Frauenstein Castle

Frauenstein, Germany

The ruins of Frauenstein Castle are located on a 680 metres high granite rock on the crest of the Eastern Ore Mountains near the town of Frauenstein.

The castle, which was first recorded by name in 1272, was built as a border fortification between the March of Meissen and Bohemia. It protected the trade routes and the silver mining industry. The original inner ward measured just 30 x 15 m and incorporated a tower house.

In the period that followed a second tower house was erected. This was linked to the existing tower. In the final years of the 13th century the great hall and castle chapel were built. The construction of the great curtain wall was carried out in the first half of the 14th century. The margrave enfeoffed the castle in 1329 together with its dominion to the burgraves of Meissen.

The parish of Frauenstein was granted town rights in 1411. In 1438 the Wettins largely destroyed the castle during a siege. The Margrave of Meissen then disputed the succession rights of the burgraves. The dispute had started when the Meinheringer line died out in 1426 and was taken over by the Vögte from the House of Plauen. The nobility of that house, the von Schönbergs, were given the castle in 1473. They had a palace (Schloss) built in the years 1585-1588 designed by the architect to the Elector, Hans Irmisch. On the completion of the palace, the castle remained unoccupied. Nevertheless, the chapel was renovated in 1615.

The last Schönberg at Frauenstein sold his estate in 1647 to the prince-elector, John George I. The palaces was converted, first to a judicial office (Gerichtsamt) and later into a forestry office (Forstrentamt) and district court (Amtsgericht).

In 1728 a fire destroyed a large part of the town of Frauenstein and affected both the castle and the palace very badly. Because the castle, unlike the palace, was not being used, it was not rebuilt.

Today the 13th century tower house, known as Dicker Merten and the 1½ m thick curtain wall remain standing. The remaining rooms include the cellar, kitchen, castle chapel, prison, two parlours and several vaults. Restoration work was carried out on the ruins in 1968, 1990 and 1992.

In 2007 an interest group was founded with the aim of keeping the castle accessible to the public and preventing it falling into private hands.



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Frauenstein, Germany
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Christel Hertel (3 years ago)
It's very impressive. You have to be able to walk through the many steep steps. Neat well-kept area.
Quỳnh Thi Pham (3 years ago)
Pittoresque. Hope it re-opens soon.
Enrico Neuber (5 years ago)
In the case you are looking for a weekend's sightseeing or you are a tourist in the Ore Mountains don't miss to see this castle. Entrance is cheap to walk around the ruins and to enter the museum. It was a very pleasant visit for me and my family.
Bruno Foi (5 years ago)
Nadir Kinossian (5 years ago)
This is a small, nicely maintained fortress. A viewing platform on the top of the tower offers great views.
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