lahnstein and Lahneck Castle – A short overnight visit

Appointments in Koblenz and near Frankfurt brought us to Lahnstein for the overnight stay, high above the Rhine and the Lahn, which we were to admire the next morning with a view of the moving clouds over the Rhine.

Since there was still some time available until the evening, a short walk to the Lahneck Castle should take place, also in search of a quiet place for dinner. So we first walked to the fortress and castle of Lahneck, then down to the town on the Lahn.

Roman fortresses and Lahneck Castle

lahnstein 17The Roman military camp was built on the Feldberg near Lahnstein in ancient times. Later, in the year 369, the Romans built a burgus at the mouth of the Lahn in today's Niederlahnstein, which served as a border fortification and was a kind of sentry post for the Confluentes Castle (today Koblenz).

The Lohenstein house, built on the remains of the Burgus, fell to Electoral Trier in 1018, and the late Romanesque St. John's Church was built on the same site in the 12th century.

With the start of construction of Lahneck Castle around 1226 by the Mainz Elector and Archbishop Siegfried II von Eppstein, the construction of the 29 m high pentagonal keep began, a special feature of fortress construction with a pentagonal floor plan similar to Stolzenfels Castle.

lahneck festung 6The pointed side faces south, the weakest side of the castle. It was assumed that stone balls shot off from the so-called battlefield would tend to slide off the tip instead of causing damage on a flat surface.

In contrast to many Rhine castles, Lahneck Castle was not used as a customs castle because it was too far from the Rhine. This task fell to Martinsburg Castle, which was located directly on the Rhine. The Gothic castle chapel was dedicated to Saint Ulrich. A papal deed from 1332 granted visitors to the chapel a forty-day waiver of church penalties (selling indulgences).

During the Palatinate War of Succession in 1688, Lahneck Castle was destroyed by French troops by setting the roofs on fire.

Idilia Dubb starves to death on the keep

lahneck 1jpgIt is said that 17-year-old Edinburgh tourist Idilia Dubb died of thirst in 1851 on the keep of the hilltop castle after the rotten staircase behind her collapsed, leaving behind a diary of the last four days of her life ending 19 June. Like her skeleton, this is said to have been found years later during the restoration of the tower. The tower has since been accessible to visitors again. It offers a wide view of the Lahn Valley and the Rhine Valley to Stolzenfels Castle and Koblenz.

By the way: This is where the Rheinhöhenweg, Lahnhöhenweg, Jakobsweg (Lahn-Camino from Wetzlar to Oberlahnstein and on to Kaub) and Rheinsteig hiking trails from Wiesbaden to Bonn cross.

On the history of Lahnstein on the Rhine and Lahn

lahneck 8We had driven down from the castle to the village because it was now dark and the way seemed too far, especially since we had to go up again.

So first a little tour of the town, where we noticed the old town hall of Oberlahnstein, which was first mentioned in 1507.

In 1569 a ferry line was built across the Lahn between Oberlahnstein and Niederlahnstein.

During the Thirty Years' War, both parts of the city were repeatedly occupied by Swedish, Imperial, French and Hessian troops.

lahnstein 2Accompanied by Lavater and Basedow, Goethe docked in Lahnstein on July 18, 1774 on a boat trip on the Lahn and the Rhine and had lunch in the inn on the Lahn.

After losing the German War on Austria's side in 1866, the Duchy of Nassau was annexed by Prussia. Lahnstein, now Prussian, began work on connecting its railway to the Prussian right-hand Rhine line by 1869. Since 1873, a road bridge over the Lahn has connected today's districts of Ober- and Niederlahnstein.

Dense clouds cover Rhine river

lahnstein 13As already mentioned, we had booked a hotel above the town of Lahnstein for overnight stays, which lured us onto the balcony with a surprise in the morning, because dense clouds had covered the Rhine Valley, blocking the view of the Rhine. The clouds drifted down the Rhine quite quickly, so that there was even an almost clear view of the valley. A scary, beautiful game of nature, but look at the pictures and let your imagination run wild.

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Life | Outdoors