Welcome to Trifels
Between 1088 and 1330, Trifels Castle was one of the most important centres of power under the Hohenstaufen and Salian dynasties. The crown, sceptre and orb of the imperial jewels were kept within its sturdy walls. You can admire faithful replicas in the spectacular treasure chamber.
The castle also served as a prison for some important people, the most famous of whom was the English King Richard the Lionheart.
The castle now open to the public is the result of successive phases of expansion, decline and rebuilding over nearly 1,000 years, from its beginnings in the 11th century to the more recent past.
There are paying car parks and coach parking spaces at the foot of the castle mountain. It is a 20-minute walk to the castle.
Regrettably, as it is a historic site, there is no disabled access to Trifels Castle. Thank you for your understanding.
Barbarossa – the pub at Trifels
76855 Annweiler am Trifels
Phone +49 (0) 6346 8479
The pub is at the bottom of the castle mountain, right next to the car park.
- The Palatinate has lots of exciting things to offer culture and nature lovers. Some of the highlights in terms of art and cultural history can be found in the Palatinate Forest natural park and around the region. Discover unspoilt nature, mighty castle ruins, towns full of tradition and fascinating history, amazing monuments and top-notch museums.
The Annweiler Mountain Trail, which is certified as a premium trail, comes highly recommended. It leads from Annweiler up to the runs of Anebos and Scharfenberg (Münz), and on to Trifels Castle.
- The Annweiler Mountain Trail, which is certified as a premium trail, leads from Annweiler up to the ruins of Anebos and Scharfenberg, and on to Trifels Castle
The three castles on three humps of a mountain range above the town of Annweiler in the Palatinate are known as the Trifels Group. As it juts out from the Rhine towards the Palatinate Forest, Trifels Castle is the most striking of the three. In the 12th and 13th centuries , it was one of the most important centres of Salian and Hohenstaufen power over the Holy Roman Empire. Built from sandstone, it towers on a rocky outcrop whose rugged, vertical peak towers above the forest on top of the 500-metre Sonnenberg. It is an impressive view from afar and from the castle down below. After all, it was designed to be a visible symbol of the emperor’s power. The ‘strategic’ view down from the main tower is no less remarkable. At your feet is the Queich valley and Anweiler, while the Upper Rhine Plain stretches out to the east and the valleys and peaks of the Palatinate Forest extend as far as the horizon to the west. Your eyes gaze over a region that was not only one of the most politically important but also among the most affluent parts of the empire during the High Middle Ages.
What made Trifels so important, especially in the Hohenstaufen era? It was home to the imperial crown, sceptre and orb,
reproductions of which can now be found in the treasure chamber, which forms part of an impressive permanent exhibition. At the same time, Trifels Castle was used by the Salians and Hohenstaufens as a state prison for prominent inmates, the most famous of whom was the English King Richard the Lionheart. Although legend has it he was freed by Blondel the Bard, in reality, Hohenstaufen Emperor Henry VI had him released in exchange for a hefty ransom. The more interesting legend is now played out by actors during special guided tours.
How the castle looks today is the result of successive phases of expansion, decline and reconstruction over nearly 1,000 years to the present day. The perimeter wall, gateway, well tower, main tower and base of the great hall show many features typical of Salian and Hohenstaufen architecture. They include many historic constructions, conversions and extensions that were built during and after the Third Reich.
The permanent ‘Power and Legend’ exhibition explains not only the history and the construction of the castle, but also tells interesting tales about its lords and rulers.
Phone +49 (0) 261 6675 4830
Trifels Castle is a historical site of the Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz (General Directorate for Cultural Heritage Rhineland‑Palatinate)
Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz
Direktion Burgen Schlösser Altertümer
Phone +49 (0) 261 6675 0