October 19, 2013
The Limburg Monastery
Today I visited the ruins of Limburg Monastery that are located on a hill near the city of Bad Duerkheim. The cornerstone of the monastery was laid by Emperor Konrad II in 1030, and it is said that this happened on the same day that he laid the cornerstone of the cathedral in Speyer.
In the little park in front of the monastery there are several stone sculptures that invite people to pause for a moment of contemplation.
When walking towards the entrance of the monastery grounds you pass an old stone wall - and it seems that the local lizards consider it a perfect spot to enjoy the last warm rays of sun.
The courtyard of the monastery is a nice place to sit down and enjoy the silence and peace of the place.
The flora around the monastery grounds is well worth a second look too - especially during this time of the year.
The view across the valley is quite stunning - although it is even more so on a clear day.
I continued my trip across the valley to
The Ruins of Hardenburg Castle
Nowadays there is not a lot left of this once proud castle. Only a few remnants of the castle walls are still standing and after some restauration during the last years they are open to visitors.
A short description of its history can be found on the website of artmarketservices.com:
"Hardenburg Castle belongs to the most impressive castles of Palatinate. Even though being a ruin, the castle still is a tremendous complex. Hardenburg Castle was built before 1214 to protect the monastery Limburg. From the 13th until the 18th century the castle was inhabited by the Counts and later Dukes of Leiningen. Out of this lineage many bailiffs were brought up.
In the 16th century Hardenburg Castle was remodeled into a fortress. It was still called “castle” because of its living character. From this time on it belonged to the most significant castles of this type.
There are almost no remains of the original small castle left. Only remnants of a wall at the upper castle are the witnesses of its existence. In 1690 French troops occupied Hardenburg Castle during the Palatinate War of Succession (1688-97). They destroyed some of its outer works.
100 years later French revolutionary troops attacked the castle again and burned it down on March 29th 1794. Its whole furnishings and equipment were destroyed and the western bastion was blown up.
In the first decade of the 19th century Hardenburg Castle was robbed of most of its building material. Since 1947 it belongs to Rhineland-Palatinate. In the late seventies, late eighties and early nineties the castle was restored, so that visitors are able to walk safely around.
Visitors enter into the castle through a round tower-gate of the 16th century. Its diameter of 22.5 meters might have frightened some enemies in earlier times and is still impressive for today’s visitors.
Further highlights of the tour are the gun tower or the parapet, which is well preserved and partly passable. The 18 meters high gun tower with its worked out stone bullets had to represent the strength of the castle’s walls.
The western bastion, which had been built by Hans Jakob of Etting in 1550, is also very impressive. Even though it had been destroyed, it is still 27 meters high. With its walls of 6.80 meters thickness the western bastion still determines the outline of Hardenburg Castle.
From there visitors will get to the upper castle. Next to the living quarters and functional buildings there is a three storey high jail tower and a safe, which can be closed by a moving stone. Highly recommendable is the visit of the garden, which had been remodeled according to plans of 1587.
Next to the garden is a double-towered wall, which is called “Münze” (Mint)."
The setup of the castle is pretty interesting and the view across the valley as nice as it is from the Limburg Monastery - especially in Fall when you look at a sea of Indian Summer colored trees.