European Culture Route Fortified Monuments - FORTE CULTURA®

Fortress Monuments of GDKE Germany

General Directorate for Cultural Heritage Rhineland-Palatinate

Fortresses, fortified castles and palaces of the state enterprise

Under the motto "We are cultural heritage", the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage Rhineland-Palatinate in the state administration takes responsibility for the material cultural heritage of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. This includes cultural monuments, such as archaeological sites and architectural monuments, as well as the collections of the state museums.

The GDKE portfolio also includes 11 fortress monuments with exciting experience worlds, including the fortress Ehrenbreitstein in Coblenz, the Bürresheim Castle or the Pfalzgrafenstein Castle in the middle of the Rhine. Travel into the past with FORTE CULTURA® and learn more about the stories of the fascinating fortress monuments in Rhineland-Palatinate.

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Experience World

Fortress Ehrenbreitstein


One of the most impressive fortifications in Europe is located on the Ehrenbreitstein in Koblenz. In addition to the fascinating architectural design in the New Prussian manner of fortification, it also offers a rich cultural and event program.

Multimedia productions, open air festivals and a lot of eventful history await you at the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in the Landesmuseum Koblenz as well as on the impressive fortress area that BUGA hosted in 2011.

Enjoy the spectacular view of the city of Koblenz, the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle at the Deutsches Eck, the UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, and take the cable car across the Rhine.

Hardenburg, Bad Dürkheim


In Bad Dürkheim, above the valley of the Isenach, is the castle and fortress ruin Hardenburg, one of the once most powerful castles in the Palatinate.

The fortified architecture of the 16th century can be easily understood on the fortified castle. A permanent exhibition also provides information about the history of the Hardenburg and its rulers. Immerse yourself in the heyday of Hardenburg Castle - an exciting multimedia tour makes it possible. Experience the refurbished Tor-Rondell and stroll through the castle garden like former castle owners.

Bürresheim Castle near Mayen (Eifel)


The fortified castle of Bürresheim stands picturesquely on a rock spur northwest of Mayen and is one of the few fortress monuments in the Eifel that have never been conquered or devastated.

Last but not least, its imposing and fortified double castle complex and its splendid furnishings meant that Bürresheim Palace was often used as a film set. For example, scenes for "Rumpelstiltskin", "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" or "The Prince and the Beating Boy" were partially filmed here.

Walk in the footsteps of the film heroes or through the history of the castle and enjoy literary-musical evenings or lectures.

Castle Bertradaburg near Mürlenbach


Unexplained stories surround the Bertradaburg. Did Bertrada, the great-grandmother of Charlemagne, donate the Prüm Monastery in the 8th century and was the castle that was later built named after her?

It has been handed down that the Imperial Abbey of Prüm built the Bertradaburg on a rock spur above the municipality of Mürlenbach in the 13th century, on the remains of previous buildings. In the 16th century it was expanded to a fortress with the mighty southwest rondelle.

Today the castle is privately owned and offers holiday apartments, guided tours and the annual castle festival.

Castle Kasselburg near Pelm (Eifel)


Even today, the 37m high double tower of Kasselburg from the 14th century impresses with its sheer size. It is accessible and offers a wonderful view of the surrounding grounds of the wildlife park and the Vulkaneifel.

Kasselburg, built in the 12th century, is considered one of the most daring fortifications of the Middle Ages. The construction combines the tasks of a defensive tower, gate construction, keep, residential tower and symbol of rule under one roof.

In the large "Eagle and Wolf Park Kasselburg", which also includes parts of the fortified castle, wolves, eagles, falcons live in large, near-natural enclosures and spacious aviaries.

Castle Pfalzgrafenstein in the Rhein river near Kaub


In the middle of the Rhine lies the fortified Pfalzgrafenstein Island Castle. The castle from the 14th century is unique in Europe and served as a station for customs collection and the military. In 1606 it was equipped with a gun platform.

In 1814 Blucher crossed the Rhine at this point with 50,000 men, 15,000 horses and 182 guns in record time in order to further push back the French who were defeated in the Battle of Nations near Leipzig.

The undamaged and largely unchanged condition of Pfalzgrafenstein Castle fascinates countless visitors every year.

Dahn Castles near Dahn


The Dahner castles, in the middle of the Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve, include the rock castles Altdahn, Grafendahn, Tanstein and Neudahn Castle, which is about 3 km away.

Underground rock passages, mysterious chambers and dungeons driven in the red sandstone cliffs and the magnificent view from the keep make these former knight's castles a terrific visit.

During the time of the Reformation, two bastion towers were added to Altdahn, Neudahn received three-story battery towers at the gate of the lower castle, which are still preserved today.

The castle tavern and the Altdahn castle museum as well as a multilingual audio guide for children and adults take you away to the castles in the past.

Imperial Castle Trifels near Annweiler


Trifels Castle, the safest castle in the empire, rises from far above the Palatinate Forest. It was once fortified to protect the imperial jewels (crown, scepter and orb) deposited here.

It was also a state prison for celebrity inmates. The most famous was probably King Richard I of England, also known as "Richard the Lionheart", who was under the emperor Henry VI. was held here.

Decaying since the 16th century and rebuilt in the first half of the 20th century, the Trifels is now home to the permanent exhibition "Power and Myth" and is the backdrop for remarkable acting tours.

Castle Nanstein nearLandstuhl


The once mighty Nanstein Castle on the Kahlenberg rises above the town of Landstuhl. Built by Emperor Barbarossa in the 12th century, it was made famous by Franz von Sickingen, who at the beginning of the 16th century developed it into a modern castle that was designed for firearms. In 1523, however, he was seriously injured while defending his fortified castle and later died on Nanstein.

Visitors can enjoy the Burg Adventure Days, the Burgtheater or the Jazz Festival in the summer months. There is also a magnificent view of the West Palatinate lowlands and the North Palatinate highlands.

Castle Landeck (Pfalz) near Klingenmünster


Southwest of Landau, near Klingenmünster, is the ruin of Landeck Castle on the foothills of the Teufelsberg. Already the access over the restored bridge is impressive and connected with a beautiful view.

The former residential castle has been steadily strengthened over the centuries and finally expanded into a fortified castle. At the end of the 17th century, like almost all the fortress monuments in the region, it was destroyed by the French.

Today you can celebrate hearty binge in the castle tavern, which is open all year round, or take part in the numerous medieval festivals, concerts, church services and castle games.