Manderscheid Upper Castle
Manderscheid Upper Castle, locally known as the Oberburg of the Manderscheider Burgen, lies next to the town of Manderscheid, in the Rhineland-Palatinate region in Germany.
Next to the town of Manderscheid the river Liesel has carved a deep winding valley. On both sides of the river stands a castle, with a distance of less than 300 meters between them. On the north side, on a hill, the oldest and highest of the two; Manderscheid Upper Castle. On the south side, on a rocky outcrop, the younger and lower Manderscheid Lower Castle.
When exactly Manderscheid Upper Castle was built is unknown. The village of Manderscheid was first mentioned in 973. It is assumed that the Upper Castle already existed then. If not, then it was at last built at the beginning of the 12th century. In 1133 a first Manderscheid family member was mentioned; Richard von Manderscheid. He probably held the Upper Castle as a fief from Henry IV, Count of Luxembourg. At that time the Lower Castle was first mentioned as it started to be built as an outer bailey.
Around 1146 a feud started between Henry IV and Albero de Montreuil, Archbishop of Trier, and Albero besieged the Upper Castle and took it from Henry. After peace was settled the Archbishop was allowed to keep the castle. The Lords of Manderscheid then settled on the Lower Castle.
After Albero died in 1152, Henry and his vassal Richard I von Manderscheid, took the Upper Castle back. The new Archbishop, Hillin of Falmagne, again besieged the Upper Castle. In 1160 it was largely demolished by Hillin who rebuilt it in 1166.
At the end of the 13th century Manderscheid Upper Castle was made a Seat of the Electorate of Trier, which further strengthened its importance for the Archbishop.
In 1673 the Upper Castle was destroyed by the French troops of Louis XIV. A rebuilding may have started but was never completed.
In 1794 French revolutionary troops invaded the region. They confiscated the ruined castle and disowned the Archbishopric of Trier. In 1804 it was auctioned off for demolition.
In 1870 the castle ruin was acquired by the Count of Brühl, a descendant of the Manderscheid family. In 1921 ownership transferred to the municipality of Manderscheid and the ruin was consolidated.
At present the ruin of Manderscheid Upper Castle is freely accessible. It is owned by the municipality. A beautiful small ruin; apart from the keep there may not much to be seen but the combination with the Lower Castle is fantastic. Recommendable.