Middle Ages

High Middle Ages, Hohenstauen and Welf/Plantagenet dynasty

The Middle Ages are the era of knights, minnesong, Romanesque art and medieval castles. In the Valley of the Rhine, many ruins and even well preserved medieval castles have remained. In the Seven Mountains, we can visit three ruins of medieval castles: those on the mountains Drachenfels, Löwenburg and Rosenau. You see them in the collage above. Unfortunately, nothing has remained of the medieval castle on top of Mount Wolkenburg.

As we have already said, the history of our region is also a bit German and European history. They met again during the time of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. Emperor Henry VI held King Richard I “Lionheart” captive.

The “Lionheart” and his nephew Otto of Brunsvick, crowned Otto IV, are historical “crossroads”, and the medieval castle Löwenburg, situated on the mountain also named Löwenburg, reminds us of them. It was built around 1200 by the Counts of Sayn, in the middle of the bloody war for the throne of the Holy Roman Empire between Otto IV of the Guelphs family and Philip of Swabia from the Hohenstaufen family.

Back then, an embittered feud raved between the Counts of Sayn, supporters of Otto IV, and Dietrich of Landsberg, a supporter of the Hohenstaufen. Otto was supported by his uncle King Richard I “Lionheart” of England. He was almost an English, an Angevine prince. His father was Henry the Lion, his mother Mathilda Plantagenet, Richard’s sister, and he had grown up at the English court, where his father was in exile. Otto and his uncle Richard Lionheart were very close. The Counts of Sayn were on his side till the bitter end after the battle of Bouvines in 1214.

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