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Allenbach on the 'Gem Road'

Allenbach is the last town in the Idarbach creek valley before the road climbs up to the Idarwald main ridge towards Morbach on the other side of the ridge. Here you reach the western-most end of the "German Gem Road". This "Gem Road" connects the world-renowned jewelry center Idar-Oberstein with many small villages where small cutting shops, powered by the streams of Hunsrück, worked precious stones and brought considerable prosperity. The castle and village of Allenbach were the property of the powerful Counts of Sponheim from the lower Nahe Valley, who were closely connected to the Salic imperial family. During the 11th and 12th Centuries, the Counts of Sponheim sought, in the course of their territorial expansion, to solidify the boundary to the west on their lands bordering that of the Electors of Trier by systematically constructing castles. Allenbach Castle (documented for the first time in the year 1265) was, together with the castle in Herrstein, probably already standing in the 12th Century and served the exercise of the Sponheim bailiffship over the seignories (feudal lordships) of Birkenfeld/Idarwald. The division of the Sponheim estate among two rivalling heirs between 1223 and 1230 moved Allenbach to the "back county". Nothing of the original castle remains. In the year 1528 another was built in its place in the Late Gothic and Renaissance style.

Allenbach Castle on the «German Gem Road» in winter («Idarwald» Forest)
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