Rotenburg Office

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The Rotenburg office was a territorial administrative unit of the Landgraviate of Hesse and, from 1567, the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel . Between 1627 and 1834 it belonged with the residential city of Rotenburg an der Fulda to the landgrave's branch line of Hesse-Rotenburg , the so-called "Rotenburger Quart".

Until the administrative and territorial reform of the Electorate of Hesse in 1821 and the related resolution made it as official spatial reference point for claiming nationalistic taxes and labor services , for police , judiciary and military service .

Geographical location

The area of ​​the Rotenburg district essentially comprised the middle Fulda valley. The name “ Waldhessen ” has become natural for the region . To the west of the office the heights of the Knüllgebirge (occasionally just "Knüll") rise , to the east the heights of the Werra-Fulda-Bergland. In the south lies the Seulingswald .

The official area is now in the northeast of the state of Hesse and belongs to the places Rotenburg an der Fulda , Bebra , Ronshausen , Ludwigsau and Alheim in the district of Hersfeld-Rotenburg , as well as to the municipality Knüllwald in the Schwalm-Eder district .

The territory of the office bordered:

The place Obersuhl formed an exclave and was enclosed in the north by the Office Sontra, in the south and east by the Saxon-Eisenachian Office Gerstungen and in the southeast by the Hessian-Saxon Office Hausbreitenbach . The places in the west of Bosserode and Raßdorf came from the Saxon office of Gerstungen to the Hessian office of Sontra in 1733.


The area around Rotenburg belonged to Hersfeld Abbey around 750 . Three villages near Rotenburg were mentioned for the first time in a document in the list of goods Breviarium Sancti Lulli of the abbey from 769. The Gisonen were bailiffs of the Hersfeld Abbey. They built their first security castle in the Fulda valley when they succeeded in taking possession of the bailiwick. A settlement was built around this castle. The Thuringian Landgraves , who came into the possession of the Vogtei through inheritance after the Gisonen, built the Rodenberg Castle on the Alter Turm mountain , which is still visible today in ruins and from whose name the city name was probably derived.

The settlement on the left Fuldaufer, today's old town, was first mentioned as a town in 1248. After the Hessian-Thuringian War of Succession in 1264, the city belonged to the Landgraviate of Hesse . The old Talburg, on the side of the old town, is said to have been demolished after 1423. The first Rotenburg Castle was built in 1470 .

In 1502 the Rotenburg office consisted of the upper court (with 13 places) and the lower court (with 13 places). From 1579 the courts of Obersuhl (former Wildeck office with two places), Rengshausen (5 places) and Rohrbach (8 places) were also included. The office had eight court seats (Bebra, Braach, Breitenbach, Rengshausen, Seifertshausen, Obersuhl, Tann and Weiterode). After the death of Landgrave Philip I of Hesse , the Landgraviate of Hesse was divided up in 1567. Philip's eldest son, Wilhelm IV , received about half of the territory including the capital Kassel with the Landgraviate of Hessen- Kassel . The Rotenburg office came to this area. Between 1627 and 1834 the city of Rotenburg was the seat of the landgrave's branch line from Hesse-Rotenburg , the so-called Rotenburger Quart , to which the office belonged ever since. At the same time as the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss completed in 1803 and the secularization of the clergy, the Landgraviate of Hessen-Kassel, which held sovereignty over Hessen-Rotenburg, became the Electorate of Hessen .

Elector Wilhelm I of Hesse-Kassel did not join the Rhine Confederation , which was dominated by Napoleon , and tried to remain neutral . Thereupon Napoléon occupied the country and after the Peace of Tilsit in 1807 it was almost completely added to the newly formed Kingdom of Westphalia of his brother Jerome . The Rotenburg office was assigned to the Werra department and divided between the cantons of Rotenburg , Hersfeld , Obergeis and Bebra in the Hersfeld district and the canton of Nentershausen in the Eschwege district.

After the dissolution of the Kingdom of Westphalia in 1813, the Electorate of Hesse and its administrative structure were restored. The Hessian office of Rotenburg existed until 1821 and was politically assigned to the Rotenburg (Fulda) district in the course of the Hessian administrative reform .


Associated Courts

In 1502 the Rotenburg office consisted of the upper court (with 13 places) and the lower court (with 13 places). From 1579 the courts of Obersuhl (former Wildeck office with two places), Rengshausen (5 places) and Rohrbach (8 places) were also included.

Supreme Court
  • Rudolferode (desert)
Lower court
Obersuhl Court (Wildeck Office)
Rengshausen Court
Rohrbach court (also "In der Rohrbach", later "Ludwigseck")

Places of jurisdiction

  • Bebra (Supreme Court)
  • Braach (lower court)
  • Breitenbach (High Court)
  • Rengshausen (Rengshausen Court)
  • Seifertshausen (lower court)
  • Obersuhl (Obersuhl Court / Wildeck Office)
  • Tann (Rohrbach / Ludwigseck court)
  • Weiterode (Supreme Court)