Sommerau Castle ruins from the 13th century

The Sommerau castle ruins lie in an extremely picturesque location far from the hustle and bustle of traffic. They can be accessed either via Gutweiler or the valley of Gusterath.


Sommerau Castle was built on a rocky outcrop, flanked on three sides by the Ruwer River. This approximately 45-m-long promontory was broken away at the narrowest point in order to use the slope of the Ruwer to operate a mill. This process had as a consequence the draining of the former natural valley meandering.

The castle was built in the 13th century by the Trier "von der Brücke" dynasty of knights whose ancestral seat was located in the thermae of St Barbara. Trier alderman Walram, a descendent of the "von der Brücke" dynasty, allocated Sommerau Castle to the Archbishop of Trier as a fiefdom in 1303. The castle was later assigned to the Luxemburg "von der Fels" dynasty of knights as a fiefdom of the Electorate of Trier.

The castle had fallen into disrepair by the early 19th century. In 1853, the State bought the ruins from four Trier citizens to stop them from being used as a quarry. They were then sold to a private citizen in 1902, with an obligation, officially recorded in the land registry, to maintain them and inseparably incorporate them into the associated estates.

The complex measures 40 x 10 m. In the west, the ruins of the former palace or residential home soar up to 10 m high, while in the east is the approximately 16-m-high square donjon, which, with its four levels, was also used as a residential tower. A climbing wooden chemin de ronde once obviously led to a door perched at a height of around 3 m. Facing south on the fourth floor is a large square door with a corbelled garderobe, whose brickwork is supported by red sandstone consoles. The interior of the residential building displays three complete levels and half a fourth level, with the towering remains of a chimney, which starts on the second floor.

The rising brickwork of the surrounding wall supporting the chemin de ronde is now just ruins. The rest of the transverse walls lie on the ground; the floor plan is only distinguishable through excavations.

Öffnungszeiten: freely accessible

Karte des Ruwertals

Please click on the map to enlarge.

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