Bonames Castle

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Bonames Castle
Former Bonames Castle, situation 2009. Next to the entrance to the underground car park there are showcases of the castle complex, the walls were marked with red paving stones on the ground.

Former Bonames Castle, situation 2009. Next to the entrance to the underground car park there are showcases of the castle complex, the walls were marked with red paving stones on the ground.

Creation time : around 1200
Castle type : Niederungsburg
Conservation status: Burgstall, mostly built over
Standing position : Ministeriale
Construction: Two-shell technology
Place: Frankfurt - Bonames
Geographical location 50 ° 10 '49 "  N , 8 ° 39' 44.7"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 10 '49 "  N , 8 ° 39' 44.7"  E
Height: 105  m above sea level NN
Bonames Castle (districts of Frankfurt am Main)
Bonames Castle

The castle Bonames is an Outbound castle in Frankfurt - Bonames in Hesse . The comparatively small medieval Niederungsburg is largely built over, but the main castle in particular was previously archaeologically examined. On site, the walls are highlighted by colored paving in the courtyard of a residential complex.


The castle was on the outskirts of the old town center of Bonames in the valley of the Kalbach and its confluence with the Nidda . Both are strongly straightened and regulated and hardly allow any conclusions to be drawn about the earlier course. An oxbow lake of the Nidda runs about a hundred meters east of the castle, while the Kalbach runs roughly in a north-west-south-east direction south of the complex. Two medieval streets, which go back to Roman ways, also lead close to the castle, Elisabethenstraße and Lange Meile .


The origins of Bonames Castle can only be roughly deduced from the sources. The oldest finds from the complex date back to the 13th century. A royal dinghof , which was documented for the 11th century, was located outside the castle. Since the end of the 11th century, nobles have been mentioned in Bonames in documents of the Bartholomäusstift , who presumably came from the family of the rascals of Bergen . In the year 1219 a Henricus von Bonames miles ( knight ) called himself , which speaks for the existence of a castle complex at this time.

The castle and village of Bonames were initially owned by the Fulda monastery , numerous members of the noble family appeared since 1304 with the addition of Vogt . In 1345 Johann von Bonames granted the city ​​of Frankfurt an opening right . As a result, city soldiers were lying in the castle. The city made use of a right of first refusal in 1367. In contrast to many other aristocratic residences in the Frankfurt area, such as Schelmenburg or Burg Bommersheim , which were also owned by branches of the Schelme von Bergen , the city managed to get the castle under their control early on.

The latest documents for use as a defense system are available for repairs and the order of tower guards for the years 1476, 1480 and 1483. In the Schmalkaldic War the castle was burned down in 1546 and ruined or at least was no longer used as a fortification. The only illustration from 1721 shows the complex with partially missing roofs. The eastern part of the moat was built over with a two-story residential building.

In 1787 the facility burned down again and was auctioned off for demolition in 1834. In 1911, Eduard Pelissier found mounds of rubble and remains of walls on the site that were no longer there towards the end of the 20th century. In the run-up to further development of the area, the castle was examined by the Frankfurt City Monuments Office in 1987 and 1993. The archaeological substance is likely to have been largely destroyed by the construction of an underground car park and modern residential buildings. Several showcases on site provide information about the excavations. The location of the inner castle was partially marked with red cobblestones on the ground.

Site plan of the former Bonames Castle


The castle corresponds to a very simple type of Niederungsburg, nearby examples of similar construction are the Dorfelden Castle , the Bommersheim Castle and the Wasserburg in Frankfurt-Goldstein .

Excavations in the area of ​​the main castle showed a polygonal wall ring. The wall thickness varied between 1.30 and 1.60 meters, rising masonry could not be found anywhere. The wall was made with small-scale front masonry using shell technology. It was dominated by two round towers, of which the northeastern one with a diameter of 5.40 meters was significantly larger than the southwest one (3.50 m). Four buttresses of different sizes are leaned against the outer wall. There may have been four more to create a symmetrical floor plan.

Several moats were also recorded in the excavation cuts. The inner trench reached up to the wall and was five meters wide and up to two meters deep. The outer trench was twice the width and depth and ran around the facility at a distance of 25 meters from the wall. A relatively small outer bailey with stables and farm buildings adjoined the inner bailey to the north. It was only partially excavated.

The interior development can not be fully explored from the archaeological findings . Several remains of the wall in the northern part of the main castle may belong to an older construction phase. A slightly rounded wall to the west of the larger tower was integrated into a square residential building in a later phase. It had an area of ​​18 square meters and was probably two-story due to the strength of the foundation and other evidence. Another building was east of it. Since it had a much weaker foundation, the upper floor may have consisted of half-timbering. Due to a wall opening created later within the building, it is referred to as a gatehouse. It should have been a later expansion or renovation.


After the main castle became a ruin, the farm buildings of the castle continued to be used for centuries. The trench was slowly filled. The number of finds in Bonames is therefore much lower than in comparable investigations, such as in the nearby Bommersheim Castle . Most of the finds consist of utility ceramics, especially glazed and unglazed earthenware from the 14th and 15th centuries. A large part of it ended up in the trench as waste, so that only a few vessels have been completely preserved. Glass finds and non-ferrous metal are underrepresented. A piece of lead window from the residential building of the inner castle indicates glass windows. The furnishing of the rooms includes two floor tiles and a larger number of stove tiles.

Monument protection

The castle grounds and the monuments in the area are cultural monuments according to the Hessian Monument Protection Act . All research, be it excavations, prospecting, digging, targeted collections of finds and changes to the inventory are subject to approval. Accidental finds are to be reported to the monument authorities.


  • Margarete Dohrn: The Bonames Castle. In: Guide to archaeological monuments in Germany, Vol. 19., Stuttgart 1989. ISBN 3-8062-0585-X , pp. 166–168.
  • Margarete Dohrn and Andrea Hampel: Frankfurter Find Chronicle 1980–1986. Writings of the Frankfurt Museum for Pre- and Early History - Archäologisches Museum 11, Habelt, Bonn 1988 ISBN 3-7749-2364-7 , pp. 105ff.
  • Andrea Hampel: Archeology in Frankfurt am Main. Find and excavation reports for the years 1987 to the end of 1991. Contributions to monument protection in Frankfurt am Main 7. Henrich, Frankfurt 1993 ISBN 3-7749-2623-9 , p. 24ff.
  • Andrea Hampel: Bonames Castle. Leaflet to a medieval low castle in Frankfurt am Main. Archaeological monuments in Hessen 130, Wiesbaden 1996 ISBN 3-89822-130-X
  • Rudolf Knappe: Medieval castles in Hessen. 800 castles, castle ruins and fortifications. 3. Edition. Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2000, ISBN 3-86134-228-6 , p. 398.
  • Lothar Schlicht: Bonames, The Frankfurt Gate to the Wetterau. (published by Frankfurter Sparkasse 1822) Frankfurt 1974, esp. pp. 18–29.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Hampel 1996 p. 15.
  2. Hampel 1996 p. 1; Heinz F. Friederichs: On the early history of the ministry families from Bergen and Schelm von Bergen . Hanauer Geschichtsblätter 18, 1962, p. 16.
  3. Almost 2000.
  4. The description of the facility essentially follows the excavation findings according to A. Hampel 1996.
  5. Elke Festag: A tile complex of niche tiles of the Tannenberg type from Bonames Castle in Frankfurt am Main. In: Zeitschrift für Archäologie des Mittelalters 33, 2005 pp. 231–234.