Trifels Castle

Trifels Castle (German: "Reichsburg Trifels" (literally translated: Imperial Castle Trifels)) is a medieval castle at an elevation 500m near the small town of Annweiler, in the Palatinate, Germany. It is located on one peak of a three-way split red sandstone rock. (The name "Trifels" means "threefold rock".) The Trifels Castle is on the peak "Sonnenberg" (literally translated: sun mountain), and on both of the other two rock elevations there are castle ruins: Anebos and Münz.

Castle Trifels, where replicas of the Imperial Regalia (Reichskleinodien) of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation can be viewed, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Palatinate.

First mentioned in a document of 1081, in the 12th and 13th centuries it was a place of safekeeping for the Imperial Regalia of the Salian and Hohenstaufen Emperors. The castle is most famous as the place where the English King Richard I of England (Richard the Lionheart) was imprisoned after his return from the crusades (a period of three weeks is well documented: 31 March to 19 April 1193).

It is characterized by a large well tower outside the ring wall, linked to the castle by a bridge.


* "1081" First mentioned in a deed of donation
* "1113" Imperial Castle
* "1125" Safekeeping of the Imperial Regalia by Duke Frederick II of Swabia after the death of Emperor Henry V.
* "approx. 1190" Construction of the main tower
* "1193 (-94?)" Imprisonment of the English King Richard the Lionheart
* "1194" Initial point of the campaign of Emperor Henry VI against the Normans and afterwards the hoard of the treasure of the Normans.
* "1208" Safekeeping of the Imperial Regalia by Chancellor Konrad III of Scharfenberg after the assassination of King Philip of Swabia
* "1219" The award of municipal laws to the settlement Annweiler with the award of the right to mint and issue coins (for the benefit of Trifels)
* "approx. 1230" Second building phase of the palace, construction of the well tower and start of construction of the ring wall
* "1241" Trifels is one of the most profitable possessions of the crown.
* "1246-98" Safekeeping of the Imperial Regalia


With the end of the Staufer Dynasty in the 13th century, Castle Trifels lost importance.
* "from 1310" Forfeiting of the Imperial Castle to changing territorial lords
* "from 1400" Continued decline of significance
* "1410" Transfer to the dukedom Palatinate-Zweibrücken
* "1602" Destruction by a lightning strike; abandonment and step by step decay of the castle

* "1841" Beginning of restoration by the Kingdom of Bavaria
* "1866" Founding of the Trifels association
* "1935" Excavation in front of the main tower
* "1937" Assignment of the Bavarian prime minister Ludwig Siebert to upgrade the castle to a "national consecration site"
* "from 1938" New building work for several years at the palace. The new palace is not a historically realistic reconstruction
* "1954/55" Construction of the first castellan house and addition of the ring walls
* "1960" Construction of the second castellan house
* "1964/66" Enlargement of the main tower
* "1973/74" Collapse and rebuilding of the northern ring wall

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