Wildenberg Castle

Kirchzell, Germany

The ruins of the Wildenberg hill castle lie on a northeast-projecting hill spur, the Schlossberg. The lords of Dürn, meritorious members of the retinue of the Hohenstaufen emperor and Schutzvögte of Amorbach Abbey, had the castle built sometime between 1180 and around 1200. According to the Amorbach Abbey chronicles, however, his grandson Conrad I of Dürn (died 1258) started construction in 1216. This probably just refers, however, to the construction of the gate tower.

In 1271 and 1272 parts of the castle were sold, due to the Dürn's financial difficulties to the Archbishopric of Mainz and later to the Amt of the Mainz government, after the Barony of Walldürn had been purchased in its entirety in 1292 by Mainz. Its management was initially exercised by officiates, but later by a vogt or burgrave. In 1291, a certain Henry was the officiate, around 1320 it was Conrad Rüdt of Collenberg. In 1337 Archbishop Henry reconciled with his cathedral chapter and signed over Wildenberg Castle to the canons for a short period. In 1350 the Amt of the castle was enfeoffed to Eberhard of Rosenberg. In 1354 Conrad Rüdt of Collenberg redeemed the fief. By increasing his borrowings from the Archbishop of Mainz, Conrad also received the offices of Walldürn and Buchen. In 1356 an earthquake is said to have seriously damaged the castle. In January that year Archbishop Gerlach enfeoffed the castle of Wildenburg, the town Amorbach and a free tenancy in Miltenberg, without the consent of his cathedral chapter, to Engelhard of Hirschhorn. One year later, he lent money to his Wildeburg burgrave, Conrad Rüdt of Collenberg.

From 1368 Wiprecht of Dürn, Eberhardt Rüdt of Bödigheim, Fritz of Dürn and Eberhard of Fechenbach were the Mainz castellans. In the later period up to the 15th century, members of these families were mentioned as Amtmänner.

In the years 1400 to 1511 the castle was extended in a late medieval style. The west tower and barrier wall through the castle courtyard were built, and the castle chapel renovated.

Until 1525, the castle was still the headquarters of a Mainz Amtmann for the Amt Amorbach. In the German Peasants' War, peasants from the Heller Haufen led by the knight Götz of Berlichingenrazed Wildenberg Castle on 4 May 1525. Since then, it has been a ruin.

In 1803, as part of the process of secularization, the castle was seized by the Principality of Leiningen for a short time. In 1806, the Principality of Leiningen was mediatised by the Grand Duchy of Baden. By 1810 the castle and the area around Amorbach became part of the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt and, in 1816, was transferred to the Kingdom of Bavaria in an exchange of territory.

Parts of the castle were used in the 19th century to build the artificial ruins of Eulbach Park.

Today, the castle ruins are a popular hiking destination and occasionally used for cultural events.

In essence, the approximately rectangular, 80-metre-long, Hohenstaufen period inner ward has survived, having been little altered over the centuries. A diagonally oriented bergfried stands on the uphill side. On the south side is a gate tower with a stepped portal and a castle chapel with bay window on the upper storey of the apse. The spacious palas is situated on the downhill side of the castle. Its window arches on the upper floor, which are comparable to those of the imperial palace of Gelnhausen and Château de Guirbaden in Alsace, are of high artistic value.

The partition wall in the middle of the courtyard is a post-Hohenstaufen addition. That apart, there have been hardly any structural changes to the castle over the years, which is why Wildenberg, despite its ruinous state, is regarded as one of the best preserved Hohenstaufen castles in Southern Germany.

The castle is rich in various mason's marks (at least 50 different ones have been found), some of which are also found on other castles of the Rhine-Main-Neckar region, e.g. Stolzeneck Castle on the River Neckar and also in the palace at Gelnhausen.

The castle is situated at the beginning of the spur ridge south-west of Preunschen. A few metres above the castle is the Fels(en)burg ('Rock Castle'), a cave hewn out of a natural, rock formation, with a rectangular stone entrance portal. The rock was hewn and the stone slabs so arranged to form a flat platform above. It may be conjectured that this was designed as a sort of outer ward to protect the spur side, but that has not been proven.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1180-1200
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jeanette Schuster (2 years ago)
Länge der Wanderung bis zur Burg je nach Kraft und Lust variabel, da es verschiedene Waldwege dorthin gibt. Wir waren, am Abend, ca 18 Uhr, ganz allein auf der Burg, das war richtig schön. Schade, dass einige Stellen wg Einsturzgefahr abgesperrt sind. Was mir auch gefehlt hat, war ein freier Blick ins Tal. Das geht wahrscheinlich nur auf dem (geschlossenen) Turm. Schade. Aber sonst ist es auf alle Fälle eine Ausflugs-Empfehlung wert.
Bike Geisha (2 years ago)
Schöner Spaziergang zur Wildenburg .Ausgang Preunschen Watterbacher Haus.Genügend Parkplätze vorhanden .Immer wieder ein Erlebnis wert .Leider sind einige Absperrungen wegen Absenkung einer Mauer und wurde somit uns der schönste Blick verwehrt.
wendel mathes (2 years ago)
schöne Burgruine, über einen Weg durch den Wald in ca. 30 min zu erreichen
Lörby aka (2 years ago)
Gibt einige Wege da hin. Von lang und flach bis kurz mit starker Steigung. Gut für einen Sonntagsausflug. Ich kenne die Burg seid meiner Kindheit und bin öfter dort. Deswegen kann ich nicht nachvollziehen wo bei den gesperrten Bereichen die Einsturzgefahr sein soll. Leider ist der Turm seit Ewigkeiten gesperrt. Warum auch immer.
Michael Hofmann (2 years ago)
Die "Parzival " Burg !. Beeindruckende Ruine welche den Steilen Anstieg lohnt. Teile werden gerade renoviert und sind nicht zugänglich - der Besuch lohnt sich dennoch!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.