We spent a rainy afternoon in Germany visiting the Kaiserpfalz Ruins, once the palace of the Kaiser.
The name Kaiserpfalz actually means Imperial Palace, and Kaiser, means Emperor. At one point in history, the Kaisers were the Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. There were actually a number of Kaiserpfalz throughout central Europe during the reign of the Empire, and they were both political and religious centers, maintaining the dominion of the Empire. Only two significant ruins still stand.
It was Emperor, or Kaiser, Heinrich III who originally built a palace along the Rhine River where Kaiserpfalz stands, but it was Emperor Barbossa who would begin construction on the massive fortress that partially remains. Barbossa decided to move the Rheintoll, a gate collecting tolls from transport ships on the Rhine River, from a location in the southern Netherlands, to a location easier to secure. He needed a military fortress to enforce and protect the Rheintoll, and the land of the Empire.
Eventually the Empire fell, and later the era of the Kaiser came to an end completely. The Catholic Church maintained ownership of Kaiserpfalz for a period. But, as it fell to ruin and vandalism, the diocese would give the Kaiserpfalz to the city of Kaiserwerth, and it became a part of the city heritage.
Be sure to click on the picture to see it in full size.
It has been used for a number of purpose over the years, including as a training center for the Hitler Youth during WWII.
Today, it is used as an events venue and outdoor summer concerts are held in the courtyard. The surrounding area is a public park area, where locals and tourists can explore, learn a little history, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The Kaiserpfalz is a beautiful structure, and you can get right next to it, or inside it. There is even a Geocache hidden in the ruins.
If you would like to learn more, read our full story. A Trip to Kaiserpfalz Ruins
To learn more about the surrounding town of Kaiserwert, and it’s diverse history, read the story here: Kaiserwerth- Emperors, Nurses, Saints and Stars
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