- Starting point Landau (Probably)
- Train to Annweiler
- Hike to Burg Trifels
- Walk to Viewpoints
- Return to Landau via Annweiler
Trifels Castle is an important monument in the history of the German Romanesque, as (prior to its total reconstruction) it was among the best preserved Romanesque castles in Germany. Its also an easy hike from a train station hidden deep in the Palatine Forest.
The history of the castle is quite illustrious. It was seized from Mainz during a personal conflict between the Archbishop and Emperor Henry IV. The castle served an important role on a number of occasions as the custodian of valuable imperial possessions. This included King Richard I Lionheart of England when he was held prisoner by the Emperor for almost two years. It was also the repository for the Imperial Crown and Jewels during period of regency or between elections. It fell into disrepair after the death of the last Staufen Emperor and finally burned to the ground following a lightning strike in 1609. Parts of the castle were restored, including the chapel which saw continuous use into the 19th century. Reconstruction started under the Hitler’s orders, but would be continued following the war.
The castle itself features a number of unique attributes, including the largely original well-tower and staufen chapel. Much of the reconstruction is historically accurate to a degree and the castle does in fact look epic from a distance.
This hike would target the most interesting view points across from the castle in addition to the castle. Overall, I think this should be doable, but it might require an overnight stay in Landau.
To get the most optimal pictures, I think starting in the morning from the north should ensure that the castle is always illuminated by the sun and never in shadow. The downside is that you have to effectively visit the castle last, but all things considered, I think this is acceptable here.
- Von Arno Kohlem – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23244369
- Google Earth