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The Castles of the Rhine

Recreating the Middle Ages in Modern Germany

By Robert R. Taylor
Subjects History
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Paperback : 9780889203150, 407 pages, April 1998
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554588015, 407 pages, August 2009
Ebook (PDF) : 9780889205857, 407 pages, January 2006

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
The Castles of the Rhine: Recreating the Middle Ages in Modern Germany by Robert R. Taylor

List of Illustrations




Part One: Foundations

Political and Economic Power on the Middle Rhine

Romanticism and Nationalism on the Middle Rhine

Monuments and Documents on the Middle Rhine

Part Two: Vindicating the Old Regime

The Holy Alliance in Stone

Hohenzollern Dreams

King of the Rhineland

The Hohenzollerns at the Hunt

The “Cartridge Prince” and His Consort

Part Three: Buttressing the Status Quo

A Justification of Aristocratic Privilege

The Fulfilment of Bourgeois Ambition

Part Four: Defending the Reich

Symbols of German Unity

Monument to German Glory

Part Five: Securing the Past for the Future

To Entertain, Enlighten, and Exploit the Traveller

To Study the German Past

To Teach the Young and the Ignorant

Part Six: Conclusion

“Can Stones Speak?”


Glossary of Architectural Terms Used

Medieval Fantasies

Hohenzollern Castle Projects Outside the Rhineland


Select Bibliography



Far from being mere antiquarian or sentimental curiosities, the rebuilt or reused fortresses of the Rhine reflect major changes in Germany and Europe during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Taylor begins The Castles of the Rhine with a synopsis of the major political, social and intellectual changes that influenced castle rebuilding in the nineteenth century. He then focuses on selected castles, describing their turbulent histories from the time of their original construction, through their destruction or decay, to their rediscovery in the 1800s and their continued preservation today.

Reading this book is equivalent to looking at history though a romantic-nationalist kaleidoscope. Amply illustrated with maps and photographs, The Castles of the Rhine is a wonderful companion for anyone with dreams or experience of journeying along the Rhine.


``[W]hen studying the great German river [the Rhine], one can escape neither poetry nor politics. The need to assert and defend political power created the original Rhenish castles [and] . .. much later . .. when these fortresses had fallen into ruin and lost all apparent political or military value, nineteenth-century poets were enraptured by the landscape and mythology of both the Rhine and its wrecked citadels. ''

- from the author's Introduction