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:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.