Nanstein Castle: Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit

Castle Nanstein in Landstuhl

I love traveling and exploring castles, and while I am in Europe, and I fit this in as much as possible on my journeys. I mean really you have to because there are castles everywhere. While I was in Germany visiting a good friend in Ramstein, I took a day trip out explore Nanstein Castle. This beautifully preserved castle ruin is in Landstuhl which is a short train ride from Ramstein or an hour and a half drive southwest from Frankfurt. With the castle perched on a sandstone ledge with a commanding view of the Palatinate forest, its history is as tragic as all the other castles in the area.

Commanding Views of the Palatinate ForestNanstein Castle views

When I climbed to the top of the hill that day in Landstuhl (only took about 30 minutes), I was greeted with this fantastic view of the surrounding Rhineland. Although the weather wasn’t cooperating (rain and drizzle) it didn’t dampen my mood one bit. I was going to explore a medieval castle ruin! One of my favorite things to do while traveling in Europe.

Nanstein Castle History and InformationEntrance to Nanstein Castle

Nanstein Castle built in the late 1100s was designed to be a fortress to defend the Palatinate area for the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I. After changing ownership many times through the early years the castle eventually passed to Franz von Sickingen in 1504. Franz bolstered up the castle’s defenses by shoring up the walls and ramparts and added two massive turrets to hold cannons. He was known as the only commander of a vast army of forces that would be made available at a moments notice if there was a profit to be made. But Franz’s downfall was to misjudge the temperate of the German political climate at the time. Failing at a siege on Trier without his knights’ support was the beginning of the end for Sickingen. Right after Trier, the Knight’s Revolt in 1523 happened. Even with all the fortifications to the castle, Nanstein didn’t stand a chance against powerful allied foes, and it fell in one day. Franz von Sickingen succumbed to his injuries sustained in the siege a few days later. Since then the castle has been reconstructed into a Renaissance castle by Sickingen’s ancestors. History has named Franz von Sickingen one of the last knights of the Middle Ages for the influence he left for generations afterward.

The castle’s open hours are from Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Oct.-Mar.) and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (Apr.-Sept.). The castle is closed on Mondays. Entrance fee to the Nanstein Castle is 3€ per adult and 2.10€ per child or if with a discount for military, retirees, disabled, over 65 years of age, students, etc.

Nanstein Castle RuinsAerial view of castle yard in Castle Nanstein

The Nanstein Castle is a castle ruin playground for enthusiasts who enjoy exploring every nook and cranny of an abandoned place. There are rooms to go in, towers to climb, staircases to go down into dungeons, huge caverns underground to walk through, and walkways galore that take you to all the areas of the castle. One area that is a must is climbing the tower to the roof of the castle where you can get a 360° view of the Palatinate forest. You can easily spend hours exploring and photographing the castle ruins. walkway in Nanstein Castle

Burgschänke RestaurantBurgschanke restaurant at Nanstein Castle

After exhaustively exploring the castle, I was hungry and how convenient is it that the restaurant is right outside the entrance of the castle. Burgschänke serves warm meals all day long! I was able to have a traditional German meal of sausage and sauerkraut for 7.90€ to satisfy my hunger. The restaurant is so cute with so many figurines grouped together. I enjoyed my meal right next to some cute frogs and pig figurines.

Visiting LandstuhlMap of Landstuhl Landmarks

I traveled to Landstuhl by train from Ramstein, and it was only a short walk up from the station through the town and up the hill to the castle. Landstuhl is a neat town to visit filled with gift shops, cafes, taverns, and ice cream shops that you will love walking by and stopping in. But, the town is more than those, it is a town with a deep history tied with the feudal system, knights, princes, and battles. And you can read a lot of the history when you hike the trails on the hill up from the town center that is filled with beautiful German buildings. On the trails, you will find creative carvings done right into tree stumps and signs pointing out all the landmarks of the area, which give the trails an almost fairytale-like feeling walking through the forest.

Summary

Nanstein Castle is wonderfully preserved castle ruin that you will love to explore while visiting in Germany. Along with visiting other castles in the Rhineland, this is one of my favorites as one of the most well preserved and has extensive areas to explore within the ruins. Lots of hidden rooms to find within the castle walls make it a very fun outing. If you are looking for a day trip from Frankfurt or in the Rhineland area, come visit Nanstein Castle for an enjoyable step back in time and some great photo opportunities.

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Further Reading

If you are coming to Germany and Europe for a visit, check out these posts for further travel inspiration:

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