December 10, 2016

2894 GERMANY (Rhineland-Palatinate) - Marksburg - part of Upper Middle Rhine Valley (UNESCO WHS)

The Marksburg is a castle above the town of Braubach, the only one of the 40 hill castles which was never destroyed. The fortress was used for protection rather than as a residence for royal families. It has a striking example of a bergfried designed as a butter-churn tower, and is guarded by a series of authentic gates and drawbridges.Its Great Hall, which dates back to 1239, was constructed in the Romanesque architectural style, and its lavish state apartments now house the German Castle Association’s offices. Over two thousand years of weaponry is on display at the castle armory.

A stone keep was built on the spot in 1100 by the Eppstein family and expanded into a castle around 1117. The Eppsteins were a powerful family in the region, with several members becoming archbishops in Mainz and Trier. In 1283, Count Eberhard of Katzenelnbogen bought it and throughout the 14th and 15th century the high noble counts rebuilt the castle constantly. In 1429 the male line of the Counts of Katzenelnbogen became extinct, and the territories went to the Count of Hesse, who expanded the castle to accommodate artillery and added the round towers of the outer curtain wall.

Napoleon seized then abolished the Holy Roman Empire in 1803. He gave the Marksburg to his ally the Duke of Nassau for his service, who used it as a prison and as a home for disabled soldiers. After the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 the Duchy of Nassau became a territory of Prussia, which took ownership of the Marksburg. Finally, it was sold in 1900 for a symbolic price of 1,000 Goldmarks to the German Castle Association. The castle has been the head office of this organisation since 1931. In March 1945, the castle was badly damaged by American artillery fired from the other side of the Rhine.

Marksburg is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley, about which I wrote here.

About the stamps

The first stamp, Gliding over the Water Dome, was issued on January 3, 2011.

About the second stamp I

Marksburg - Wikipedia
Marksburg Is The Untouched Miracle Castle Of The Rhine - My German City

Sender: Sonja / Tolpan (postcrossing) DE-5771533
Sent from Frechen (North Rhine-Westphalia / Germany), on 30.11.2016
Photo: Ivan Fedorov

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