East Francia

History of Germany between 844 AD - 918 AD

In medieval historiography, East Francia or the Kingdom of the East Franks forms the earliest stage of the Kingdom of Germany, lasting from about 840 until about 962. East Francia was formed out of the division of the Carolingian Empire after the death of Emperor Louis the Pious.

In August 843, after three years of civil war following the death of Louis the Pious, the Treaty of Verdun was signed by his three sons and heirs. His namesake, Louis the German, received the eastern portion of mostly Germanic-speaking lands. The kingdom of West Francia went to Louis's younger half-brother Charles the Bald and between their realms a kingdom of Middle Francia, incorporating Italy, was given to their elder brother, the Emperor Lothair I. While West and Middle Francia contained the traditional Frankish 'heartlands', the East consisted mostly of lands only annexed to the Frankish empire in the eighth century. These included the duchies of Alemannia, Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia, as well as the northern and eastern marches with the Danes and Slavs.

The external threat from marauding Vikings in the west and from Magyars in the east aggravates an already grave internal problem for the feudal dynasties of Charlemagne's descendants. Feudalism, with its decentralization of military and territorial power, has at the best of times a tendency to foster regional independence. In periods of crisis, when the regions need to be well armed if they are to repel invaders, it is almost inevitable that the feudal holders of large tracts of frontier territory grow in strength until they are capable of challenging their own king. Baronial contenders upset the succession to the throne in the west Frankish kingdom from the late 9th century and in the eastern kingdom a few years later.

In 911 the east Frankish king Louis the Child died without a male heir. The only legitimate claimant within the Carolingian dynasty is Charles III, ruler of the west Frankish kingdom. Rather than do homage to him, and reunite the empire of Charlemagne, the eastern Franks and the Saxons elected one of their own number to the vacant throne. Conrad, the duke of Franconia, became the German king. Although not of the Carolingian line, Conrad is nevertheless a Frank. But on his death the Franks and the Saxons together elect a Saxon king. In 919 Henry I becomes the founder of the Saxon, or Ottonian, dynasty.

References: Wikipedia

Popular sites founded between 844 AD and 918 AD in Germany

Imperial Abbey of Corvey

The Imperial Abbey of Corvey or Princely Abbey of Corvey was a Benedictine abbey. The site is located along the Weser River on the outskirts of Höxter where the Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey were erected between AD 822 and 885 in a largely preserved rural setting. The Westwork (monumental, west-facing entrance) is the only standing structure that dates back to the Carolingian era, while the original imperial ab ...
Founded: 844 AD | Location: Corvey, Germany

Hohentwiel

Hohentwiel fortress, whose ruins lie on top of extinct volcano Hohentwiel, was constructed in 914 using stone taken from the mountain itself by Burchard III, Duke of Swabia. Originally, the Monastery of St. Georg was contained within the fortress, but in 1005 it was moved to Stein am Rhein (now in Switzerland), and the Swabian dukes lost control of Hohentwiel. In the later Middle Ages the noble families von Singen-Twiel ( ...
Founded: 914 | Location: Hohentwiel, Germany

Jaromarsburg

Jaromarsburg was a cult site for the Slavic tribe of Rani dedicated to the god Svantovit and used from the 9th to the 12th century. It was located on the northeastern tip of the German Baltic Sea island of Rügen at Cape Arkona, and was protected on two sides by the cliffed coast and from the land side by a Slavic burgwall. The name of the temple hill is derived from the Rani prince, Jaromar I, who became a vassal of ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Arkona, Germany

Kallmünz Castle Ruins

Kallmünz castle, the seat of the former Counts of Kallmünz, has been fortified since the bronze age. The first owner of the castle, which was documented in 1460, was Judge Kallmüntz of Regensburg. The building houses a restaurant. Now and then, the castle gardens provide the backdrop for musical events.
Founded: c. 900 AD | Location: Kallmünz, Germany

St. Trudpert's Abbey

St. Trudpert"s Abbey is a former Benedictine monastery. According to tradition, the abbey originated with Saint Trudpert, an Irish missionary and martyr in the southern Black Forest in the first half of the 7th century. He established a hermitage in Münstertal which became a monastery in the 9th century, and which by, at the latest, 900 had expanded to a monastic community supported by the influential noble fami ...
Founded: c. 900 AD | Location: Obermünstertal, Germany

Falkenberg Castle

Falkenberg Castle was founded probably between 895-898 AD, but not mentioned before 1154. In  1294 Aldsassen monastery bought it. In 1428 the monks successfully defend the castle against the Hussite invasion. During the Thirty Years" War in 1648 Hans Christoff von Königsmarck (Swedish-German soldier) conquered the castle and left it in ruins. After been decayed for centuries, Friedrich-Werner Graf von der Schul ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Falkenberg (Oberpfalz), Germany

Sulzbach Castle

The earliest traces of human settlement on the Sulzbach castle hill have been dated to the Late Hallstatt or Early La Tène culture. The medieval settlement was built first in the 8th century or early 9th century. The partially stone-made castle was built there in the 9th or 10th century. In 1003 the castle was moved to the Nordgaugrafen family by Henry II. The medieval castle was rebuilt from 1618 to the Renaissance styl ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Germany

Lembecksburg

Lembecksburg was a medieval ring wall with a diameter of 95 meters and a height of ten meters. According to old lore, it was constructed in the 9th century as a stronghold against the Vikings and is named after the knight Klaus Lembeck who had allegedly been residing there as a steward of king Valdemar IV of Denmark in the 14th century. After breaking his feudal oath, though, Lembeck is said to have been besieged by the k ...
Founded: 9-10th century AD | Location: Borgsum, Germany

Saalkirche

Saalkirche, today a Protestant church, was constructed on a cross‐shaped floor in the 10th century as a further sacral building in the Ingelheim Pfalz. Thus the imperial palace reached its closed U‐shaped form, which had already been foreseen in the Carolingian building concept. In the following centuries the church was constantly remodelled, mainly in the 12th century. Integrated into a monastery in 1345, the ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany

Charenza

Charenza, also Karentia or Karenz, was a medieval Slavic burgwall on the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. It was the administrative centre of the Rani tribe and of the Principality of Rugia. Today, the remnants are called Venzer Burgwall. Charenza was not only the administrative hub of the Rani tribe, but also a religious centre with the temples of Rugievit, Porevit and Porenut. The main religious centre of the Ran ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Venz, Germany

Münchhausen Castle

Münchhausen Castle was mentioned already in 893 AD when it was owned by the Abbey of Prüm in Lorraine. Later the castle was used as a customs office. The 12th and 13th century walls, tower and some buildings have survived. Today the castle is a horse farm with restaurant.
Founded: 9th century | Location: Wachtberg, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.

The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.

In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.

About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.