Trifels Castle: A treasure for errant knights of all ages

Hardly any other castle brings the mysterious world of the Middle Ages to life as much as Trifels Castle, positioned high above the town of Annweiler. The Reichsburg was for the Hohenstaufen dynasty and Salians one of the most important centres of their power and was known as the treasury of the emperors. In addition, the impregnable fortress was used as a prison for famous people. Richard the Lionheart is said to have been imprisoned up here in 1193.

This could well be the perfect place for a fortress – up on the craggy plateau split into three sections. Hence the name Trifels, which means a triple rock. You can reach the fortress from Annweiler via a little-travelled, winding mountain road. As you approach, you can take a look at the very popular 50-metre high rock wall beneath the castle that is very popular among rock climbers. The historical importance of the fortress that was built in the 12th century cannot be overestimated, as this is where imperial regalia such as the crown, sceptre and orb were stored quite often. As their possession was the only thing that made imperial rule legal, it was said in the Middle Ages that “Whoever has the Trifels, has the empire”. During the Hohenstaufen period, the fortress was also used as a state prison. The most famous prisoner was none other than the English King Richard the Lionheart. According to legend, the singer Blondel went singing from one castle to another at night to find the king. Outside the Trifels he received a reply from the dungeon and freed his master. Today, this exciting legend is brought back to life at theatrical performances.

Historical façade of Trifels Castle, Palatinate

Historical façade of Trifels Castle, Palatinate

With its tumultuous history over a thousand years, its destruction by a lightning strike and its reconstruction, Trifels Castle is today a popular spot with more than 100,000 visitors every year. And it’s ready to be conquered by you.

Golden tip

Worth gold

For hiking enthusiasts, there are numerous paths that get you very close to the castle itself, such as the beautiful Pfälzer Weinsteig trail. And if you prefer more of a challenge, you can climb the steep walls of the stunning Asselstein pinnacle and enjoy a view of the castle from there.


What also glitters…

Annweiler am Trifels (the town), Anebos Castle ruins and Scharfenberg, Slevogtfels vantage point, St Bernhard’s Cistercian church

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