Staufen Castle

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Staufen CastleSat on top of a vine covered hill, 86 metres (nearly 300ft) above the nearby town of Staufen, Staufen Castle traces its history as far back as Roman times, with finds that suggest a Roman watch tower occupied the spot where the ruins now stand (before ol' Alamanicus and his boys booted the Romans back across the Rhine, that is). Construction of the castle that you can, at least in part, see today was started around 1100 by a local lord, Adalbert von Staufen. The Staufen line died out on the death of George Leo von Staufen in 1602, and after 1607 the castle was left unoccupied.

Views across the Rhine plain towards France from the top of the castleDuring the Thirty Years War, the castle was undefended, something that would never have happened in Alamanicus' day, and in 1632 it was destroyed by Swedish troops (whoever they are - Alamanicus must learn more about these 'Swedish' people). In 1896 the town of Staufen purchased the castle for 18,000 marks and began renovations. Further renovations were carried out in 1954 and 1960. Today the ruins consist of high walls around an inner yard, with a tower at the north-western corner that can still be climbed to give superb views across the Rhine valley towards France and the Vosge mountains, some 30km (50 miles) to the west.

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Alamanicus is wandering his old Alemanni haunts, revisiting the places where once he used to drink, carouse, and beat up the odd Roman legionnaire or two. Things have moved on since his day, and the old Alemanni country now lies across south west Germany, French Alsace, and northern Switzerland. Cut through by the mighty Rhine, it is an area of great beauty, and a lot has happened there since Alamanicus last walked this land.


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Guest Saturday, 26 May 2018

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