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Knight Eppelein

There once was...

... a robber baron who, year after year, made life difficult for the citizens of Nuremberg. His name was Eppelein von Gailingen. At some point the city council managed to capture the culprit and imprison him in the Five Cornered Tower on top of castle hill. The council decided to hang him.

In accordance with tradition, Eppelein was asked if he had a last request before his execution, whereupon he asked to sit upon his horse one last time. Since a deep moat surrounded the walls of the castle Eppelein was allowed to sit upon his horse in the castle courtyard. Many soldiers were stationed at all the doors and gates.

As his horse pranced slowly around the courtyard Eppelein looked over the heads of the guards and, imperceptibly, fixed his attention upon the unguarded castle wall. From the wall he could see the deep moat. But beyond the moat rose the beautiful Franconian countryside where puffy white clouds drifted over the green forests, the lush, flowery meadows and, most of all, freedom.

Above the knight a pair of ravens circled lazily in the wind. Something seemed to be calling him. Suddenly Eppelein kicked his spurs into the side of his trusty horse. It reared, gave a mighty whinny and galloped towards the wall. Eppelein’s horse shot to the top of the wall, planted its rear hoofs firmly and jumped so hard that they left an imprint in the stone.

The knight and his horse flew as if carried by a higher power. Perhaps they were, because Eppelein had a raven on either side of him and they glided to earth with him where he landed ever so softly on the other side of the wall. Bellowing with laughter and derision, Eppelein vanished into the forest and to freedom.

The hoofprints of the horse ridden by "Knight Eppelein" (Ritter Eppelein, 14th century) are imprinted in the wall in front of the Five-Cornered Tower on castle hill. And in room no. 25.