lahneck
Admission: 3 €
Guided tour: entrance to the castle only in combination with a guided tour. Tours are held at every full hour
Hotel: none
Café/Restaurant: yes
Information: small booklet 2,50 €
Souvenirs: none

Location: on the right bank of the Rhine in Lahnstein, ca 55 km from Rü- desheim
Approach: You drive up the hill through the town of Oberlahnstein. I don´t know whether you are allowed to park right at the castle .There were a few cars standing there, but the road leading to the castle is very narrow and without any passing place. At least with my VW bus I would have had to go all the way in reverse if someone had been oncoming. You have to share the search for a parking space in the village with all the people visiting the swimming pool located near the castle.
At my visit on a 40 C degree-Sunday they were quite a lot. If you walk through the village it´s best to follow the sign "Burg Restaurant". The path to the castle leads through the wood, takes about 5 minutes and for once does NOT lead steeply uphill

I missed the beginning of the 15.00 o´clock guided tour because I was 5 minutes late due to the search for a parking space. I arrived at the castle gate just in time to see an older guide locking it. He looked at me surly and grumbled:" Tours at every full hour. Next one at 16.00 o´clock.", pointing at a sign on the wall. Against my habit slightly unnerved by the parking- odyssey I asked incredulously :"Do I have to wait here for 55 minutes???"

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"No" he growled and my spirits raised promptly " you´re free to go". Having said that he turned around and disappeared.
The young guy watching the gate was kind enough to let himself be per- suaded to get me to the tour that had begun 5 minutes ago. It was held by a nice girl who willingly took a picture of me with an original knight´s hel- met and -sword. ( To be on the safe side she did it twice...)
The tour takes about 30 minutes and is mainly confined to the interior fur- nished in the 18th and 19th century.
But after all there´s a nice story:
In the chapel you find among other things a chest from the 17th century which bore the war treasure. The bottom of the chest is painted with a pic- ture of a dog. That was an ancient heathen tradition: The dog should keep guard over the treasure.
That´s where the German saying "auf den Hund gekommen" (I think in English it´s:" going to the dog(s)" ) comes from. If you were so low on money that you could see the dog at the bottom of your chest you were rather busted.
Great, I love stories like that.
After the guided tour you´re free to climb the keep and look down on the Rhine and the Lahn. But as the building development at this place consists mostly of industrial areas, factories and modern housing estates the view is not quite THAT romantic. The stair up the tower leads past some nice niches and windows. After the ascent of the keep you leave the inner yard and can walk round the buildings.
Pretty, but being hard pressed by the feeling that the guy at the gate would like to close it after you, you really can´t relax truly.

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Now you leave the sealed area and have a coffee. The beautiful terrace of the restaurant is outside the castle gate and can be visited anytime. The personal was friendly at my visit.

Résumé: The visit of Burg Lahneck is worthwhile although the focus does not lie on the original medieval castle but on the "modern" reconstruction of the 19th century.
Burg Lahneck is not one of these sites which invite you to linger and ex- plore but positively recommendable for an interesting trip with a coffee af- terwards.

History: The archbishop of Mainz received the silver mine in Lahnstein as a feud in 1220. To protect the mine Burg Lahneck was built in the middle of the 13th century.
At the beginning of the 14th century the castle was turned into a custom castle; together with Burg Ehrenfels it became the archbishopric´s most important toll site at the Rhine.
In the Thirty Years´ War the castle was taken and badly devastated, so the archbishop gave orders to "let the castle tumble down by itself"; it was left open, uninhabited and served as a quarry for the population of Ober- and Niederlahnstein.
In the 18th century the ruin inspired Goethe to his poem "Geistergruss", which is considered to mark the beginning of the literary Rhine-romanti- cism.
In 1803 the ruin came into the possession of the Nassovian duchy, later it was bought by a private person and restored.

Links: http://www.burglahneck.de/

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