- Kusel and Fritz -

 

Burg Lichtenberg (Castle)

 

Only a few minutes drive from the Kusel Kreisstadt, in the heart of Westpfalz highlands lies the Lichtenberg castle. Said to be one of the largest castles in Germany.

Fritz and his friends often played there in the ruins. For children a paradise and fairyland.

     

Name


The 425 metre long castle site on the top of the Lichtenberg hill is 382 metres above sea level.

The name of the castle probably comes from the hill which is a bright and sunlit spot.

All records show that this name has remained unaltered from time immemorial.

     

History and Decay


It is not possible to accurately date the foundation of the castle. It is estimated that construction commenced in the 12th century. Certainly Graf Gerlach III was the founder of Burg Lichtenberg.

The castle knew many masters and caretakers, for example:

1214-1444

Grafschaft von Veldenz
(Earldom [or County] of Veldenz)
1444-1792

Herzogtum Zweibrücken
(Dukedom [or Duchy] of Zweibrücken)
1792-1814
under the French Government

1816-1834

"Fürstentum Lichtenberg" under the Duke of Saxon- Coburg-Gotha. (Principality of Lichtenberg)
1834-1945 under Prussian control

From 1945 to present the castle is under control of the Rheinland-Pfalz regional government.

A large part of the castle was burnt down in 1799 owing to the carelessness of the castle inhabitants. The flames consumed a large part of the building, the ruins of which remain. In the passage of time the buildings have fallen into further ruin.

     

Reconstruction


Ten years after the second world war the Birkenfeld local government together with the State of Rheinland-Pfalz commenced reconstruction of the castle.

The renovation was revitalised when it was proposed that the castle came under the administration of the Kusel Landkreis.

The surrounding villages came under the administration of Kusel in 1969. The handover of the castle followed on 6th October 1971. In 1979, after years of preparation the real work of reconstruction began.

 

         

 

Photo on the left:
Evangelical Church
Burg Lichtenberg
Photo on the right:
Watchtower
Burg Lichtenberg