Elmstein Castle

Elmstein Castle is a castle ruin built in the High Middle Ages overlooking Elmstein in the Palatinate Forest in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It was built in the 12th century.


The ruins are located on a 290 m high mountain on the northern side of the Speyer Brook Valley (German: Speyerbachtal) in the Palatinate Forest (German: Pfälzerwald).


In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Elmstein Casstle was built as a Palatine castle in order to secure the route through the valley. The feoffees held the title of the Schenk, a title of German aristocracy which translates roughly to servant. The castle occupied by the Electoral Palatinate. Between 1220 and 1230, the lower wall was built. Kaiser Louis IV of Bavaria ceded the castle to his cousin, the Count Palatine. From 1419 to 1437, the castle was occupied by Count Johann V. of Sponheim. In 1466, the castle was mortgaged by Friedrich I the Elector, to Erhard of Remchingen. In 1513, because of the change the ownership situation, Heinrich of Pagk received the castle as a Fiefdom. During the Farmers War (1525) the castle was damaged. Count Palatine Johann Casimir inherited the castle in 1576. The castle was also damaged during the Thirty Years' War (1648). In 1689 the castle came into its permanent state of disrepair during the War of Succession in Rhineland-Palatinate. Afterwards, the castle came into private ownership.


The remains of the parts of the original castle walls are still able to be seen today.


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