The Marksburg is a fortress above the town of Braubach in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is one of the principal sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Rhine Gorge. The fortress was used for protection rather than as a residence for royal families.
The castle was built to protect the town of Braubach and to reinforce the customs facilities. It was built around 1117 and explicitly first mentioned in 1231. In 1283 Count Eberhard of Katzenelnbogen bought it and throughout the 14th and 15th century the high noble Counts rebuilt the castle constantly. In 1479 the territories of the Counts of Katzenelnbogen (male line extinct) went to the Count of Hessen.
In the Napoleonic period the castle was used as a prison. In 1815 it belonged to the Duchy of Nassau. After the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 the Duchy of Nassau became a territory of Prussia.
Finally, it was sold in 1900 for a symbolic price of 1,000 Goldmark to the German Castle Association, which had been founded a year earlier as a private initiative to preserve castles in Germany. The Marksburg is the head office of this organisation since 1931.
In March 1945, the castle was damaged heavily by American artillery fired from the other side of the Rhine.
In the 1990s the castle was copied in the German culture village Ueno on the Japanese island Miyako-jima.
Notes and references
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