Friday, August 15, 2014

Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle
View of the Rhine from the castle from whence we had just come
Marksburg Castle overlooks Braubach on the Rhine and is unique in that it was never destroyed. Some of the castles on the Rhine are rebuilt versions of the original and some are just ruins. It is said that Louis the XIV of France, the Sun King, ordered all the castles on the Rhine destroyed in the 17th century. Marksburg escaped because it sits atop a steep, isolated hill on a bend in the river.  Marksburg retains nearly all of its initial construction.  The interior construction features a series of gates that could be closed in the event of an attack. If one gate was breached, the Lord and family and knights retreated behind the next upper gate. The castle was not heated. Imagine all that stone and tiny little fireplaces to keep warm by.  Knights rode massive war horses and kept them inside the castle. References to this castle date to the 13th century so it survived 800 years of turmoil.  Slits in the outer battlement were for shooting arrows. The castle was added on to many times. Today the German Castle Association is headquartered there and there is a small gift shop and cafe.
Interior battlements

Very long steep grade to get into the castle. Also used by knights on horses

That black box on the wall of the castle is the bottomless toilet.
Our guide describes the fine art of gunnery, a later development

Alcove where the residents might eat

Another alcove for music, another might be for needle work.

Unusual window-meets-roof treatment

A knight in shining armor. Heavy, hot, and stuffy. And how could they see out of those slits?

Torture chamber display in what used to be the horse stables in the castle

 Blacksmith shop
Where  food and herbs were prepared and dried
Our guide said this was where the knights ate. Alcoves would be off this room
Tiny beds for tiny people This one fit two.

Castle from the ship landing at the Rhine

Back at the ship for the trip along the Middle Rhine and more castles

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