Lauterstein Castle

Marienberg, Germany

Archeological investigations have shown that the Lauterstein castle was built in the second half of the 12th century. It was first mentioned in writing in 1304 when a document named a Johannis in Lutirstein of the ministerial family of Erdmannsdorf in the castle. Its purpose was the protection of a medieval trade route between Leipzig and Prague across the Ore Mountains.

The family of Schellenberg became lords of Lauenstein in the early 14th century. They lost their influence in 1323 after they lost a feud with Altzella Abbey, and margrave Frederick the Brave enfeoffed the burgraves Albrecht IV von Altenburg und Otto I von Leisnig, who had helped to support him and the abbey, with Lauterstein castle and the town of Zöblitz.

Kaspar von Berbisdorf from Freiberg, an owner of mines and metalworks in the Ore Mountains, bought the lordship of Lauterstein for 4000 guilders from burgrave Otto II of Leisnig and Altenburg in 1434. His descendants Bastian and Melchior divided the lordship and the castle in 1497 into Oberlauterstein and Niederlauterstein. A fire damaged the castle in 1530, but it was rebuilt within a few years. In 1559, Prince-elector Augustus forced the Berbisdorf family to sell castle and lordship Lauterstein for 107,784 guilders and installed the administration of a Saxon Amt in the castle.

According to local tradition, on 14. March 1639, three Swedish horsemen set fire to the castle. It was not rebuilt and has remained a ruin since then. The administrative seat of Amt Lauterstein moved to Marienberg and later to Olbernhau and Zöblitz.

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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