One of the biggest castle ruins in Rheinland-Pfalz
History and tradition
Castles and gardens
The Counts of Leiningen have owned the castleof Hardenburg from the 13th century onwards, whereby the present construction dates back to the years 1500 to 1590. The massive walls testify to the bellicosity of the Counts of Leiningen – they were involved in more than 20 militant feuds against their neighbours in the 15th and 16th century. The problems started right in the beginning when the Counts simply seized the grounds from the monastery of Limburg to build their castle. In contrast to most other fortresses in the Rhineland Palatinate, Hardenburg was not abandoned after firearms were invented but was converted into a castle of residence between the 16th and early 18th century by its owners. In 1794, French revolutionary soldiers burned down the castle including its costly interior. Yet even as a ruin, the round tower that protected the castle against its enemies is an impressive sight. Its seven-meter thick walls stood firm against the enemies' cannons. The beautiful residential rooms were almost completely destroyed, only stairs, windows and elegant portals can still be seen. Most impressive, however, is the huge cellar, with its vast ribbed vaulting, dating back to 1509, which has survived fires and decay until today. Moreover, the Renaissance garden and the fruit garden have been reconstructed.