Berwarstein Castle

 

Located in Wasgau, Southwestern Germany, Berwarstein Castle is first documented in 1152. Prior to that, no record of it or the reason form it's construction is known. Emperor Frederick Barbarossa ceded the Castle to the local Bishop for his personal use. By the 13th Century, the structure was a Noble Residence (from where the castle was named after the Family “Berwarstein”). In 1314, a “war” was fought between The Berwarstein Family and The Cities of Strasbourg and Hagneau.

 

Both City Armies were unable to take the castle by siege (it fell due to a traitor inside). Hostages and vast amounts of monies were taken. The Berwarstein Family were able to ransom back their hostages, but at the cost of selling their residence. The local Bishop took control of Berwarstein again. He developed a more robust defensive system (reinforcing the Defensive walls to 10 feet thick and the adding of Defensive Towers). A series of Ramparts and Bastions were constructed in addition. Berwarstein was eventually inherited by the bishop's relatives (where it remaine din their control until a fire in 1591 destroyed much of the interior structures).

 

The castle remained uninhabited and in a poor state until it was ceded to Baron Waldenburg (by The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648). The Baron did not repair the castle. Purchased by a private party in 1922, a limited amount of renovations were conducted. During World War II, the nearby residents of Erienbach sought refuge in Berwarstein (their Town was destroyed by Allied Bombers). They survived in the long and deep tunnels located below the castle. Unknown to many, Berwarstein had these tunnels constructed by The Berwarstein Family to escape the 12th Century siege. More renovations were made in the the 1960s. The majority of the tunnels have since collapsed and can no longer be seen. The interior defenses and Main Bregfried Tower are still standing.



Berwarstein Castle