seat of the prince bishop of Speyer, in combination with a classical
style with a dreamy atmosphere for culture, quietness and tranquility.
The emperor coronation of Karl
der Grosse (Charlemagne) in the year 800 announced an atmosphere
of departure in the era of great emperors and kings, whose destiny was
stamped by the influence of the spirituality in the following
years. At the same time, spirituality was the foundation stone for
castle Palatinate and it significantly
determined the castle's development during the blooming era in the Middle Ages.
The castle was first documentary mentioned in 756
through the Benedictine abbey in the nearby Alsatian Weissenburg. The
Palatinate together with the staff and land parcel
stayed in ownership of Weissenburg until the 15th century. Weissenburg was a high
momentous administration center and a refuge of booming
scholarliness, until the 16th century brought an interim downfall
and lead to destructions and plunderings during the peasant wars (1525).
The castle was in princely episcopal ownership of the bishops of Speyer, one of the empire bishops, which was also
appointed to the German emperor election a couple of years before the discovery of America
in 1483. After the disposal of the castle and the town Edesheim in the year 1487, the
castle became office and episcopal administration center. During this time, the emperor Maximilian I. governed as master of the
"Harbsburgischen Erblande" with a key position in Europe (1493 to 1519).
Construction changes followed in the castle in 1594.
Reconstructure measures resulted after the destruction by the French 1694 (French -
Palatinate war after the unhappy marriage of Liselotte of the Palatinate with Philippe of Orléans).
As emanates from the contract between bishop and the Weissenburg convent, the 674-edes castle
had already been a water castle during the 15th century. The exact date of origin of the
water premises probably reaches back into the 12th century. A right-angled construction,
which was used as manor house and living and guest house, used to stand next to the
remaining main house of about 14 meters x 23 meters. This right-angled construction was
torn down in 1748 and rebuilt with a tower in the 19th century.
The entire structural works were
surrounded by a wide ditch in the form of a pond in the Middle Ages. The building could
only be reached by a draw bridge from the outer castle path. The place of the former draw
bridge was replaced by a stone bridge in the 19th century. A second
horseshoe-shaped water ditch joined here in east direction and also protected the estate
builiding in a bigger bend. Two further draw bridges were located at the intersection of
the castle path. The road from Landau to Neustadt, on which toll charge was claimed, was
controlled by these draw bridges.
The castle ditch was fed by a canal, which diverged from
the Muhlbach creek near the town mill. It was in castle ownership in former times (as well
as the neighboring areal of the Kupperwolf-Schlosschen castle and several other servant
houses). You can still see the canal course today. It runs parallel to the wall, which
separates the castle yards from the houses below the castle mill.
There are different opinions about the date of
origin of the castle perimeter walls with a total length of about 2000
meters. A document stone, which was found in the perimeter wall, shows the date of 1570;
but mural techniques and stone material permit conclusions of an
even older date of origin, which reaches back into the Staufer era (so-called
"Staufer-Behau" becomes visible by the different mural corners).
After the socialization of the church ownership by
Napoleon (1803-1806), the castle came into private ownership four times, before the site, which was in a totally scruffy state, was bought
by the Mannheim business family Auracher in 1993 and afterwards restored. After the
construction of two private apartments in the castle and in the residence, the 674-edes castle hotel Palatinate, which is known as a
4-star hotel today, received the culture square for "festive plays 674-edes castle hotel Palatinate" in 1996.
The reconstructed castle ditch with a water surface of
about 500 sqm and a water depth of about 2,20 meters mediates a historic atmosphere. The
ditch is surrounded by a footpath and a pedestrian bridge on the east side, which connects
the path to the newly built open air theater for about 900 visitors on the southwest
corner of the castle. A concert stage was built in the lower castle courtyard. A
festival with live music takes place every year here.
The castle as culture square of the Sudliche Weinstrasse
(South Wine Road) has a constant growing popularity of its visitors
since 1996 (from 1996 to 1998: 60,000 visitors).
The 674-edes castle hotel Palatinate has advanced to be
representative for the character of the region Sudliche Weinstrasse (South Wine Road) and
it has become a symbol for the main regional attractions.