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.References:
The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.
The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.