#158 Burg Pfalzgrafenstein
Rheinland-Pfalz, Bavaria, Germany
1327 and 1339-42 and later
This is NOT an official Lego site
Wasser Burg [Water
Castle] Pfalzgrafenstein was originally conceived as a toll station on a
tiny island called Falkenau in the middle of the upper Rhine River at
Kaub, about halfway between Wiesbaden and Koblenz. The original
pentagonal tower was commissioned by King Ludwig [Louis] IV of Bavaria
in 1327, the year he also became King of Italy (and the year before he
became Holy Roman Emperor.] The first tower was about 40 feet [12
metres] tall. In 1339 through 1342 Ludwig augmented the tower with
a hexagonal defensive wall. Corner towers and a gabled roof to protect
customs revenue were added in the 15th century, perhaps after the castle
passed to Count Philipp of Katzenelnbogen in 1477. The lords of
Katzenelnbogen became quite wealthy from the lucrative customs tariffs.
Ice flow damage in 1606/7 led to further additions, and the Baroque
painting of the castle also occurred at this time.
The castle is
located about 525 feet [160 M] from the west bank of the Rhine, but in
pre-modern times a cataract just above the castle caused wild currents,
making passage on that side of the river very precarious. Thus
ships were obligated to pass via the 360 foot wide [110 M] east channel,
between Pfalzgrafenstein's guns mid-river, and the fortified town of
Kaub at river's edge and mighty Burg Gutenfels high on the bank above.
At one point a chain across the river blocked the passage of
uncooperative traders! Two levels of gun ports were topped by a
small arms gallery as gunpowder became the prevalent weapon.
|The castle's island
was used in 1814 by Prussian Field Marshal
Blücher as passage for his 60,000
troops in pursuit of Napoleon, and the castle continued to be a toll
station until 1867, about one year after the castle was acquired by the
Prussian government. It was used as a signal station for another
century, becoming the property of the State of Rheinland-Pfalz in 1946.
The island is completed flooded during a typical spring thaw [lower
right picture] and the island featured no trees in 1900 [mid-left
picture], when the Baroque paint had completely worn off. That
paint job has been reproduced in recent years, to please the many
tourists. The "Baroque" roof on the tower was not added until
1714, bringing the donjon's height to almost 120 feet [36 M], but like
the modern exterior paint, the roof is so uniquely beautiful that I will
try to reproduce it for my model.
of the Lego Model
Under construction in early March 2017
Construction begins on
March 4, with the basic
hexagon laid out on blue baseplates.
By the next
day the general features of tiny
Falkenau Island are in place...
placement of the entrance
staircase critically important.
March 6 sees
completion of the island, awash
and flooded with the Spring thaw each year.
day the preliminary gray outline is
gone, and we can see the beginnings of the real
fortress, the prow medium nougat (=dark flesh)
and the remaining base whitewashed.
March 8 is
devoted to building the structural
framework upon which the courtyard and
donjon will rest...
|The grid is 16 studs wide
but just 6 deep, to
perfectly accommodate 6-wide light gray plates.
On March 19
the donjon's position has been
identified and the main support columns have
been laid out. But what Lego to use for the
pale rose-colored granite of The Pfalz?
Tan wins out
over light gray, and the next several
days are spent building up the courtyard.
Now we wait
for a large
order of white arches from
Other Wasser Burg Pfalzgrafenstein pages:
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