Annweiler and Trifels Castle

Annweiler am Trifels Travel Blog

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Trifels castle

Annweiler is located in the Pfälzer Wald (Palatinate Forest) in the valley of the river Queich. This is one of the major valleys into the Palatinate Forest, but that does not imply it is really big. There are but a few streams and small rivers leaving the hills in eastward direction into the Upper Rhine Plain. The Queich valley is important enough to have both a regional railway line (Landau – Pirmasens) and a highway following it.

The village of Annweiler is famous because, and only because, of Trifels castle. But the village has got its own charm and romantic spots, especially along the small river Queich. Its main attraction is the castle, so the village is often overlooked, but the walk from the railway station takes leads the old centre. Looking a bit left and right is worthwhile.

Queich river in Annweiler

Trifels Castle

„Trifels“ means „triple rock“. The mountain with the three peaks has always been considered a special, sacred place at least since the middle ages, if not far earlier. Each of the three summits bears a castle, one of them rebuilt, the other two in ruins: Trifels, Anebos, and Scharfenberg.

Trifels castle belonged to the Staufer emperors and kings. It was their most important castle in the high middle ages. Later neglected and decayed, the ruin was saved in the 19th century and finally rebuilt in 1938-1950. What we see today is in parts a 20th century building, including some features which indicate that the project was planned and started during the Nazi era. Since this place was of highest importance to the Staufer dynasty, it gives testimony of a great era in German history (although, strictly speaking, there was no such thing as Germany in the middle ages).

In theory it is impossible to miss...

In the Staufer era, the insiginia of the Holy Roman Empire were stored on Trifels castle for safekeeping. Replica of the medieval crown, sword, scepter etc. are on display inside the castle - the original pieces is kept in Vienna and can be admired in the treasure chamber in Hofburg.

Hiking up to Trifels Castle

Trifels castle is clearly visible from about everywhere in Annweiler, thus impossible to miss.

That’s the theory.

Unless it's a foggy day, as happened to yours truly.

Clouds were low and hid the castle. So we asked somebody who looked like a local about the right path, an the person told us, „ah yes, go over there, then left, and then turn right and climb uphill.“ So we went over there, turned left and then right and climbed and climbed.

From left to right: Trifels, Anebos, Scharfenberg
.. finally the fog thinned, the sun came out, and we had an amazing view of the three summits across the valley because we were standing on top of the wrong hill...

My companion strictly refused to climb up a second hill, so I did not reach Trifels castle that day. We found a fine cafe at the bottom, sat down for coffee and cake, and called it a day.

As you see from the photos, I gave Trifels a second try, now on a glorious sunny day in October. This time I found my way;-)

As soon as you are at the foot of the right hill, trails are marked. All trails up will take you to the castle. The distance isn't actually far, but the paths are rather steep, so the hike isn't that easy. For the 'softies', you can go halfway up by car, leave your car at the parking and walk only the last bit.

Opening hours of the castle: April - September: 10.00–18.00, October - November and January - March: 10.00-17.00. Closed in December

HORSCHECK says:
Congrats on your featured blog. Well done.
Posted on: Jul 17, 2017
vicIII says:
I have always enjoyed visiting Rheinland-Palatinate...
Posted on: Jul 17, 2017
aloneinthecrowd says:
Congrats on your featured blog.
Posted on: Jul 17, 2017
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Trifels castle
Trifels castle
Queich river in Annweiler
Queich river in Annweiler
In theory it is impossible to miss…
In theory it is impossible to mis…
From left to right: Trifels, Anebo…
From left to right: Trifels, Aneb…
Trifels castle on the hilltop
Trifels castle on the hilltop
On the way up
On the way up
Trifels castle
Trifels castle
Trifels castle
Trifels castle
View of Annweiler from Trifels
View of Annweiler from Trifels
Anebos and Scharfenberg, castle ru…
Anebos and Scharfenberg, castle r…
Oriel of the chapel
Oriel of the chapel
Trifels castle
Trifels castle
Viewing tower on Trifels
Viewing tower on Trifels
Looking back on the way down
Looking back on the way down
Catholic church in Annweiler
Catholic church in Annweiler
Market square in Annweiler
Market square in Annweiler
Queich river in Annweiler
Queich river in Annweiler
Scharfenberg, Anebos, Trifels. Sna…
Scharfenberg, Anebos, Trifels. Sn…
Annweiler am Trifels
photo by: Kathrin_E