Wittelsbach Castle

Leaving the city through the Altmühl Gate (“Altmühltor”) and turning left, you can see the palace of the

Bavarian Wittelsbacher dynasty (“Wittelsbacher Schloss “) which is located on the banks of the river Danube. The palace was built upon the grounds of the original castle of Kelheim in which allegedly the wellknown duke Ludwig the Kelheimer (cp. Chapel of Otto) was born in 1173 and where he lived during his reign. He made Kelheim the centre of his dukedom since the town was his birthplace.  


After duke Ludwig was murdered in 1231, the main residence of the Wittelsbach rulers was moved from Kelheim to a town south of Kelheim, called Landshut, which left the castle in Kelheim uninhabitated.  


Afterwards, since approximately around 1300 AD, the former castle became a significant place for the proceedings of medieval justice; now courts met there, and tribunals were held in the halls formerly used by the Wittelsbach family. Almost two hundred years later, in 1476, the original castle was in bad repair and razed. Afterwards the palace of the Wittelbachers was built anew. The material, which remained after the original castle has been torn down, was used for the construction of two towers of the city wall in Kelheim, the so-called “Rundtürme“, and for the Ducal Warehouse (“Herzogskasten“), which is now Kelheim’s famous museum.


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