Kerpen Castle Ruins
The castle was first mentioned in a 1359 deed, identifying it as the property of the counts of Saarwerden. In the 16th century, the fiefdom was transferred to the counts of Saarbrücken. At the end of the Thirty Years‘ War, in the course of which the castle was destroyed, Johann Daniel von Kerpen had the entire castle complex rebuilt. In 1677, it was burned to the ground, along with the town of Illingen, by French troops. This time, reconstruction proved tob e more difficult and wore on until the 18th century. In 1748, baron Lothar Franz von Kerpen, due to his function as a civil servant in the electorate of Trier, had to transfer his residence to Coblenz and left the castle to be administered by a bailiff. With the invasion of French revolutionary troops in 1794, baron Franz Georg von Kerpen lost his sovereign rights as a territorial ruler, the castle, however, was returned to him as private property in 1806 under the reign of Napoleon. Von Kerpen died in 1825 without any male heirs. After his daughters sold the castle to a mining director in 1830, it soon went to rack and ruin as it was being used as a stone quarry. At the beginning of the 20th century, the municipality of Illingen acquired the castle complex and initiated reconstruction measures. In 1951, the round tower was rebuilt and became one of the municipality’s landmarks.