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Birkenfeld

In another valley basin between Hochwald and the Nahe Valley lies the administrative center of Birkenfeld and the surrounding "Birkenfeld Land", the land on the upper Nahe River, which looks back upon a great and eventful history. The most settled part, which was first mentioned as a town in the year 981 ("Birkenvelt"), lies upon a sandstone ridge with a northeast to southwest orientation, which is separated from the castle mountain in the southeast by a hollow. The medieval castle Birkenfeld (first mentioned in the year 1293, but probably much older) was expanded and remodeled towards the end of 16th century to a Renaissance castle. There is a wonderful view over the town from the tower in the north ring wall. The classical "new castle" (Neue Schloss) dates from the time of the Oldenburgs, when the Birkenfeld land was added to the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg in the year 1817. It sits far from the original castle mountain on a hill in the middle of the town and is today the administrative center. Not far from the new castle lies the Birkenfelder Museum, which is built in the style of a Roman country villa. It contains a prehistoric and early historical collection that is well worth seeing in addition to a well-developed section devoted to local studies and folklore.

Marketplace of Birkenfeld on the upper Nahe river («Hochwald» Forest)
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