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Unfortunately both don't exist any longer - neither Barbarossa's Kaiserpfalz (Imperial Palace) nor the renaissance castle which the Count Palatine had built directly in his vicinity. But the spectacular building hasn't fully disappeared. The ruins which were given a roof and christened the "Pfalzgrafensaal" (Count Palatine Hall) in 1934 are well worth seeing, and in the former living room (or did he perhaps sleep here?) of the "hunter from the electoral Palatinate" today official receptions of the city are held.
Adjacent to City Hall is the former Imperial Palace, the history of which can be seen from the display boards. Construction began in 1158 at the instigation of Frederick I, known as Barbarossa. Little of the original stonework of the hall foundations and the castle chapel survive as reminders of this historically significant building.
The present-day Count Palatinate Hall, which can be visited in the scope of registered tours, is also very near the Kaiserslautern City Hall on a partial location of the original castle which the Count Palatine Johann Casimir had built on the former plot of Barbarossas Palace between 1570 and 1580. But the oldest traces of the old fortress site go back much further. They come from wagons from the 11th century and lead to the former Lauterfurt.
After being destroyed many times, for example in 1703 by the French, also hardly more than traces remained of Johann Casimir's castle. But with excavations on the old site of the fortress, in the 1930s that was discovered which resulted in the present-day Count Palatinate Hall.
But who was this Count Palatine Johann Casimir who was born in 1543 in Simmern and died in 1592 in Heidelberg? The son of Elector Friedrich III. is known by almost everyone - namely from the song "Ein Jäger aus Kurpfalz". As a Count Palatine, Johann Casimir had the privilege of being allowed to hunt everywhere. And he did that passionately...
The Casimirs Building and the subterranean passages, which are equipped with light and sound effects, can be seen on guided tours which last about 1.5 hours (price 69,00 EUR per group with a maximum turnout of 25 people).
Registration for groups:
Tourist Information Kaiserslautern
Tel. 0631 365 - 4019
Fax: 0631 365 - 2723