Another castle in former east Germany I had on my list. The name has nothing to do with the Normans, though, and it's not in the scale of your average Norman castle. But it's pretty, and because of more thorough restoration work in the 19th century, more of it has been preserved than with some other castle remains I've visited.
View to the Normanstein from Treffurt
The Romanesque castle, situated above the Werra river to protect the fords and town of Treffurt, dates back to the 11th century. The keep and the two defense towers stand close together in the inner yard; later an outer bailey was added, protected by a wall and trench system. View from the former outer bailey
The Knights of Treffurt were vassals of the landgraves of Thuringia, but in the 14th century their power increased to a point where they were considered a danger by some counts and high ranking clerics. In 1336, the united hosts of Thuringia, Hessia and Mainz managed to finally defeat them. The castle was divided between the victors who governed the town of Treffurt from there.Inner curtain walls
In the 16th century, more modern seats were built for the magistrates, and the castle fell into decline except for round tower which was used as prison. But that way the castle was not altered into a fortress or Baroque palace like it happened with some other places (Regenstein
). In 1894 the castle was bought by Gustav Döring who restored the crumbling towers and established a restaurant in the former crypt. View to the Werra vale from a window of the keep
During the time of the German division the castle served as youth hostel. Since 1996 renovations were going on big style to preserve the ruins as well as the reconstructed parts. Those measures have been finished in September 2008, and so I got to visit a sparkly new castle, lol. There is a restaurant again today, not in the crypt but the former main house.