Emperor Barbarossa's imposing palace
From the year 1180, the powers of the empire gathered in an imperial palace on an island in the Kinzig river. Behind its mighty reddish sandstone walls, history was written.
Founded in around 1170 by Emperor Friedrich I, Barbarossa, the moated castle is considered to be the best-preserved imperial palace from the era of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. The beautifully-carved columns of the window arcades, decorated with human figures and animals woven into plant leaves and tendrils, create an effective contrast with the large ashlar stones. Another interesting feature of the palace is the stonemason's marks. Each stonemason marked his finished stone with his own symbol, mostly simple geometric figures or letters, and 60 such symbols have been recorded in Gelnhausen. In the museum - the former house of the castle guards, with its picturesque half-timbering - more fascinating stories await castle fans with a thirst for knowledge.