Minneburg Castle Ruins

Neckargerach, Germany

Minneburg was built some time in the 1200s, though its origin unknown. According to legend, the castle name was derived from a woman, Minna von Horneck by name, who was the love of Graf von Schwarzenberg who left on the Crusades. When he returned he found her on her deathbed and promised to build a castle in her honor.

The Bergfried, or main tower, as well as the palas were completed around 1300, situated on a prominent rock outcrop above the Neckar River. The shieldwall was built between 1518-1521 and was composed of two separate walls, of which the outer along the dry moat has mostly vanished. The first official mention of the castle appears to have been in 1339, with the early owner being Eberhardt Rudt von Collenberg, a scion of a Frankish noble family that owned and traded properties from the Rhein to the Neckar. As early as 1349, the castle was pawned to Ruprecht I Elector Palatinate, then later to Hofwart von Sickingen, and then later to the von Steinach family, only to once more settle into the possession of the Elector Palatinate in 1499.

By the early 1500s, the castle passed to Vogt Wilhelm von Harben, who extended the outer works of the castle and added some amenities such as running water. The family line died out around 1600, and the castle became a winery. Despite such a 'peaceful' purpose, the castle was still defended for the Protestant cause against the Catholic League troops of Count Tilly. Tilly besieged the castle in 1622, which soon surrendered after some significant damage when the walls were breached. Afterwards, the ruin was used as a quarry for the locals who pilfered the stones for their own building projects. Efforts to prevent futher deterioration of the ruin began in the late 1800s, but these were suspended for many years until the 1970s.

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Neckargerach, Germany
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Ruins in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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