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Nürburgring castle is handy for visitors with non-petrol-head partners as example of the many other attractions in the area. If pressed to name any of the others, just take them through the castle pics below, pointing out how scenic and atmospheric it is, and hope they'll have forgotten the question by the time you get to the end.
Nürburg is actually named after the castle of the same name; "Burg" meaning "castle". Actually, 'Burg' is usually a fortress rather than a castle, a true castle being a 'Schloss'. Not to be confused with a 'Berg', which is a mountain.
The "Nür" bit is derived from the mountain it sits on, which was originally (in the year 954) known as Mons Nore, or Black Mountain. This was a volcanic mountain.
Trevor Wright kindly sent me a potted history from the guidebook, and I've included a few highlights here:
The castle was built in 1166, we think by Count Ulrich of Nürburg. The castle fell into disrepair, and in 1302 the Electorate of Cologne took possession of it, and rebuilt it. At different times it was captured by Swedish, Imperial and French troops, and has at various times served as a prison, quarry and trigonometric point!
responsibility passed to the Department for the Preservation of
Since 1953, the castle has been in the care of the Administration of State Monuments of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, who cleared buildings buried under rubble, made stairways and walls safe and roofed over the Tower.
You can see the castle from the Nürburgring car park. The main feature is a tower that you can climb to enjoy the panoramic views from the top.
You unfortunately can't see much of the track but you do get a really good sense of the enormous scale of it.