Baroque defenses in the Black Forest

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Replica of a baroque ski jump near Gersbach ( southern Black Forest )

The baroque defenses in the Black Forest , also called Baroque entrenchments or Black Forest lines , are entrenchments (earth fortifications) in the Black Forest that have been built to defend against enemy invasions by France since the 17th century . With the adjacent lines, the Black Forest facilities form a defense system over 200 kilometers long from north to south.


The defenses were built as part of the conflicts between the House of Habsburg and the Kingdom of France in the 17th and 18th centuries. Erected in the 18th century, especially during the Palatinate and Spanish Wars of Succession . After the events of 1689 (including the destruction of Heidelberg Castle ), Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden (1655–1707), also known as "Türkenlouis" because of his services and awards in the Great Turkish War , received the imperial supreme command to defend Germany against the advancing French . Between 1692 and 1701 the margrave had an extensive, defensive fortification system built in the form of interconnected entrenchments on the Upper Rhine . These defensive bulwarks, built into the so-called "lines", could be expanded with additional facilities at short notice if required. However, some of the entrenchments were built as early as the Thirty Years War or integrated even older, partly late medieval fortifications into their system. The facilities were built by residents of the neighboring villages and towns who were forced to serve, and in later years also by soldiers.

Course and distinctive facilities

The extensive defense system extends over 200 kilometers through the Black Forest between the Upper Rhine in the south and Heidelberg in the north. Between Bad Säckingen and Feldberg , the system is divided into an older “back line” from the 1680s and 1690s and a more recent “front line”. The southern beginning is marked by the "Rothausschanze" west of Murg , which was built during the Thirty Years' War. It was archaeologically and geophysically examined in 2007 on the occasion of the new construction of the A98 , which showed that the redoubt was preceded by a trench 8.3 meters wide and at least 3.6 meters deep. The fortification wall with a width of about two meters was set in drywall style on the inner flanks of the trench.

In the north, the Black Forest lines connect to the Eppinger lines , which stretch from Pforzheim to Neckargemünd and were laid out from 1695 to 1697. After the construction of the French fortress Fort-Louis towards the end of the 17th century on the Rhine north of Strasbourg , Ludwig Wilhelm had the Bühl-Stollhofener line built, which stretched from the fort through the Baden Rhine plain to the Black Forest and, after its destruction in 1707, by the Ettlinger line was replaced.

Böllener Eck defense system

Sternschanze at the "Böllener Eck" near Neuenweg

The facilities at the so-called “Böllener Eck” near Neuenweg in the Kleiner Wiesental , where a star jump and a square redoubt that belong to the Vorderen Linie are located, are extremely well preserved . The fortification system partly coincides with the "Landhag", a late medieval fortification. The five-pointed Sternschanze has a diameter of about 30 meters and today it is still about 2 to 3 meters deep trenches. The square redoubt is 20 meters long on each side. Between the two systems there are traces of a bulwark, which consisted of a ditch and a wall and continues to the south. The epitaph of the entrenchment commander Johann Marckloffksy von Zabrak, who died in 1691, is located on the east side of the church in Neuenweg.

In February 2016, the Holder-Schanze , a linear ski jump on the Hau pass connection between Böllen and Neuenweg, was discovered: with a length of 120 m and a width of 30 m, it completes a. a. three more jumps to a complete solitary all-round defense system.

Wagensteig valley

Another important line of defense existed in the Wagenstieg valley near Kirchzarten , which was provided with a system of redoubts, ramparts and ditches in the late 17th century. It begins above the Höllental and ends in the north at the “Hohlen Graben”. Battles near Breitnau are documented for 1690 , but by the beginning of the 18th century most of the facilities had almost lost their military importance. The northern facility at the "Hohlen Graben" is the largest jump in the fortification system and was built before 1638. In 1679 over 4,000 men were encamped at this point and in the following years there were repeated individual battles. The last construction work on the hill is documented in 1734, before its military importance ended after a last battle in 1796.


Barockschanze on the Höchst

An important road also led through the Kinzig valley across the Black Forest, which is why numerous ski jumps can be found here. Some systems are located near the Kinzig, others are secured by roads. On the watershed between Elz and Gutach there was a fortification system that was supposed to prevent the crossing to Hornberg . The line begins west of the Rensberg and continues over the Schnallenkopf and the Ziegelkopf to the east to Hornberg. Another line leads over the Horniskopf and the Höchst to the Scheibeneck and served to block a road from Oberprechtal to Gutach im Breisgau , where the L107 is today.

Development and inventory

By 2002 about six to eight entrenchments were known and documented in the literature. The Minifossi group at the Friedrich-Ebert-Schule in Schopfheim recorded further jumps, so that today over 100 facilities are known. As part of its activities, the project drove u. a. the replica of the Gersbach -Mettlen ski jump , where the front and rear lines separated. The reconstruction was opened on May 21, 2008 and is freely accessible. Around Gersbach, the approximately 10 km long “Schanzenweg” hiking trail leads along a number of facilities. Some of the historical jumps can still be seen in the area today, but some can only be proven by archaeological traces. The inventory of the numerous buildings is still in progress.


  • Werner Störk: The Sternschanze on the "Hau" near Neuenweg - an absolute rarity . In: Das Markgräflerland , Volume 2014, pp. 76–84
  • Bertram Jenisch: The exploration of the baroque ramparts in the Black Forest - aspects of monument preservation. In: Schau-ins-Land : Annual issue of the Breisgau-Geschichtsverein Schauinsland , vol. 129 (2010), pp. 131–133 ( digitized version of the Freiburg University Library )
  • Andreas Haasis-Berner, Johannes Lauber, Ute Seidel: Baroque jumps in the Black Forest. The defenses on the Black Forest heights . In: Preservation of monuments in Baden-Württemberg. News bulletin of the Landesdenkmalpflege , 39th year, 1/2010, pp. 26–30 ( doi: 10.11588 / nbdpfbw.2010.1.11472 )
  • Martin Straßburger: Witnesses of a survival strategy thrown up out of the earth - archeology of the baroque defensive lines in the Black Forest. In: Schau-ins-Land: Annual issue of the Breisgau-Geschichtsverein Schauinsland , vol. 128 (2009), pp. 87–113 ( digitized version of the Freiburg University Library )
  • Werner Störk: Fortification in the Baroque: The jumps of the "Türkenlouis" in the southern Black Forest . In: Das Markgräflerland , 2009 Volume 1, pp. 13–80
  • Harald Klemm: Work report on the implementation of the ski jumping hill project . In: Das Markgräflerland , 2009 Volume 1, pp. 81–88
  • Werner Störk: The baroque hills of the Türkenlouis in the southern Black Forest . In: Jahrbuch (der Stadt Schopfheim) 19, 2004, ISSN  0930-3146 , pp. 68-77
  • Hans Fräulin: Jumps and fortifications in the area around Zell im Wiesental. In: Das Markgräflerland , issue 1/1995, pp. 78–86 ( digitized version from Freiburg University Library )
  • Thomas Kopp: The Black Forest hiker comes across jumps . In: Badische Heimat , Volume 53 (1973), pp. 56-72 ( PDF; 1.41 MB ( memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ))
  • Karl Lang: The Ettlinger lines and their history . Karlsruhe 1907, digitized
  • Karl Seith : Lines and jumps in the southern Black Forest. A contribution to the Black Forest fortifications of the 17th and 18th centuries . In: Das Markgräflerland , issue 1/1935, pp. 23–24 ( digitized version of the Freiburg University Library )
  • Joseph Ludolf Wohleb : The Upper Austrian Breisgau and its fortifications at the beginning of the war in 1701/14. In: Schau-ins-Land: Annual issue of the Breisgau-Geschichtsverein Schauinsland , vol. 67 (1941), pp. 117–142 ( digitized version of the Freiburg University Library )
  • Joseph Ludolf Wohleb: The beginnings of earth weir construction in the Black Forest. In: Journal for the History of the Upper Rhine , NF Volume 53 (1940), pp. 256-274
  • Wilhelm Winterer : The development and utilization of the jumps and lines on the southern Black Forest, with special consideration of the hollow trench . In: Journal of the Society for the Promotion of History, Antiquity and Folklore of Freiburg, the Breisgau and the Adjacent Landscapes , 31st year (1916) ( digitized version of the Freiburg University Library )
  • Ernst Boesser: On the history of the Black Forest lines . In: Alemannia , New Volume 5. Volume, Freiburg im Breisgau 1904, pp. 223–240 and 292–298 ( digitized from Wikimedia Commons )
  • Thomas Kopp: Jumps in Mittelbaden . In: Hugo Schneider (Ed.): Castles and palaces in central Baden . Verlag Historischer Verein für Mittelbaden, Offenburg 1984, pp. 497–506 ( digital copy from Freiburg University Library )

Web links

Commons : Schanzen in Baden-Württemberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Dirk Sattelberger: No getting through. ( Memento from October 25, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) In: Badische Zeitung , February 27, 2016, accessed on March 8, 2016
  2. Dirk Sattelberger: 300 years in a deep slumber. ( Memento from March 9, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: Badische Zeitung , February 27, 2016, accessed on March 8, 2016
  3. ^ The Holder linear hill from Neuenweg. ( Memento from November 9, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) In: , March 8, 2016
  4. Karl Leopold Hitzfeld : The locks in Hornberg . In: Die Ortenau: Journal of the Historical Association for Central Baden , 50th annual volume (1970), p. 389 ( digital copy of the Freiburg University Library )

Coordinates: 47 ° 41 ′ 57 ″  N , 7 ° 56 ′ 56.4 ″  E