Fortresses and castles
Countless fortresses and castles can be found in the Nahe valley. They are all worth a visit and are especially inviting as they have been built in the most beautiful scenic settings. We will deal briefly with four of them here. First, there is the Kauzenburg fortress which is the landmark of Bad Kreuznach, built in the 13th century. It was the seat of the Earl of Sponheim. Even though the Stauffer King Phillip forbade the Earl of Sponheim a new building in 1206, Earl Gottfried, the "Boss" of the house Sponheim continued with his plans to build this fortress between 1206 and 1230 over the Ellerbach valley. It even became the headquarter of the powerful Sponheim family. After an eventful history with continuous involvement in military fights, French troops conquered and blew up the fortress in 1688. In the 19th century, the ruins of the Kauzenburg fortress served as manor and were later functionalised as wine bar, until it was rebuilt in1965. Extensive cellars with barrel vaulting and cross vaulting cut into stone are still used as wine cellars today.
The Ebernburg at Bad Münster am Stein is situated at an exceedingly beautiful point in the Nahe valley, where the Alsenz flows into the Nahe. Here, one has a lovely view of the ruins of the old (Alte) Baumburg, the Rheingrafenstein, the Rotenfelsen and beyond into the Nahe valley. First documented in 1209, the Ebernburg fortress became famous far beyond the Nahe valley as the "Hostel of justice". This was under Knight Franz of Sickingen who gave refuge to many followers of Luther in 1520-1523. Ebernburg fortress was also conquered and destroyed by the French at end of the 17th century. The remodelling began in the 19th century and was not finished until 1977. Today, Ebernburg fortress is a first class touristic attraction and from here you can see to the old Baumburg ruin, the Rheingrafenstein, the red rock and also the Nahe valley.
Further up the Nahe, high above the valley of the Simmerbach, rest the ruins of Dhaun castle Schloss Dhaun, established around 1200 AD as a well fortified fortress for the Earls of the Nahe district. It was renovated about 1500 and generously redesigned from 1729 into an extensive pleasure palace with large, French style gardens.
Finally, halfway between Bad Sobernheim and Idar Oberstein, lies the town of Kirn with its landmark ruins of Castle Kyrburg. The first Kyrburg was established in the 10th century by the Wildgrafen. In the year 1734, after an eventful history, a French general gave the order to destroy the fortress. The substantial remains of the walls still stand today.
List of the fortresses and castles in the Nahe valley.
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