The Oberstein Castle Club celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014.
An article by the local newspaper can be found here.
In the period from 1925 to 1957, Oberstein Castle was used as a youth hostel. After the new hostel on the "Hohl" hilltop was finished, the Castle was abandoned and the desintegration of the castle ruins continued. After the collapse of the eastern wall on May 4, 1961, a gathering of Oberstein citizens was held at the Castle Hotel. The danger for the old city of Oberstein and the safety of the pathways to the castle were discussed.
In 1962, the eastern wall was reconstructed and a concrete wall was installed right through the castle terrain. Due to the fact that there were no plans for further measures or reconstruction, the OCC was founded.
1963 – 2013: 50 years "Oberstein Castle Club"
On March 2, 1963, eight citizens of Idar-Oberstein followed the invitation of the castle supporters Hans Rupp and Fritz Wild to the foundation of the "Burgenverein Schloss Oberstein" (Oberstein Castle Club OCC). The ten OCC founders were:
Hans Rupp, Fritz Wild, Leberecht Hoberg, Reinhard Matthaei, Paul Petry, Hans Anacker, Max Hahn, Albert Reitenbach, Erich Herda, Hans Peter Brandt
In the beginning, the work of the OCC was very arduous, funds were not available, and the citizens had no mindset for a future relevance of a castle reconstruction. Due to this reason, the OCC was only able to conduct minor reconstruction like the castle mensuration, the cut-down of vegetation around the castle, the reconstruction of the frontal wall, the disposal of the barracks and the reconstruction of the Erkerraum. Up to 1981, only 31 members could be acquired by the OCC.
In 1982, things changed dramatically when Dr. Hans F. Häuser took over the presidency of the OCC. Due to his residence being in close proximity of the castle, the daily view on the ruins made him become the driving force for Oberstein Castle's reconstruction, bringing the castle back to the minds of the Oberstein people. In doing so, he gained several fellow campaigners for the OCC.
Until 1987, the debris from the 1855 fire was removed, the Menglerhaus was partly reconstructed, the southwetsern tower was sanified completely, the oriel was reconstructed and made comfortable, new windows were installed in the fireplace-wing, the guard room and the hallway were leveled, the donfon was sanified and the Löwenkeller was finished.
All these activities were highly appreciated by the population, Oberstein Castle developed into a popular weekend destination. The OCC was growing, having more than 500 memebers in 1993.
In 1993, the board of works was tasked to plan a complete historical reconstruction of Oberstein Castle based on old paintings and pictures.
The following years brought the reconstruction of the frontal wall and the magazines in the basement, the sandstone fountain was removed from the outer courtyard and set up again close to the lime tree below the castle. A new gas heating was installed including an underfloor heating in the available rooms. A new sanitary facility was introduced, and the restaurant received a new roof.
On June 23, 1994, the Wappensaal was inaugurated in the presence of Michael, Prince of Salm-Salm and the André Oversteyn family from Belgium. Many representatives from local authorities were present, proud citizens enjoyed themselves together with the craftsmen who had completed the work.
Until 1998, the works on the cistern wing continued, the wooden stairway was finished and the buffet room was reconstructed. Furniture was placed in the Wappensaal, the Cultural Hall was finished, a little herb garden was installed and the stable was finished.
These works were finalized in 1998, the castle as we know it today was finished. It was decided by the monumental preservation authorities that the plans for reconstructign the castle from 1993 were no longer in effect, thus forcing the oCC to slow down the effort for reconstruction.
Throughout the years, severe discussions arose about the implementation of the reconstruction plans between the OCC and authorities. The OCC directorate today is united in assessing the plans from 1993 as unrealistic. It is more than unlikely that plans for a complete reconstruction could be approved by the responsible authorities. Due to this reason, the OCC prefers small constructions in order to prevent the walls and the castle rooms from damage by humidity or weather.
The OCC history has turned out to be a complete success story, no matter how many foughts we had to fight to reach our goal: to preserve our beautiful medieval jewel in the city of jewels and gemstones, Idar-Oberstein. We will continue our effort in the future, based on our 800+ members.
Join us and help us to reach our goal, no matter where you come from! We would be more than delighted to welcome foreign members in our Club!