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Around the year 1200 the defences of the castle were strengthened, and the octagonal ' Thin Tower' (raised in the modern period to a height of 29 metres) was built. Originally it too had no windows, and like the Thick tower had no entrance on the ground. All traces of the original interiors are lost, and the exterior has also been considerably altered. The sixth floor (the "Eagle's Nest") and the current roof are twentieth century additions.


In the course of the expansion of the defences the romanesque chapel in the courtyard was built, though only parts of the portico on the gable wall remain. The provenance and meaning of the figures - dated around 1300 - on the outer facade remain unclear. It is not certain whether they originally belonged to the castle or were added in the 19th Century.

The castle attracted the population of the surrounding area. This contributed to the growth of the settlement under the castle hill, Rieneck, which was described as a town from the beginning of the 13th Century on.

However, the Counts of Rieneck soon began to feel that the castle no longer met their needs, and moved to Lohr. The castle kept its strategic importance, as it secured the Rieneckers' territorial claims and controlled the Birkenhain Way, the most important mediaeval route in the region. However, by the second half of the 16th century, when the Rienecker line died out at the latest, the castle was no longer occupied, and fell increasingly into a state of decay. In 1673 the title to the county saw sold to Johann Hartwig, Count of Nostitz, who thus secured himself the rights of an Imperial Count, with a seat and vote in the imperial parliament.

A round 1860 Professor Dr Franz Rinecker bought the castle, believing that he was a close relative of the Rieneck house. He sank his fortune in such a comprehensive restoration and alteration programme in the neogothic style that today it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the mediaeval original and the 19th century changes. In the 1920s the castle belonged to the poet and author Walter Bloem. In 1929 massive alterations were undertaken: windows were cut in the Thin Tower, the connecting wire between the towers was put up, and the roof the first dormers were constructed in the roof. Since then the castle was used first as a children's holiday home, a military hospital, a prisoner of war camp and finally a hospital. In 1959 the castle was rented by the Christian Scouts (CPD) and bought by them in 1967. In 1976 the Hall Building was put up, and the current state of affairs was reached. Today the Scout and Guide Castle Rieneck belongs to the Association of Christian Scouts and Guides (VCP) - it is their international training and meeting centre. It works closely with the network of other European Scout and Guide centres.