Nanstein Castle was first mentioned in a document in 1253. In the 13th to 15th centuries, it was an imperial castle owned by a castle community with numerous commoners and multiple changes of ownership, especially in the 14th and 15th centuries. From 1518 onwards, Franz von Sickingen, the sole owner, converted it into a fortress that was supposedly suitable for firearms. In 1523, it was besieged by Elector Ludwig V of the Palatinate, Archbishop Richard of Trier and Landgrave Philipp I of Hesse. The largest artillery contingent at that time bombarded the castle ready for attack and seriously injured Franz von Sickingen, the rebellious knight. He died on 7 May 1523. From 1543 onwards, Sickingen descendants converted the castle into a Renaissance palace. Alternating garrisons were stationed there during the Thirty Years' War. In 1668, the Elector of the Palatinate captured the castle and some of the complex was blown up. French troops destroyed other parts of the castle in 1689. Starting in 1869, parts of the castle were renovated again.
The partially rebuilt battery tower dating back to the time of Franz von Sickingen is particularly impressive.
The castle hill towers 80 meters above the city and boasts a sweeping view over Landstuhl to the North Palatinate mountains.
In summer, the castle, measuring 100 metres in length and 50 metres in width, becomes the romantic backdrop for the Landstuhl Castle Games, concerts and guided castle tours.
Seating 70 people inside and approximately 150 seats on the viewing terrace, the castle tavern directly below the castle ruins is a great place to stop for a bite to eat.