Emichsburg castle

Perched at the edge of a craggy outcrop of rock, Emichsburg castle towers above the Lower East Garden and the peaceful Emichsee lake. Duke Friedrich II had the artistic ruin built between 1798 and 1802, following plans by court architect Nikolaus Friedrich von Thouret, who copied the style of Mediaeval castles. Now the ruined castle is part of the Fairy-Tale Garden and known as the "Rapunzel Tower".

Emichsburg comprises two connected towers of differing heights. A spiral stairway with over 150 steps leads up to the top of the tower, which affords fantastic views well beyond the palace garden, as does the gallery of the small tower. An enormous flag was flown from the top whenever the king was in town.

The name of the ruined castle pays homage to the legendary ancestor of the Württemberg duchy – the knight Ritter Emich, who is mentioned in official documents from the 12th century. The only known fact is that he was a loyal follower of the Hohenstaufen family and resident of their royal camp, following Konrad von Hohenstaufen's appointment as king of Germany. No-one knows whether Emich had any children and thus whether he was one of the founding fathers of the dynasty. But one thing is for sure: such a mysterious character is a perfect resident for this magnificent ruined castle.

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