The Old Castle in Koblenz seen from the Baldwin Bridge
|Type||lowland castle and settlement|
|Condition||preserved or largely preserved|
|Occupants||Archbishop of Trier|
The Old Castle (German: Alte Burg) is a former electoral water castle in the German city of Koblenz, dating to the 13th century. The lowland castle is located in Koblenz's old town on the banks of the Moselle near the Baldwin Bridge. Only the Burghaus ("castle house") has survived; today it houses the city archives.
Around 1185, on the site of the present castle, the family of von der Arken built a Romanesque residence from the remains of a Roman round tower. Koblenz's city walls, which at that time still corresponded to those of the Late Roman castellum, were extended in 1250. The first record of a Koblenz city council in 1276 was about the citizens' aspirations for more independence. So in 1276 Archbishop Henry II of Finstingen had the Old Castle built as a type of coercion castle out of the structure of the residential building to counter these moves towards greater independence. The castle was partly built on the ruins of the Late Roman city wall dating to the 4th century. From 1281, however, the citizens of Koblenz prevented any further work on the ramparts and castle. Henry II of Finstingen was thus forced to subdue the city and, in 1283, retaliated with armed force. Archbishop Diether of Nassau subjugated the city permanently in 1304 after fierce fighting and Koblenz was forced to dissolve its city council. The construction of the Old Castle was completed in 1307. It was originally surrounded by a broad, water-filled moat and an enceinte.