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:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.