Stahleck Castle (Bacharach)

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Stahleck Castle seen from the right bank of the Rhine (southeast)
Stahleck Castle seen from the northwest
Aerial view of the castle from the north

The Stahleck Castle is a hilltop castle in the Middle Rhine Valley in the area of the city Bacharach in Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz-Bingen district about 50 kilometers south of Koblenz . Their water-filled neck ditch is a rarity in Germany.

The name of the castle is made up of the Middle High German words stahel for steel and corner as a designation for a mountain spur and means impregnable castle on a mountain spur . It was probably built at the end of the 11th or beginning of the 12th century and was a fiefdom of the Electorate of Cologne . Since Bacharach became a trading and staging area for the Palatinate - Rhinegau wine trade under the Count Palatinate near Rhine , the facility also functioned as a customs castle .

From the beginning of the 13th century, Stahleck was owned by Wittelsbach and remained there until the beginning of the 19th century, although it was besieged and conquered by various parties eight times during the Thirty Years' War . Badly damaged by explosions in 1689, Stahleck was in ruins after the end of the Palatinate Electoral State and property of the French state, which had to cede it to the Kingdom of Prussia in accordance with the provisions of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 .

The Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Heritage Protection , which was based in Koblenz at the time , acquired the castle complex from the Prussian domain administration in 1909 and had it rebuilt as a youth hostel from 1925 . The expansion during the 1920s and 1930s served as a role model throughout Germany. However, the castle was not fully restored until 1967 when work on the keep was completed . The youth hostel operation continues to this day, so interior tours are not possible. The large viewing terrace offers a good view of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley there , as part of which the complex has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002 . Because of its importance as a particularly valuable historical building, Stahleck Castle has also been under protection under the agreements of the Hague Convention since 1989 .


The beginnings

From around the year 1000 Bacharach was probably owned by the Archbishops of Cologne, who perhaps founded Stahleck as a southern outpost of their archbishopric to secure their distant property. The complex was probably built around the turn of the 11th to the 12th century, possibly instead of an older fortification, and was the seat of its guardian bailiff . It was not only the first larger castle north of Bingen and Rüdesheim , but is also one of the oldest castle foundations on the Middle Rhine.

In 1120/21 a Gozwin from Stalecke first appeared in documents. These were to Goswin von Falkenburg, who in 1135 under the name de Cozwinus Staelechae first documentary mentioned Lehnsnehmer of Stahleck Castle is guaranteed. He came from a Main Franconian family and had received the castle by marrying Luitgard von Hengebach , the widow of Heinrich I von Katzenelnbogen , who died in 1102 . From then on he called himself Goswin von Stahleck after his new estate .

Headquarters of the Palatinate near Rhine

Goswin's son Hermann married Gertrud von Schwaben , the sister of King Conrad III, at the end of the 1120s . After he was enfeoffed with Stahleck Castle in 1140, he was given the Palatinate Countess near Rhine as a fief by his brother-in-law. Hermann thus became one of the highest dignitaries of the Roman-German Empire . The Viertäler area, consisting of the villages of Bacharach, Steeg , Diebach and Manubach and the castles of Stahleck, Fürstenberg and Stahlberg with Stahleck as the center of power, was the core area of ​​the later Palatinate territory on the Rhine. For the time of his participation in the Second Crusade , Conrad III transferred. his liege Hermann von Stahleck took over the office of Reich Administrator .

After Hermann's death in 1156, Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa handed over the Palatinate County to his half-brother Konrad von Hohenstaufen . His daughter Agnes was Konrad's only heir. In order for the castle and the Palatinate to remain in the family's possession, the Archbishop of Cologne, Philipp von Heinsberg , converted the man fief into an inheritance in 1189, so that Stahleck and the lucrative bailiwick rights for Konrad's daughter were secured.

The will of Henry VI. following, his imperial cousin Agnes was supposed to marry the French king Philip II , but this plan failed. Konrad had already agreed to the French marriage project, but when he was not staying at Stahleck Castle, his daughter secretly married Heinrich the Elder of Braunschweig in 1193/1194 , son of the feuding Welf Duke Heinrich the Lion . The connection made by Archbishop Johann I of Trier went down in history under the name of Stahleck's wedding . The marriage of Stahlecker brought about reconciliation between the Staufers and the Guelph family, which however, due to the early death of Henry VI. and the double election of 1198 did not last long. After Konrad's death in November 1195, Heinrich the Elder succeeded him as Count Palatine and came into possession of the castle. In 1212, however, he renounced the title and the associated rights in favor of his son Henry the Younger . Since he died at a young age and childless in 1214, Stahleck fell to his younger sister Agnes. The remainder of the Palatinate was withdrawn as a completed imperial fief without the Stahlecker Allodiale and then given to the Bavarian Duke Ludwig I from the Wittelsbach family.

Wittelsbach rule

Through the marriage of Otto the Illustrious to the Welfin Agnes, Stahleck Castle came to the Wittelsbach family; Oil painting by an unknown painter from the 16th century.

In order to come into the possession of the Bailiwick of Bacharach and Stahleck Castle, Count Palatine Ludwig I arranged the marriage of his son Otto the Illustrious to the still unmarried Agnes, who brought the extensive estates into the marriage in 1222. Under Otto II, in 1243 a long dispute, which had been smoldering since 1156, with the Archbishops of Cologne over the suzerainty associated with Stahleck was settled; as a result he was enfeoffed with the castles Fürstenberg and Stahlberg.

Ludwig I moved his headquarters to Heidelberg in 1214 , so that from now on Stahleck Castle was only used sporadically and was administered by burgraves who called themselves Ritter von Stahleck . From the 15th century bailiffs performed the administrative tasks. Without exception, they came from the ministerial nobility , including members of the Knebel von Katzenelnbogen , von Sponheim and von Waldeck families .

Although the castle complex was no longer the rulership center of the Palatinate, important meetings of princes took place there until the 15th century. Examples of this are the election of King Ludwig IV in May 1314 and the wedding of Emperor Charles IV with Anna , the only daughter of Count Palatine Rudolf II. On March 4, 1349. In addition, the complex was pledged several times during the 14th century. In order to afford the cost of his royal election, pledged Ludwig IV. The castle in December 1314 for 58,300  pounds Heller to the Bohemian King John of Luxembourg and his uncle, the Elector of Trier Baldwin . In July 1328, in addition to the Stahlberg and Braunshorn castles, they also had to hand over Stahleck Castle to Countess Loretta von Sponheim as a guarantee for an atonement . In the following years it was therefore administered in trust by Count Wilhelm I von Katzenelnbogen until the full sum of 15,000 pounds was paid. Moreover Stahleck was the archbishop of Mainz in 1346 Gerlach of Nassau opened .

After the system fell to Ruprecht the Younger when the Palatinate was divided in 1353 , it was included as the highest point in Bacharach's city fortifications between 1344 and 1366. Ruprecht's son of the same name celebrated his election as his successor as Roman-German king there at the end of 1400 after the deposition of King Wenceslas of Luxembourg .

After a festival organized by King Ruprecht in 1408 for the imperial princes, Stahleck gradually lost its importance for the Holy Roman Empire. Another meeting of the imperial princes took place there in 1442, when Count Palatine Ludwig IV received King Frederick of Austria , who was moving to Aachen for the imperial coronation , and gave him a big festival in his honor, but it sank in the course of the 15th and 16th centuries Stahleck Castle in the insignificance.

Destruction in the 17th century

Spanish soldiers defend the castle against Swedish troops in 1632; Detail from an engraving by Matthäus Merian
The damaged Stahleck Castle in 1663 on a drawing by Lambert Doomer

The medieval buildings was extended by a gun platform on the northeast side of the plant after the introduction of firearms. It should secure the access to the castle. Despite this reinforcement, the complex was besieged, conquered and devastated several times during the Thirty Years War. On October 4, 1620, it - like the city of Bacharach - was captured by Spanish troops under Field Marshal Ambrosio Spinola . The Spaniards were driven out by Protestant Swedes on January 9, 1632 . The castle was badly damaged during the previous siege . A copper engraving by Matthäus Merian from the Topographia Germaniae of 1646 shows this event.

In July 1635 imperial troops under their general Matthias Gallas , Count of Campo, besieged the castle and were able to take it. Four years later they were driven out by Saxon-Weimar soldiers in July 1639 , before Stahleck was occupied by Bavarian troops in March 1640. These did not last long, however, and after their withdrawal the Saxe-Weimar residents returned to the castle and town for a short time. Spanish troops again took their place in the autumn of 1640 after a fortnightly siege.

After the town and castle had been captured by French soldiers after ten days of siege in September 1644, troops from the Electorate of Cologne advanced in October of the same year and forced the French to retreat to the castle with great losses. The leader of the Cologne soldiers, Colonel Constantin von Nievenheim , had the facility bombarded and "pretty much ruined", but did not attempt to capture it. The French soldiers stayed at the castle until July 24, 1650, but had to evacuate it in accordance with the agreements of the Peace of Westphalia because the complex fell back to the Electoral Palatinate and Count Palatinate Karl Ludwig . He had the damage repaired by repairs in 1666 and at the same time some redesigns made. In the angle between Palas , whose interior has been changed, and northern defensive wall , a part of massive construction with emerged half-timbered upper floor.

During the Palatinate War of Succession , the castle, like most of the fortifications in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, was finally destroyed. After their commandant from Dachenhausen handed them over to French troops on October 11, 1688, the soldiers set off stocks of powder in the vaults of the facility on March 15, 1689 . The explosion completely destroyed the curtain wall and the keep. The residential buildings burned out completely from the fire, and the debris from the demolition shattered the Gothic Werner chapel at the foot of the castle hill. Stahleck Castle was so badly damaged that it was not rebuilt. With the Peace of Rijswijk in 1697 the ruins came back into the Palatinate's possession and remained there until the electoral state was dissolved .

French and Prussian property

The ruins of Stahleck Castle on an engraving from 1840

After the Palatinate areas on the left bank of the Rhine had been occupied by French revolutionary troops in 1794 , the castle ruins came to France in 1801 through the Treaty of Lunéville , which offered the facility for sale from 1804. Due to the regulations of the Congress of Vienna, the ruins became the property of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815. In 1828 it was bought by the then Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm IV. In 1829 to give it to his wife Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria , a Wittelsbach princess, as the former castle of her ancestors. The princess was not interested in maintaining or rebuilding the complex. She only had a path to the ruin repaired. On the occasion of a visit by the Crown Princess in the 1850s, large parts of the walls that were in danger of collapsing were demolished. The castle courtyard was heaped up with the rubble and the neck ditch was filled. All that remained was the palace wall on the courtyard side, the circular wall on the side of the Steeger Valley up to battlement height and a small piece of the shield wall .

The writer Axel Delmar planned to set up an artists' home in the castle ruins from 1907, but the Prussian royal house did not want to sell it to him, so Delmar abandoned the project again. Instead, an offer to sell was made to the city administration, but Bacharach turned it down.

Reconstruction as a youth hostel

It was not until 1909, after the castle had changed from the Prussian domain administration to the property of the Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Heritage Protection, that the first security and repair work on the ring and shield wall began, which cost 3500  marks . The association was able to raise the purchase price of 5,000 marks through donations. The work was interrupted by the First World War and Burg Stahleck continued to suffer from vandalism and decay. Richard Blankenhorn, owner of the villa above the castle, wanted to set up an inn in the ruins in 1924, but his request regarding the lease went unanswered for five years, so that Blankenhorn abandoned his plans.

At the beginning of 1925 the decision was made to set up a youth hostel at the castle. The association commissioned the architect Ernst Stahl to " build a house into the ruin that blends in well with the landscape". The financing of the first work was secured by a foundation and donations from the Rhineland provincial administration in the amount of 30,000  Reichsmarks .

The nave was built in 1925/1926 and served as a boys' hostel.
The girls' hostel was ready in July 1927.

Stahleck became the club's prestige object. At that time, a complete rebuilding of the facility was planned. Stahl based his designs on historical views and based them on the existing components, but changed the plans again after old, previously unknown foundation walls of the castle buildings had been uncovered through excavations. The start of construction was delayed by the excavations and repeated measurements until the late summer of 1925. In the first phase of construction, a building was built on old foundations that was to serve as a boys' hostel. On its first floor, next to the hostel's apartment, there was a dormitory with a washroom. The hostel kitchen and a day room were located on the ground floor, while further sleeping and washing facilities were located in the attic. As far as possible, the former room layout was used in the design. In addition, a basement room of the castle was bricked up again and provided with a reinforced concrete ceiling. In this way, a viewing terrace was created on the eastern corner of the facility. At the same time, further excavations took place until 1926. The stones obtained by processing the excavation rubble were used as building material for the reconstruction of the curtain wall and the donjon foundation.

The youth hostel was officially opened on June 12th and 13th, 1926. A second construction phase followed from autumn of the same year until July 1927, in which a girls' hostel was built on the old foundations of two half-timbered buildings on the shield wall. The ground floor was occupied by a large day room, while the first floor contained a large dormitory, sanitary rooms, and living room and bedroom for supervisors. There was more sleeping space in the rooms under the roof. A four-bed room was also set up in the gate building. By 1927, the entire curtain wall and the shield wall, which had previously been 75 percent destroyed, had been rebuilt.

In the period that followed, the youth hostel was almost always overcrowded, which led to existential problems with the water supply. At times, the lack of water in the castle forbade all washing. The solution was the development of a new water source in the western mountain slopes.

In 1929 the keep with its two blast holes from the French era was finally secured up to a height of three meters. The eastern blast hole served as the entrance to the tower. In the same year the interior of the day rooms was redesigned with lambris and wall paintings. From 1930 to 1931 the ground floor of the palace ruins was restored and a dining room, the hostel’s father’s apartment and a scullery were set up there. In 1932 the neck trench was cleared.

The castle in the time of National Socialism

Renewed expansion needs in the youth hostel, which was still well attended, meant that the hall was completely rebuilt so that it could then offer 260 beds. The foundation stone was laid on November 18, 1934. During the eleven months of work, a small additional building was added to the hall as a kitchen. The official inauguration of the rebuilt residential building took place on October 25, 1935. In the presence of members of the Hitler Youth , the Jungvolks , the Bund Deutscher Mädel as well as SA and SS , Gauleiter Gustav Simon handed the new house over to its destination. At the same time, 26 other German youth hostels were inaugurated. The cost of the expansion amounted to 25,000 Reichsmarks. In the period from 1937 to spring 1938, the oriel towers were built on the shield wall and their battlements were roofed.

In the following two years, the National Socialists used Stahleck Castle to indoctrinate teenagers and young adults with National Socialist ideas in courses. High-ranking NSDAP members paid a visit to the castle, for example Rudolf Hess in June 1938. His visit provided the final impetus to start restoring the keep. The former stump was to be bricked up to a height of 36 meters with seven storeys and then christened the Rudolf-Hess-Turm. But the existing foundations could no longer have borne the load, and so the remains were completely laid down and in November 1938 the complete new construction of the tower on a reduced floor plan began. However, with the outbreak of World War II , the work came to a temporary end and the keep could not be completed in full.

From 1940 to 1942 Stahleck Castle served as a military hospital , after which a youth re-education camp was set up in the complex. After Luxembourg university students had already been forced to take part in education and training courses there in November 1940, pupils and students from Esch an der Alzette and Echternach were interned for four months in the buildings . It was the punishment for their participation in the protest against the introduction of compulsory military service in Luxembourg announced in 1942 and the associated forced recruitment, as well as for their participation in the general strike that followed.

From January 1943, the castle complex served as a penal camp for German youths who had not shown sufficient "loyalty to the line" before it was used as a youth service camp and military training camp from June of that year until the summer of 1944 , in which German youths between the ages of 14 and 18 " in a tough upbringing, which ... should be achieved through strenuous physical work and military sport training, sustainably encouraged to discipline and order "and were prepared for their military service.

The keep in its present form was not completed until 1966/67

Post-war years and current use

After the end of the Second World War, French soldiers were quartered in Stahleck Castle before it was used as a youth hostel again from November 1947.

In January 1948 the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Health and Welfare opened a youth helper school at the castle, which offered training courses for budding hostel parents and helpers, but the school had to be closed again at the end of the same year due to the poor financial situation in the country. The operation of the youth hostel remained unaffected by this closure. In 1957, the castle offered 270 beds and 60 emergency camps, making it the third largest youth hostel in Rhineland-Palatinate after the houses in Koblenz and Mainz . With 32,276 overnight stays a year, it was even in second place in a nationwide comparison.

From October 1965, under the direction of government master builder Heinrich Grimm, the plant was further expanded and rebuilt based on the plans of Stahl, who had died in 1957. The interiors were modernized and redesigned and a new farm building was built. In addition, today's large south-facing terrace was laid out and from 1966 the still unfinished keep was raised by a further four meters and roofed with a helmet . During the work, which cost a total of 1.8 million marks, the hostel was closed. The grand opening was on May 20, 1967.

Stahleck Castle is still used as a youth hostel, which is now by the Youth Hostel Association Rhineland-Palatinate from Rheinische association in annual lease was taken. With 168 beds, it records around 42,000 overnight stays a year. In the 1990s, the interior, which cannot be visited, was modernized again for 8.3 million marks.

When the Upper Middle Rhine Valley was inscribed by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites in 2002 , Stahleck Castle, as one of the more than 40  hilltop castles in this Rhine region, had a certain share in the positive decision, because the Rhine castles , whose ruins are the Rhine and castle romanticism had a significant influence, played a role in the decision-making of the UNESCO committee. Heinrich Stüber writes in his publication Burg Stahleck about Bacharach : "As the legendary guardian of romanticism, Stahleck contributed his share to this legacy!"


Stahleck Castle stands about 160 meters above sea ​​level on a mountain spur on the left bank of the Rhine at the entrance to the Steeger Valley and thus belongs to the spur castle type . The south-facing terrace offers the visitor a panoramic view of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley: In the north, the Bacharacher Werth can be seen, while the view to the south extends over the ruins of Nollig and Lorch with the associated Lorcher Werth to Fürstenberg Castle .

Existing building until 1689

Floor plan of the castle with the building stock until 1689

During excavations in 1925 and 1926, many of the foundations of the medieval castle that had been buried up to that point were uncovered. Together with the still visible remains of the ruins, the building fabric that existed up to 1689 could be found again. Accordingly, Stahleck had three entrances since the Middle Ages. Coming from the valley on the Rhine side, a double gate could be reached via a rock staircase, behind which an elongated, narrow kennel was attached. From there, the facility could be entered via a gate with double locking in the northern mantle wall , which was eight meters from the north-west corner. The former main gate was on the western corner at the place of today's main entrance. It was both the northern kennel and a drawbridge , on the one lying southwest Vorburg joined, accessible. The gate kennel behind the main gate ended in front of an inner castle gate, behind which a narrow passage led to the castle courtyard. The third entrance to the castle was a small gate in the outer wall of what was then the southern Zwinger, which ran parallel to the circular wall and had a round tower on its southern corner .

Directly behind the northern curtain wall was an elongated building from the 17th century, which was joined by a stone residential building at the north end. Its ground floor was divided into several small rooms, and at its southern end there was a half-timbered building, the outer wall of which was formed by the southern defensive wall. Two other half-timbered buildings from the 17th century stood on the west side behind a shield wall, which has protected the castle from the elevated mountain side since the first half of the 14th century. In this way, the buildings enclosed a long, narrow inner courtyard, in the middle of which stood a round Romanesque keep, the outer wall of which was “14 shoes” thick, i.e. four meters.

The water supply to the castle was ensured during the Middle Ages by the neck ditch basin in front of the shield wall, which was fed by a mountain spring . It had a capacity of around 500 m³. The water was led from there via a connecting tunnel at a depth of four meters to a well carved into the rock , which was located roughly in the middle behind the shield wall and was only exposed to a depth of six meters for cost reasons when the system was rebuilt.

Due to a mention in the will of Count Palatine Ruprecht I from 1371, a castle chapel on Stahleck, which was dedicated to St. Paul , had been handed down for some time . Because the remains of an early Gothic vaulted arch and parts of a Gothic chapel window were found during the excavations in August 1925, the existence of this chapel could finally be archaeologically proven. Their exact localization within the castle complex has not yet been successful. Based on the Merian engraving, it is assumed to be on the first floor of the palace, because it shows a small chapel-like bay window on the outer wall on the Rhine side .

As a further fortification element, there was a former bastion in the northeast of the castle complex in addition to the gun platform in the southwest, which is still preserved today .

Today's building stock

View from the terrace to the keep and nave ; behind it the shield wall

Today's facility is a 20th century reconstruction , mainly based on excavation finds and an engraving by Matthäus Merian from 1646. The majority of the plans for the reconstruction came from Ernst Stahl, who stuck to the Merian representation in his designs where the engraving yielded nothing, based on other historical models. The almost rectangular complex, measuring around 55 by 24 meters, shows the typical regular floor plan of a castle from the Staufer period , which is very clearly structured. The size of today's buildings roughly convey the impression of the former complex, the oldest of which are the foundations of the keep, parts of the Palaskeller and some sections of the curtain wall.

Because Stahleck Castle is used as a youth hostel, it cannot be visited. Their inner courtyard is open to the public, however, and since it is only closed off on the Rhine side by a low parapet , there is a good view of the Rhine valley.


Nave (left), hall (middle) and kitchen (right)

On the Rhine side, eastern narrow front of the two-story palace is from outside rubble and inside Schwemmsteinen . It stands on a vaulted basement that Ernst Stahl dated to the time of Konrad von Hohenstaufen. The sloping, three-story hipped roof of the building is ten meters high and covered with slate . It has three rows of dormers , one on top of the other, on both the Rhine and the castle courtyard side , which become smaller as the roof height increases. On the first floor, the building shows cross-frame windows made of basalt , which comes from Niedermendig .

On the facade facing the courtyard, a stone plaque made of red sandstone commemorates the reconstruction work of the Bavarian Duke Karl Ludwig. Their inscription reads:


The so-called kitchen building with two storeys adjoins the hall on its southeast side . The building, the first floor of which is built from half-timbered houses on the Rhine side, is now used by the hostel's parents.

Of the numerous coordinated equipment details that Stahl once designed for the castle complex, only the windows of the knight's hall and its ceiling lights remain today. The eleven stained glass hall windows by the Düsseldorf glass painter Richard Gassen show the most important stages in the history of the castle and the coats of arms of the people or institutions involved in the Rhine province in the 1920s. Its basaltic lava frames are only visible on the outside. The room, which can accommodate about 100 people, has a belt floor made of oak and a ceiling with heavy beams. The entire furniture designed by Ernst Stahl and the lambris in the lower area of ​​the walls with light rough plaster are no longer preserved . The chimney on the southern end of the knight's hall no longer corresponds to the massive shape from the 1930s. The fireplace at that time was made by the Benrath potter Claus Bartelmeß in the Art Deco style and had a floor plan of 4 by 3.5 meters. The large relief of an imperial eagle was emblazoned on his coat .


Although the foundation of the castle probably took place at the beginning of the 12th century at the latest, no parts of the previously known original structure can be clearly dated to this time. Stahl suspected that the foundations of the keep can be dated to the 12th century. The round tower stands in the middle of the courtyard on a rock plinth and is closed off by a 16-meter-high, bent conical roof, which has four bay-shaped windows with their own small helmets . It has a 7.5 meter floor plan on which two meter thick outer walls rise. The top of the six floors is four meters high and was only later bricked up, which is noticeable through a different stone color.

The rooms for youth hostel guests in the donjon are named after medieval minstrels and are therefore called, for example, Oswald von Wolkenstein or Hartmann von Aue .

Shield wall and entrance

Main gate and shield wall

The elevated mountain side in the west of the complex is protected by a mantle wall reinforced to form a shield wall. It is 2.6 meters thick and has a staircase in its wall thickness. However, it does not extend to the roofed battlement that forms the top of the wall. Some of the narrow, elongated fishtail notches are walled up in their lower part and were subsequently provided with ( recoil-absorbing ) baffles for firearms. In the upper area, the wall is flanked on both sides by polygonal watch towers , some of which are clad with slate , which replace two previously existing round towers.

In front of the shield wall is a neck ditch hewn out of the rock, from which an area 18 by 13 meters is separated. It is filled with around 500 m³ of water and also serves as a cistern that has been fed from three springs in the surrounding mountain slopes since 1928/29. A stone bridge leads over the neck ditch to the main entrance, the gate of which is protected by a cast bay window. Behind it is an elongated gate kennel.

Other buildings

The former boys' hostel is now called the long house . Your ground floor is made of quarry stone and has a first floor made of timber framing. The building has a slate roof with four courtyard side dormers and a dormer whose gable geschweift is.

The building with a pent roof , called the tower house , used to be the girls' hostel and leans against the shield wall from the inside. Its architectural design is similar to that of the nave . The rooms in the tower house have names related to the fortress, such as sentinels , falcon nest or rock lair .

To the southwest, a little above the castle complex, there is a platform hewn out of the rock and walled, which as a post-medieval gun platform is directed against the slope and represented an important defense against powder weapons. The exact time of origin is unknown. As the engraving by Matthäus Merian from the 17th century shows, it was already there in 1646.


  • Dagmar Aversano-Schreiber: First mention of Stahleck Castle. In: Association for the History of the City of Bacharach and the Viertäler e. V. (Ed.): Bacharach in the Middle Ages. Bacharach 2010 ( Kleine Schriftenreihe. No. 24), pp. 9–20 ( PDF ; 3.6 MB).
  • Uwe Bader, Beate Welter: Stahleck Castle in the Nazi era. In: Leaves to the Land. No. 2, 2001 ( PDF ; 123 kB).
  • Gabriele Nina Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhine (Mainz-Bingen district). In: Castles and Palaces . Vol. 42, No. 1, 2001, ISSN  0007-6201 , pp. 2-11.
  • Udo Borniger: Stahleck Castle. History and reconstruction. Association for the History of the City of Bacharach and the Viertäler, Bacharach 1988.
  • Michael Fuhr: “Who wants to be the custodian of the river?” 40 castles and palaces on the Middle Rhine. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2002, ISBN 3-7954-1460-1 , pp. 40–45.
  • Heiko Laß: The Rhine. Castles and palaces from Mainz to Cologne. Michael Imhof, Petersberg 2005, ISBN 3-937251-64-2 , pp. 62-64.
  • Thomas Steinmetz: Stahleck Castle on the Rhine - “classic” castle from the early 12th century. In: Castles and Palaces. Vol. 54, No. 1, 2013, ISSN  0007-6201 , pp. 9-17.
  • Gabriele Nina Strickhausen-Bode: The construction of Stahleck Castle near Bacharach (1926–1967). Aspects of homeland security, monument preservation and the preservation of the landscape. In: Castles and Palaces. Vol. 45, No. 3, 2004, ISSN  0007-6201 , pp. 177-184.
  • Gabriele Nina Strickhausen-Bode: Stahls Stahleck - Ernst Stahl (1882-1957) and the reconstruction of Stahleck Castle on the Rhine - a youth hostel of the Rhine province in the context of historicism and homeland protection, youth movement and youth castle idea (= publications of the German Castle Association , Series A: Research , Volume 12). German Castle Association , Braubach 2007, ISBN 978-3-927558-26-7 (Dissertation University of Marburg 2005, 256 pages).
  • Heinrich Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach. From the Stauferburg to the youth hostel. Association for the History of the City of Bacharach and the Viertäler, Bacharach 2004, ISBN 3-928022-75-X .

Web links

Commons : Burg Stahleck  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. ^ A b c Elmar Rettinger: Historical local dictionary Rhineland-Palatinate. Volume 2: Former district of St. Goar, keyword Stahleck. ( PDF ; 32 kB).
  2. H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck on Bacharach , p. 7 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  3. D. Aversano-Schreiber: First mention of Stahleck Castle , p. 11.
  4. a b c G. N. Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhine (Mainz-Bingen district) , p. 2.
  5. M. Fuhr: “Who wants to be the keeper of the river?” 40 Castles and palaces on the Middle Rhine , p. 40.
  6. Angela Pfotenhauer, Elmar Lixenfeld: Upper Middle Rhine Valley from Bingen and Rüdesheim to Koblenz. World heritage. 2nd Edition. Monumente Edition, Bonn 2007, ISBN 978-3-936942-77-4 , p. 65.
  7. Document No. 1722. In: Adam Goerz: Mittelrheinische Regesten or chronological compilation of the source material for the history of the territories of the two administrative districts of Coblenz and Trier in short excerpts. Volume 1. Koblenz 1876-86.
  8. The time of the marriage is uncertain. Compare Tobias Weller : The marriage policy of the German high nobility in the 12th century. Cologne 2004, p. 35.
  9. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 9.
  10. On his presence at the royal court, cf. Wolfram Ziegler: King Konrad III. (1138-1152). Court, documents and politics. Böhlau, Vienna a. a. 2008, pp. 460-466.
  11. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 11.
  12. On this marriage see Tobias Weller: The marriage policy of the German nobility in the 12th century. Cologne 2004, pp. 180-187.
  13. ^ Tobias Weller: The marriage policy of the German high nobility in the 12th century. Cologne 2004, p. 283.
  14. a b H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 16.
  15. a b c G. N. Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhine (Mainz-Bingen district) , p. 3.
  16. S. Grathoff: Stahleck Castle on, accessed on November 17, 2011.
  17. Document No. 6141, In: Heinrich Otto (arr.): Regesten der Archbischöfe von Mainz von 1289-11396. First section, Volume 2 1328-1353. Reprint of the Darmstadt edition from 1932–1935. Aalen 1976.
  18. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 18.
  19. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 19.
  20. U. Borniger: Stahleck Castle. History and Reconstruction , p. 18.
  21. Quoted from H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck over Bacharach , p. 33.
  22. Quoted from H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck over Bacharach , p. 34.
  23. a b c Quoted from H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck over Bacharach , p. 36.
  24. Quoted from H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck over Bacharach , p. 39.
  25. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 44.
  26. a b G. N. Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhine (Mainz-Bingen district) , p. 6.
  27. GN Strickhausen-Bode: Stahls Stahleck , p. 76.
  28. a b Quoted from H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck over Bacharach , p. 51.
  29. Quoted from GN Bode: Castle portrait: Burg Stahleck, City of Bacharach / Rhein (Mainz-Bingen district) , p. 6.
  30. GN Strickhausen-Bode: Stahls Stahleck , p. 77.
  31. GN Strickhausen-Bode: The structure of Stahleck Castle near Bacharach (1926-1967) , p. 177.
  32. a b c d G. N. Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhine (Mainz-Bingen district) , p. 7.
  33. GN Strickhausen-Bode: The structure of Stahleck Castle near Bacharach (1926–1967) , p. 180.
  34. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 62.
  35. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 63.
  36. GN Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhine (Mainz-Bingen district) , p. 8.
  37. Quoted from H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck over Bacharach , p. 84.
  38. Quoted from H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck over Bacharach , p. 90.
  39. U. Bader, B. Welter: Stahleck Castle in the Nazi era , p. 4.
  40. Quoted from an information board in the youth hostel Burg Stahleck.
  41. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 99.
  42. ^ H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck via Bacharach , p. 104.
  43. GN Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhine (Mainz-Bingen district) , p. 10.
  44. Portrait of Stahleck Castle on , accessed on August 10, 2011.
  45. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 118.
  46. ^ H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck via Bacharach , p. 115.
  47. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 125.
  48. a b H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 23.
  49. T. Steinmetz: Stahleck Castle on the Rhine - "classic" castle of the early 12th century , p. 14.
  50. ^ H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck via Bacharach , p. 58.
  51. GN Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhine (Mainz-Bingen district) , p. 9.
  52. Quoted from H. Stüber: Burg Stahleck over Bacharach , p. 37.
  53. H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 79.
  54. ^ A b Friedrich-Wilhelm Krahe: Castles of the German Middle Ages. Flechsig, Würzburg 2000, ISBN 3-88189-360-1 , p. 574.
  55. a b c H. Stüber: Stahleck Castle via Bacharach , p. 24.
  56. GN Bode: Castle portrait: Stahleck Castle, City of Bacharach / Rhein (Mainz-Bingen district), p. 11 Note 46.
  57. H. Laß: The Rhine. Castles and palaces from Mainz to Cologne , p. 63.
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on January 13, 2012 in this version .

Coordinates: 50 ° 3 ′ 29.5 ″  N , 7 ° 45 ′ 56.5 ″  E