Counts of Falkenstein (Rhineland-Palatinate)

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Falkenstein Castle

The Grafen von Falkenstein was a dynasty of German nobility descending from the Ministeriales of Bolanden, who held land and a castle at Falkenstein in the Palatinate region.

Philipp IV of Bolanden, a treasurer to the Emperor and guardian of the Imperial Regalia at Trifels Castle, was the founder of the Falkenstein line. He married Isengard, heiress of the County of Hagen-Münzenberg in the Wetterau, and took his residence at Falkenstein Castle. Philipp henceforth became known as Philipp I of Falkenstein, his family bore the name Bolanden-Falkenstein. In 1255 they became titular counts from the land inherited by marriage from the Counts of Hagen-Münzenberg and in this manner came to be established in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region. At Königstein im Taunus they built their new castle Neufalkenstein. The Falkensteins also inherited the town of Offenbach am Main from the Counts of Münzenberg, which they pledged to the neighbouring Imperial city of Frankfurt am Main for the sum of 1,000 Gulden in 1372.

The last Count Werner III of Falkenstein was Archbishop of Trier from 1388 until his death in 1418. He is remembered for his provocation against the citizens of Frankfurt by developing rivalry with that town and Offenbach. Upon his death the Falkenstein male line became extinct. Their landed estates were inherited by the Lords of Eppstein as well as the Counts of Solms.