Hohenecken Castle

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Visible from afar, this striking testimony to Staufian architecture lies on the spur at the end of a ridge. The ruin, consisting of an upper and lower castle, measures 50 by 90 meters, if you include the bailey and the moat. The steep path to the castle leads from the center, past the Rochus Chapel through some mature trees up to the extensive, 376 meter-high Schlossburg plateau. Although the defensive and residential complex was destroyed by the French in 1689 during the Palatinate War of Succession, considerable parts have been preserved to this day: the powerful, 25-metre-wide, 11-meter-high defensive wall is particularly impressive, along with the remainder of the pentagonal keep below.

The initial construction of the castle probably dates to the second half of the 12th century – following the establishment of the imperial palace in Kaiserslautern by Frederick Barbarossa – and then expanded in the 13th century. Until the 17th century it belonged to the Lords of Hohenecken, who were of ministerial ancestry and whose members were officials at the courts of German emperors and kings in the Middle Ages. In the winter, the castle offers views down over the Landstuhler Bruch, a geological pit.