Overlooking the confluence of the Rhine and its tributary the Lahn stands the thirteenth century Lahneck castle (Burg-Lahneck).
Construction of Lahneck castle commenced in 1226 at the instigation of the Archbishop of Mainz.The Castle's purpose was to protect the territory of the bishop which included a silver mine.
The castle has had an interesting and varied history over the centuries.
In 1298 it played host to King Adolf of Nassau who shortly thereafter was killed in the battle of Göllheim against King Albert of Austria. To avenge the murder of King Adolf, the Burggraf of Lahneck plotted against the Austrian king. This, unfortunately for him, backfired as the French, then in alliance with the Austrians, stormed and took the castle and the unlucky Burggraf was executed.
In 1312 12 Knights Templars who had escaped execution as ordered by Pope Clement V sought refuse in the castle where they took a last stand and fought bravely against the papal forces before being overcome and killed.
Other points of interest in the chequered history of the castle:
1633 - During the 30-Years war the castle was seriously damaged by Swedish and Imperial forces.
1774 - Goethe (Germany's Shakespeare) saw the castle and was inspired to write the poem "Geistersgruß" (Spiritual greeting) in its honour.
1850 - The castle was sold into private ownership.
This last event was in fact what hastened our visit to Lahneck castle.
After we settled in the Rhine River Valley we planned to "do all the castles" and had been slowly working our way through our list when my wife read the book dealing with the young English girl who lost her life so tragically at Burg Lahneck in 1851.
Lahneck then jumped to the top of the list and off we went to this majestic castle perched on the hill overlooking the confluence of the Lahn and Rhine rivers.
So impatient were we in fact to see Lahneck that we refrained from our normal practice of waiting for a sunny day and set off on the following (cloudy) Sunday to "do Lahneck".
We arrived about 30 minutes before the next guided tour and killed the time in the castle restaurant- from which we took the following photos.
Then off on the tour which was well worth the 3 Euros per person.
Points of interest were :
The castle kitchen - intact with utensils used from around the 1600s.
A chapel with extraordinary high ceilings and a beautiful floor made from local marble.
A room with ancient weapons and suites of armour which one was allowed to touch - not normally the case.
Further rooms with magnificent antique furniture dating back to the 1500s.
After the tour we were left to explore the surrounds and climbed some very steep and uneven stairs to the top of one of the towers.Here our efforts were rewarded with magnificent views of the surrounding country.