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Photographer's Note

A shot made during my last trip to Germany, showing the Schönburg Castle above the Rhine near the town of Oberwesel. The castle is situated in the most picturesque stretch of the valley, not far from the famous Loreley rock. Together with other numerous castles and historical towns of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Some history of the castle. It was first mentioned between the years 911 and 1166. Until the 17th century the castle had a very changeable and martial history with many tribe and family fights. From the 12th century, the Dukes of Schönburg ruled over the town of Oberwesel and had also the right to levy customs on the Rhine river. Schönburg was one of the very few castles in which after a dukes death, all of the sons became heirs to the castle and not only the oldest one which usually was the rule. Therefore it happened that at the height of its power in the 14th century Schönburg accomodated up to 250 persons of 24 different families at the same time. The most famous of all of the Schönburgs is Friedrich von Schönburg - a much-feared man known as “Marshall Schomberg” - who in the 17th century served as a colonel and as a general under His Majesty the King of France and Navarra in France and Portugal and who later also fought for the Prussians and for William Prince of Orange in England. The Schönburg main lineage became extinct with the death of their last heir, the son of Friedrich of Schönburg.

The castle was burned down in 1689 by French soldiers during the Palatinate heritage war. It remained destroyed and in ruins for two centuries until an American of German ancestry, Mr. Rhinelander, bought the castle from the town of Oberwesel in the late 19th century and invested two million Gold Marks into the restoration until 1914. The town council of Oberwesel acquired the castle back from Rhinelander’s son in 1950. Since 1957 the Hüttl family lives at the castle on a long-term lease and has established there a hotel and restaurant, now already in the second generation.

This is the first TE upload from the place. I tried to make the castle look as sinister as I could, in the style of German expressionist cinema of 1920s...

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Additional Photos by Alexander Pasternak (pasternak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1341 W: 179 N: 3373] (15185)
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