Conrad von Strahlenberg started to build the Strahlenburg castle around 1235. The castle was only the beginning of a planned defense brigade for the city of Schriesheim. Conrad von Strahlenburg built this castle to get a higher income through taxes and tolls. The building of the castle was against the law, because the land was owned by the monastery of Ellwangen. Emperor Friedrich the Second ruled during these times. The abbot of the monastery of Ellwangen called upon the Emperors fairness to stop the illegal building of the castle. The court condemned the builder, who thereupon was without rights and protection. Nevertheless both parties came to an agreement. The monastery allowed to keep building the castle, for which Conrad von Strahlenburg had to pay them a lot of money.
During these times the 30 m high donjon with its round arches was built, as well as the inner mantle of the castle. The main building of the castle, with its window store front of gothic ogives was built during the second part of the construction, which took place during the 14th century. They used rock granite and porphyry as building material, which was used for construction in Schreisheim for ages already. A lot of other castles were build out of square sandstone blocks during these times.
In the uncertain times during the 14th century dominators of castles and towns changed a lot. Rights of possessions were often passed on, seized or sold. In 1468 the gender of the Veltenzer became the owners of the castle. Ludwig von Veltenz however was an enemy of the Heidelberger Elector Friedrich the 1st, who in 1470 sent steward Simon von Balshofen and his army to Schreisheim to take over the castle after only a couple of days of occupation. The castle defenders were captured and some of them were drowned in the moat. Markets were abolished and Schriesheim lost all its municipal laws.
Between around 1485 and 1520 the wooden parts of the castle were destroyed in a huge conflagration. During the war in 1504 big destructions of villages and castles were also reported. It also could be possible that the Strahlenburg was destroyed during a lightning operation by Hesse during these times. In 1733 the Schriesheimer wine producers demanded walls of protection for their vineyards, because of the growing theft of their grapes. Elector Karl Phillip eventually authorized the demolition of the castle. The castle bricks were cart into the village to build a defensive wall. The mission took a whole summer.
What we can still see today is the remaining half of the castle. A lot of artists were inspired by the castle during the 19th century. Heinrich von Kleist wrote the knights tale 'Cathy of Heibronn', while the Strahlenburg was surrounded by a breath of romance. Around 1900 people began to use the castle for gastronomy. Today there is a restaurant.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.