Klopp Castle (German: Burg Klopp) is a castle in the town of Bingen am Rhein in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. In the nineteenth century, the bergfried (similar to a keep) from the original medieval fortified castle was restored and a new building added which houses the town's administration.
The castle stands on a hill above the town with a wide-ranging view, which may have been the site of a Roman fortification built by Nero Claudius Drusus at Bingium around 10 CE. Drusenburg or Drususburg was an early name for the castle. The hill is one of three locations where local legend says that Emperor Henry IV was imprisoned by his son in 1105 or 1106, this being the first surviving mention of a castle there.
The last medieval castle on the site was built in the 13th century: possibly around 1281, possibly between 1240, when Kloppberg (Klopp Hill) is mentioned as the residence of a churchman, and 1277, the first mention of Burg Clopp. Together with Ehrenfels Castle on the opposite side of the Rhine and later the Mouse Tower, it enabled the Archbishopric of Mainz to exact tolls on river trade. In 1438 the archbishop sold the town and the castle to the cathedral chapter and the townspeople effectively controlled it. The castle was already decaying in the 16th century and was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War, but was rebuilt in 1653. The French destroyed it again in 1689 in the War of the Palatine Succession, and in the final phase of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713, the Mainz forces themselves blew up what was left to prevent its use by the enemy. Early 19th-century paintings show ruined walls, one connecting the castle to the town, but the castle itself levelled.
The state of Hesse acquired the ruin in 1815 and sold it to Hermann Faber, a lawyer. It was later owned by a Berliner called Rosenthal, who renovated the well. Both charged tourists to climb the gate tower as a viewing platform; Faber built a stairway up the outside of the walls and a viewing room at the top which he furnished with books of poetry, a comfortable sofa and a fully equipped writing desk, and laid out the grounds as a garden with romantic paths through the grapevines, trees and flowers. He also installed an aeolian harp. The castle was one of the major sights of the Romantic Rhine. J.M.W. Turner sketched a view of it from the River Nahe in 1844. By the end of the 19th century, some 75,000 entries had been made in the visitors' book.
In 1853 the gatehouse, the bridge across the moat and the fortifications were rebuilt for Ludwig Maria Cron. The bergfried was rebuilt as a crenellated tower 26 metres high, with four corner turrets. In 1875–79, a new Gothic building was built on the site. The architect for both was the mayor, Eberhard Soherr. The base of the bergfried, the moat and parts of the southern curtain wall and its chemin de ronde are the only remnants of the medieval castle.
The rebuilt bergfried formerly housed the town's local history museum, which moved in 1998 to a former power station on the waterfront. The larger Gothic building has been the seat of government and mayoral residence since 1897. There is also a gourmet restaurant.
- Rhein in Flammen: On the first Saturday in July, ships travel from Trechtingshausen to Rüdesheim am Rhein to view fireworks at Burg Reichenstein, Burg Rheinstein, Assmannshausen, the Mouse Tower, Ehrenfels Castle, Klopp Castle and the Brömserburg.
- Robert R. Taylor, The Castles of the Rhine: Recreating the Middle Ages in Modern Germany, Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University, 1998, ISBN 978-0-88920-268-9, p. 291.
- Monk Gibbon, The Rhine and its Castles, London: Putnam, 1957, OCLC 1327080, p. 140.
- Deutsche Bauzeitung 66, 13 August 1881, vol. 15 p. 371 (German)
- Taylor, pp. 291, 293.
- According to Gibbon, pp. 139–40, they met and spent the night together at the castle but the imprisonment was elsewhere.
- Michael Fuhr, Wer will des Stromes Hüter sein? 40 Burgen und Schlösser am Mittelrhein: ein Führer, Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Rheinland-Pfalz, Burgen, Schlösser, Altertümer Rheinland-Pfalz, Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2002, ISBN 978-3-7954-1460-3, p. 18 (German)
- Taylor, p. 12.
- Matthias Schmandt, "Die Besucherbücher der Burg Klopp in Bingen. Eine Quelle zur Geschichte der Rheinreise im 19. Jahrhundert. Werkstattbericht," in Hanna Delf von Wolzogen, ed., Geschichte und Geschichten aus Mark Brandenburg: Fontanes Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg im Kontext der europäischen Reiseliteratur. Internationales Symposium des Theodor-Fontane-Archivs in Zusammenarbeit mit der Theodor-Fontane-Gesellschaft vom 18. - 22. September 2002 in Potsdam, Fontaneana 1, Würzburg: Köningshausen & Neumann, 2003, ISBN 978-3-8260-2634-8, pp. 191–212, pp. 192–93 (German)
- Taylor, p. 293.
- Die Rheinlande von der Schweizer bis zur holländischen Grenze: Handbuch für Reisende, 27th ed. Leipzig: Karl Baedeker, 1895, p. 248 (German)
- Schmandt, p. 193; but he reports it to have been the bergfried rather than the gate tower.
- "Bingen and Burg Klopp from the Nahe", Tate Gallery
- Schmandt, p. 194.
- Helmut Mathy, Bingen: Geschichte einer Stadt am Mittelrhein. Vom frühen Mittelalter bis zum 19. Jahrhundert, Binger Stadtgeschichte 1, Stadt Bingen, 1989, repr. Mainz: Zabern, 2003, ISBN 978-3-920615-10-3, p. 203 (German)
- Bingen, Welterbe Oberes Mittelrheintal, retrieved 30 March 2011 (German)
- Historisches Museum am Strom
- Andrea Schulte-Peevers, Germany, 5th ed. Footscray, Victoria: Lonely Planet, 2007, ISBN 978-1-74059-988-7, p. 494.
- J.H.A. Hockenbeck, Geschichte des Schlosses Klopp bei Bingen: nach vorhandenen Nachrichten und angestellten Untersuchungen zugestellt. Bingen: Jung, 1882. OCLC 253436863 (German)
- Matthias Schmandt, "Die Geschichte der Burg Klopp in Bingen". Heimatjahrbuch des Landkreises Bingen 2004 (German)
- Gerd Rupprecht. Ed. Alexander Heising. Vom Faustkeil zum Frankenschwert. Bingen - Geschichte einer Stadt am Mittelrhein. Binger Stadtgeschichte 2. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 2003. ISBN 978-3-8053-3257-6 (German)
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Ruins of Klopp Castle above Bingen, by Rudolf Bodmer, circa 1830
View of the castle from the River Nahe