Remains of a moated castle built by the aristocratic Geroldseck family, now a historic landmark
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This so-called Stork Tower is all that remains of the lowland Geroldseck castle that was built in 1218-1220 on flat land near the Schutter River. Its sturdy embossed red sandstone walls still bear witness to numerous stone-mason marks, documenting the
skilled construction craft of the Hohenstaufen empire period. King Frederic II had personally given his permission for the defensive moated castle to be built by the local aristocratic Geroldseck family who owned the site. Builders, tradesmen, local farmers and craftsmen soon built their own houses around the castle but the settlement didn’t receive its official town charter until 1278. However, the castle gradually lost its defensive purpose and visibly deteriorated from the 16th century onwards. During the 18th century, Lahr’s town council bought up the entire castle premises and demolished all existing defensive buildings except for the Stork Tower to allow space for new construction. Only the Stork Tower remained standing because it was still used as the local prison (until 1861). Even today it still proudly stands as our “Schutter city emblem”!