Reichenstein Castle (Trechtingshausen)

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Reichenstein Castle
Burg Reichenstein
Coordinates 50°0′18.5″N 7°51′12.6″E / 50.005139°N 7.853500°E / 50.005139; 7.853500
Type Medieval castle
Site history
Built 1100

Reichenstein Castle (German: Burg Reichenstein), also known as Falkenburg is a castle in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. It stands on a mountain spur on the eastern slope of the Bingen Forest, above the Rhineland-Palatinate municipality of Trechtingshausen in the Mainz-Bingen district in Germany.


The first mention of the castle occurs in 1213, when Philipp III von Bolanden was appointed “castellanus” and bailiff by the Kornelimünster Abbey at Aachen. Its purported capture in 1253 remains a subject of debate among experts, though there is no doubt that King Rudolph I of Habsburg besieged, captured, and destroyed the castle in 1282. At the time, Reichenstein was in the hands of unruly robber knights led by Dietrich von Hohenfels. Following its destruction, King Rudolph forbid the castle from being rebuilt, and according to legend, had Dietrich and his followers beheaded near Saint Clement’s Chapel (Clemenskapelle). In truth, it seems that, while his followers were hung from trees, Dietrich himself escaped.

In the period that followed, the ruins of Reichenstein remained in the possession of the Count palatine of the Rhine and were rebuilt. Ludwig IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, granted the castle to the Elector and Archbishop of Mainz in 1344. At that time, a new double wall was built surrounding an inner court containing a rectangular keep, and a forecourt was added to the north. It eventually began to fall into disrepair after 1572, when it became unprofitable for Anton von Wiltberg, chamberlain in Mainz, to maintain its upkeep.

Franz Wilhelm von Barfuss bought the ruins in 1834 and began the restoration. The family Kirsch-Puricelli purchased the castle in 1899 and completed the restorations in a neo-Gothic style. The family lived in the castle from 1902-1936. The current owner is a direct descendant of the Puricelli.

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