During the siege, cannons were used for the first time in Germany. The following are some of Germany's oldest castles that are also among the finest, most beautiful and picturesque. The crow-stepped gable (a stepped roof line instead of a smooth roof line) on the tower was added by the Constance Prince-Bishop Hugo von Hohenlandenberg (Served 1496–1532). Bishop Heinrich responded by besieging the city. Some 30 accessible rooms reflect Mayer von Mayerfels passion for the medieval ages, bringing the period to life with an extensive collection of weaponry, armour and coats of arms. [8], Following Nikolaus, Urich Pfefferhardt was bishop from 1345 until 1351. Although these may not be the most ancient parts of the original castle, they tend to be the signature architectural features that lend the building its fairy tale air. Although there are estimated to be over 25,000 castles throughout Germany, many of the more famous castles, the legendary Neuschwanstein for example, are relatively modern buildings, built in the last two hundred years, mostly throughout the 19th century. In 1334, there were two candidates for the position of Bishop of Constance. This period was not to be a peaceable one, however, as a series of warring bishops, sieges and rebellions saw a stream of appointments and owners for the next five centuries. A castle stood on the site as early as the 12th century, but fell into disrepair until the current castle was built. Eltz Castle is also a much-loved character in Germany’s history and culture, even appearing on the country’s currency - from 1965 to 1992, an image of the castle graced the 500 DM note. They possess a unique charm, blending the tales and legends of Germany's medieval past with the stunning architectural magic that modern visitors love. The building is surrounded on all sides by the waters of Lake Schwerin, reflecting the turrets and spires of the castle in its mirror-like surface. Like many of the castle structures of the turbulent medieval period, it was partially destroyed by both time and battle attacks, then rebuilt and refashioned in the style of the later periods. The Hexenturm or Witch's Tower dates from the medieval period when it was used, not as the quarters for the resident wicked stepmother, but for much darker purposes - as the place to hold witchcraft trials and executions. The second theory is that the castle was built in the early 12th century, and based on the name of the tower an association with the earlier Merovingian king was created. The Imperial Castle of Cochem, Reichsburg Cochem, is not only one of Germany's oldest castles, but it is also one of the oldest in the world. Joseph von Laßberg also presents the theory that the tower was built on the site of an earlier destroyed castle. In 1897, the castle was bought by a medieval researcher and heraldist from Munich, Carl Mayer von Mayerfels, who established the Medieval Museum and opened parts of the castle to the public. Following the extinction of the Buchhorn line, it would have passed to the Counts of Welf. Burg Meersburg is known as the old castle, in the reference to the neighboring 18th century New Castle. One of the castles oldest surviving features, however, is pure fairy tale. In 1647 the castle was attacked by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years' War, however only the roof timbers were burned during the attack. After 1750 the old castle served as a house for the administration of the city. He states that the castle was destroyed by Duke Gotfrid of Alemannia who was at war with Dagobert's successor and rebuilt 80 years later by Charles Martel. Today, the beautiful Moyland Castle stands proudly amid its moated surroundings and plays host to one of Germany's most important art collections, most notably the permanent exhibition of over 5000 pieces from German artist, Joseph Beuys. With its magnificent turrets and towers, the castle of today is as picturesque as ever and remains a popular favourite with visitors from all over the world. It stands boldly atop a hill, accessible by a stone bridge stretching to another hill. One member of this family line, Conrad the Younger (or Conradin) went onto become Duke of Swabia, King of Jerusalem and King of Sicily. [8] However, even with the new gunpowder weapons the Imperial troops were unable to take the castle.

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