When you tour Marksburg Castle, your first thought will be…original. The castle has never been attacked and therefore, it is intact and much as it was in the 13th century. Johann the Belligerent fortified the castle to deter attacks; and, he was successful. Fire in 1705 and an earthquake in 1780 were the only intruders. Marksburg did suffer some damage to the roof during WWII, but repairs were made.
High on the hill sits Marksburg Castle.
View from Marksburg Castle:
View from Marksburg Castle looking right toward the Rhine and the town of Braubach.
Looking left from the castle, Marksburg Castle’s location high on the hill was truly a deterrent to invading armies.
Along the wall entering the castle are the coats-of-arms of all the owners and rulers of Marksburg Castle.
Long line of castle owners.
The cannons are 500 years old. The larger cannon has a range of 3,280 feet (1000 meters), which means it could send a cannon ball across to the other side of the Rhine River. Even though the castle had an arsenal of cannons, none were ever fired in battle. They were only used to greet dignitaries and officials coming down the river to visit the castle.
This is one of the smaller cannons. It had a range of 656 feet (200 meters).
This is a 17th century wine cellar. The wine was 5% alcohol and mixed with water, probably to mask the bad taste and quality of the water.
The garden is still maintained. No doubt during Medieval time, it was larger since going up and down the hill into Braubach would have been a long journey.
Marksburg Castle garden.
The dining room was the center of the castle community. Musicians played, family members gathered for meals, and interestingly…this was the location of the toilet.
There is reason that disease was such a problem during the Medieval times. The excrement would remain on the ground until the rains washed it away. Probably washing it into the water supply.
This outcropping on the wall is the toilet. The excrement would drop through the open bottom and fall to the ground. All you had to do was wait for a rain to wash it away.
This is the interior of the toilet. What you don’t see is the door. The door locked from the outside so an enemy could not crawl through the opening and invade the occupants of the castle. I wouldn’t want to be the person crawling through the opening.
The Chapel was dedicated to St. Marc.
A small altar at one end of the chapel with a statue of Mary and baby Jesus.
The ceiling is the most outstanding architectural accomplishment in the chapel. The groin vault is divided into ten sections. The vault was renovated around 1500.
Groin vault in ten sections created in the 13th century. The murals were painted in 1903.
One of the rooms in the castle shows different armor through the centuries. Our guide, Cosima, explained that during the Middle Ages, heavy armor could deflect a sword, but as weapons became more lethal, heavy armament was discarded so the soldier could be more mobile.
Armor of the Middle Ages.
The Blacksmith’s shop:
The purpose of the blacksmith shop was keep the farming and structure of the building in working condition. The blacksmith made the plow shears and keep the metal attachments of windows and doors in good order.
Marksburg Castle was a favorite tour because of its authenticity. Going into the castle was like going back in time to see how the people lived in the 13h century.
About the Author:
Annie and Bruce in the chapel at Marksburg Castle.
In 2010, Annie Coburn created Fab Placez. In 2014, she changed the name of her website to FAB Senior Travel to better define her target audience, mature travelers. In order to provide diversity of locations and topics for her subscribers, she publishes travel articles from other writers, as well as her own.