Exploring Nanstein Castle

by Petra Lessoing
435th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In a recent press conference, Landstuhl officials presented the second version of the English brochure, “A Visit to Nanstein Castle.”

“Our castle is a magnet for tourists,” said Landstuhl Mayor Klaus Grumer. “Most of our neighbors envy us for this token, which was built by Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa in 1150.”

More than 25 years ago, the first guided tours of Nanstein Castle were offered to interested visitors.

“We have several people to include volunteer to give these tours,” Mr. Grumer said. “We also offer English tours for our American friends.”

In 2008, 18,418 visitors, of which a third were Americans, explored the castle sitting above Landstuhl.

“Some Americans are standing in front of the castle kind of helpless. So we had the idea to also publish a useful brochure in English,” said Erich Bader, the author.

Mr. Bader was a tour guide for many years before, and in 1999 he thought it was time to speak to visitors in written form by the means of a printed substitute – the brochure.

“Our priority was to create a brochure that is easy to handle,” Mr. Bader said. The product is small enough to fit in every pocket. There is a plan of the lower ward that folds out at the beginning of the guide and another plan of the actual ward at the end. Photos also show the different stations.

“For those not having a lot of time, it’s sufficient to read the text in bold. They can read the rest later at home,” Mr. Bader said.

“We are very proud to have such a committed person as Mr. Bader who first volunteered as a tour guide and then as author of the castle brochures,” Mr. Grumer said.

The castle brochures cost €1.10 and are available at Nanstein Castle, at the Landstuhl Stadthalle, the town hall and the Sickingen Tourism Office, Alte Rentei 41.

To make reservations for a guided tour, contact the Sickingen Tourism Office at 06371-495-311 or e-mail tourismus@landstuhl.de.

Guided tours cost €26 and last about 60 to 75 minutes, depending on the size of the group. Admission fee to the castle is €2.10 for adults and 70 cents for children. School classes are admitted for free. Students, retirees and military members pay a reduced price of €1.10.

Castle opening hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April through September and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. October through march. Mondays and in December the castle is closed to the public.

Nanstein Castle is also known for its annual castle performances presented by a local theater group in Pfaelzisch, the local dialect. Each July, the castle jazz festival takes place and features renowned jazz bands from diffeent countries. Every fifth year, a castle fest with medieval market and knight’s tournaments lure up to 10,000 visitors from all over.

“In April a new owner will re-open the renovated castle restaurant,” Mr. Grumer said. “People walking up there will then have a chance to take a break before or after their adventure tour of Nanstein Castle.”