Old Castle (Stuttgart)

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The Old Castle from Schillerplatz seen from

The old castle is located in the center of Stuttgart and was a moated castle from its beginnings around 1200 until the 18th century . So far (as of 2012) there is no archaeological evidence for vague historical references to a previous building from the middle of the 10th century. The old castle and the collegiate church are one of the defining buildings on Schillerplatz . In the neighborhood are u. a. the city's market hall , the ministries in the New Palace and the modern state parliament building. Today the old castle is completely a museum building, the castle church is used for church services.


the arcade courtyard from 1557 in the old castle

Unsecured building from the 10th century and the Hohenstaufen "Burg 1"

To protect the stud (“Stuotgarten”) laid out by Herzug Liudolf von Schwaben in 950, it is said to have built a castle at that time. During the excavations of the past few years (up to 2005), remains of settlements dating back to the 8th century were actually found under the southern part of the old castle (the so-called " Dürnitz "), as well as remains of a previous castle of the old castle. However, this building probably dates from the 2nd half of the 12th or the first half of the 13th century, i.e. from the Staufer period and not from the 10th century. A double outer wall and two trenches as well as parts of the inner development are secured from this building. The outer walls run almost exactly in a north-south direction and could be recorded over a length of almost 30 meters diagonally under what is now the southern part of the old castle. The entire north-south extent of this "Castle 1" is unclear and probably no longer ascertainable because the corresponding areas in the north (castle courtyard) and south (former moat towards Karlsplatz) are archaeologically disturbed. The size of this facility in east-west direction is completely unknown.

The interior development of this first castle, which can still be identified, was approx. 11 or 6 meters wide up to the inner of the two outer walls. The broader part of this interior was designed as a half-timbered structure, the surviving sill beams were not yet dated in 2012. Presumably in the later 13th century this first, archaeologically accessible castle was badly damaged by a flood event. This is proven archaeologically detectable undercutting the outer castle wall in the far south of the captured waveform with the composite fallen wall parts.

The function of the first Stuttgart castle was not yet that of a princely residence. Rather, it was apparently supposed to protect and control a trunk road, namely an old north-south trade route that crossed the Stuttgart valley at this point and passed this castle immediately to the east. Directly south of this castle, this path crossed the road coming from the north-east of Cannstatt , which continued to the south-west along today's Tübinger Strasse over the Alte Weinsteige and the Filder in the direction of Schönbuch and Tübingen and on to Schaffhausen , the so-called Swiss road (later : Alte Poststrasse). These two old streets were probably used as early as Roman times.

The construction of the early 14th century ("Burg 2")

The construction of the successor to the damaged "Castle 1" began around the year 1300. This is evidenced by the end of an oak beam near the foot of the castle wall that has now been built, which can be dendrochronologically dated between 1292 and 1312. This "Castle 2" differed from its predecessor in two important ways: On the one hand, the walls were founded much deeper - so deep that the foundation floor was never reached during the excavations of recent years. These roughly 3.6 meter thick walls from the early 14th century turned out to be so solid that they were still in use in the southeastern part of the old castle when the building was redesigned around 250 years later and still stand today. (In the north-western part of the building, these walls were removed at that time, but not for structural reasons, but to make room for Renaissance architecture.) The other important change in the new building around 1300 was that the entire building was rotated by almost 45 degrees. Compared to the flood-prone area facing the Nesenbach , the building now ended with a massive wall running parallel to the creek and no longer with a corner of the building.

This "Castle 2" became the headquarters of the Counts of Württemberg and the court chamber in the first half of the 14th century . It was protected by a deep, circumferential ditch. The previous castle also had a moat, at least to the east, but it is unknown whether it was also built around it. Pictures of this late medieval castle exist, but many structural details are unclear, in particular the appearance of the castle towards today's Schillerplatz (then: Schloßplatz) and the original location and shape of the entrance. It is certain that the ground level of this place was a few meters lower back then. The collegiate church, which dates back to the 8th century, was originally built on a spur that was safe from flooding.

Remodeling to the existing renaissance castle in the 16th century

From 1553 the dukes Christoph and Ludwig had the medieval castle expanded into a Renaissance palace. Aberlin Tretsch was appointed as the architect, assisted by the younger Blasius Berwart as the master builder . First, the main wing from the 14th century was extensively rebuilt and new ducal living rooms were set up on the upper floors. In 1558 the archive building was built on the garden side and in 1558 a riding staircase was built that led to the upper floors of the renovated residential building. In order to place an arcade courtyard in front of this residential building, the north-western part of the old castle - a good 60 percent of the old building fabric - had to be removed. In 1557 the three-sided arched arcades began. The new wings also contained a castle church, consecrated in 1562.

One of the significant changes to this third castle compared to the late medieval predecessor building was the significant increase in the floor level by a full floor. To the northwest, towards today's Schillerplatz, the floor level of the castle was raised by no less than about 6 meters. On the opposite, south-eastern side of the castle, the Dürnitz, previously a large representation room on the ground floor, was now converted into a huge wine cellar and used as such until the 20th century. This strong increase in the ground level served - like the rotation of the entire system a good 250 years earlier - again for flood protection. In a certain way, however, this was only the consequence of the floods of the previous centuries, which had led to the soil level in the area of ​​today's Karlsplatz , where the Nesenbach ran up to its canalization, also by several times due to repeated alluvial soil Meter had risen. In any case, the old castle was able to remain a moated castle even after this increase in the ground level: It was not until the 18th century that the surrounding moats were filled and the character of the complex changed significantly.

Destruction and reconstruction in the 20th century

On 21/22 December 1931, part of the complex burned down, and the Dürnitz building with both towers was largely destroyed. The reconstruction, which soon began, was headed by the architect Paul Schmitthenner (1884–1972), but before it could be completed, the castle was badly damaged in the Second World War . Large parts of the folklore collection of the Württemberg State Museum also fell victim to the flames. B. the craft shops. The reconstruction, which only began in the mid-1960s and lasted until 1971, was again headed by Paul Schmitthenner.

The arcade courtyard of the castle itself shows architectural motifs of the early Renaissance from Italy. Designed as a tournament square , the representative arcades were originally intended to run around the entire courtyard. This did not happen because the castle was "politically" downgraded.

Under the Castle Church is in the king's tomb , the grave lay of King I. Karl and Queen Olga . In the inner courtyard there is an equestrian statue of Count Eberhard im Bart , designed by Ludwig von Hofer , who became the first Duke of Württemberg in 1495 and made Stuttgart his residence.

Castle Church

Partial view of the castle church in the old castle

The castle church was built in 1558–62 by the builder Aberlin Tretsch and his colleague Blasius Berwart as part of the new courtyard wing with the arcades. It was built as the first and third Protestant church in the world (after the Neuburg an der Donau castle chapel in 1543 - still built as a longitudinal church - and the Torgau castle chapel in 1544) and as the second transverse church after the Torgau castle chapel: with ground-level access to the community in the arcade courtyard and from the ducal apartments on the Umlauf gallery. In the spirit of Protestant understanding, the altar and pulpit should be easily visible from all places and were therefore designed centrally as equal principles . They were designed by Sem Schlör . By the way, Duke Christoph sent his brother-in-law Margrave Georg Friedrich the Elder in 1563 . Ä. to Brandenburg the master builder Aberlin Tretsch with Blasius Berwart to Plassenburg near Kulmbach, who then influenced the planning of the castle church, which was now built as a transept church like its Stuttgart model. At first, the castle church had a simple barrel vault without ribs and without tracery in the windows. These decorative details were only added around 1580.

After the parish moved in in 1806, the Stuttgart Palace Church was redesigned in a neo-Gothic style by Alexander Tritschler and a crypt was laid out in which King Karl, Queen Olga, Duke Wilhelm Eugen, Duchess Wera and Carl Eugen are buried. The church also served as a library and pharmacy at times. In 1865 the interior was renovated. Today it serves as a preaching point for the Evangelical Abbey Community and is often used for wedding celebrations.

State museum and memorial

Today the castle houses the State Museum Württemberg with extensive holdings, the Children's Museum Junge Schloss and the castle church in the south-west wing .

A memorial to the German resistance fighter Claus Graf Stauffenberg , who was executed on July 20, 1944 , was set up in the building complex of the castle . Your entrance is on the Karlsplatz side .


Individual evidence

  1. https://www.deutsche-biographie.de/sfz70539.html, line 6Template: dead link /! ... nourl  ( page no longer available )
  2. ^ Kai Budde and Klaus Merten: Architecture in the German Southwest between 1530 and 1634 . In: The Renaissance in the German Southwest between the Reformation and the Thirty Years War. An exhibition of the state of Baden-Württemberg Heidelberg Castle June 21 to October 19, 1986. 2 vols., Karlsruhe 1986, vol. 1, pp. 87–123, here pp. 96–98.
  3. Hartmut Schäfer: The beginnings of Stuttgart. From the mare garden to the Württemberg residence. Belser, Stuttgart 2012, p. 105
  4. Brand ( Memento of the original from December 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.mau-ak.de
  5. Michael Schoberth; Anjareiber: The castle burns down (1931). In: stuttgarter-zeitung.de , July 2nd, 2014. - Quote: "Because of the freezing temperatures, the extinguishing water was frozen on the burned walls and beams and offered the viewer a spectacular sight."
  6. Günter Memmert: The Castle Church in the Old Castle in Stuttgart - A Protestant room for worship during the Renaissance in the Duchy of Württemberg . Master's thesis at the Institute for Art History at the University of Stuttgart; Stuttgart 1999 - Unfortunately , this master's thesis was never published publicly. Larger sections are on [1] to find
  7. ^ Günther Memmert: The Castle Church in the Old Castle in Stuttgart - The first new church in the Duchy of Württemberg after the Reformation ; in: 475 Years of the Reformation - 450 Years of the Great Church Order. Book accompanying the exhibition, edited by Andrea Kittel and Wolfgang Schöllkopf in conjunction with the Association for Württemberg Church History with the support of the State Church Archives Stuttgart; Small writings of the Association for Württemberg Church History, No. 5 Stuttgart 2009, pp. 88-99 with photos mainly by Heide Quandt
  8. Jörg Widmaier: Church stands across. The search for the "ideal" Protestant church building in Baden-Württemberg ; in: Monument Preservation in Baden-Württemberg. News bulletin of the State Monument Preservation, Volume 46, No. 4/2017, Stuttgart 2017, pages 244–249; available as a PDF on uni-heidelberg.de - Unfortunately Jörg Widmaier does not consider - apart from the Schlosskirche Stuttgart - the other transverse churches of the Renaissance and Baroque in Württemberg
  9. ^ Reinhard Lambert Auer: Protestant spatial programs in Württemberg ; in: Cultural monuments of the Reformation in the German south-west; (Red.) Grit Koltermann and Jörg Widmaier; (Ed.) State Office for Monument Preservation in the Stuttgart Regional Council; Esslingen 2017, pages 65-85 (72); available as a PDF on [2] - Reinhard L. Auer unfortunately does not name - apart from the Stuttgart Castle Church and the Göppingen City Church - the other early transverse churches and numerous similar sermon churches of the 16th and 17th centuries in Württemberg


  • Adrienne Braun: In the middle and outside. Stuttgart's quiet corners . Konstanz 2014, ISBN 978-3-87800-054-9 , pp. 160–166.
  • The old castle in Stuttgart. With pictures of the fire of 1931 and its consequences . Contributions by Paul Schmitthenner, Ernst Fiechter, Richard W. Schmidt, Martin Crusius, Peter Goeßler, Eugenie Sauter-Kindler, W. Schussen, Karl Stenzel, Nicodemus Frischlin and W. Pfleiderer. Publishing house of the monthly publication Württemberg, Stuttgart 1931.
  • Hanns Baum: The old castle in Stuttgart. Its history and the destruction of the oldest part by large fires in the Christmas week of 1931 . Commission publisher Baltrusch & Schiller, Fellbach 1932.
  • The old castle . In: Eugen Dolmetsch: From Stuttgart's bygone days. Self-experienced and retold (second volume of "Pictures from Old Stuttgart"), Stuttgart 1931, pp. 28–30.
  • Hartmut Ellrich: The historic Stuttgart . Imhof, Petersberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-86568-381-6 .
  • Carl Alexander von Heideloff (Ed.): The art of the Middle Ages in Swabia. Monuments of architecture, sculpture and painting . Stuttgart 1855, pp. 31-34.
  • Werner Koch, Christopher Koch: Stuttgart cemetery guide. A guide to the graves of well-known personalities . Tübingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-8425-1203-0 , pp. 161-164 (royal crypt).
  • Hermann Lenz ; Günter Beysiegel (Ed.): Stuttgart: from 12 years of Stuttgart life , Belser, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-7630-9031-2 , pp. 405-408.
  • Eduard von Paulus: The art and antiquity monuments in the Kingdom of Württemberg , volume: Inventories [Neckarkreis] . Stuttgart 1889, pp. 25-29.
  • Hartmut Schäfer: The beginnings of Stuttgart. From the mare garden to the Württemberg residence . Belser, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-7630-2610-4 .

Web links

Commons : Old Castle  - Collection of Images

Coordinates: 48 ° 46 ′ 38 "  N , 9 ° 10 ′ 45"  E