Central castle of Eberbach Castle
|Alternative name (s):||Front, middle and rear castle,
Burghilder (for the entire area)
|Creation time :||1st half of the 12th century (Vorderburg) ;
last third of the 12th century (Middle castle) ;
around 1225 to 1250 (Hinterburg)
|Castle type :||High-altitude castles, spur location|
|Standing position :||Count|
The castle Eberbach is the complex ruin plant three spur castles above the town of Eberbach . The Eberbach Castle consists of three separate castles, so that one should actually correctly speak of the Eberbach castles .
The castles are located on a mountain ledge at the exit of the Ittertal into the Neckar valley, about 160 m above the Neckar . The Burghilder is a mountain spur with its tip pointing south and is a peripheral branch of the Katzenbuckels massif .
Eberbach Castle can be reached from a forest car park on the L524 (Neue Dielbacher Straße, 20 minutes' walk) or via a hiking trail (HW 34 of the Odenwald Club, 45 minutes) from the center of Eberbach.
Due to the lack of reliable written sources, the time when the castle was founded can only be ascertained through archaeological findings, architectural assessments and the historical background. In recent research, the origins of the three castles are assumed to be the last quarter of the 12th century for the front castle, around 1200 or shortly thereafter for the middle castle and the second quarter of the 13th century for the rear castle. According to Knauer (2013), the Vorderburg was built in the first half of the 12th century and the central castle including the Vorderburg in the last third of the 12th century.
For the year 1196 a Count Konrad von Eberbach (presumably identical with Count Konrad von Lauffen ), a servant of the Bishop of Worms , is mentioned in a document. He probably began in the last third of the 12th century with the construction of a castle complex on the site of the later front and middle castle as the new ancestral seat for western Lauffen territory. However, due to his presumably early death, the facility remained unfinished.
In 1227 King Heinrich (VII) acquired Eberbach Castle from Bishop Heinrich II of Worms. After the Count of Lauffen died out in 1216–1219, the front and middle castle were separated from one another in a simpler construction, possibly due to a competitive situation between different legal successors Lauffener. Later on, the castles seem to have remained in imperial possession until 1330, only to be pledged that year to the Count Palatinate , who subsequently used them as the bailiwick of the Electoral Palatinate .
After the town and the castles were pledged by Ruprecht III. from the Palatinate in 1402 to the Lords of Handschuhsheim and Hirschhorn as well as the clearance for razing in 1403, the complex was left to decay in the 15th century . The ruins were gradually removed and their stones were used for building projects in Eberbach and especially for building wild walls (to protect the fields near the forest edge).
The remaining remains of the front and middle castle were exposed in two excavation campaigns in 1908/09 and 1927/28. Some components were reconstructed in this context. Systematic scientific research and partial reconstruction of the rear castle did not take place until 1959–1963.
Today the castle is a popular (not managed) excursion destination in a wooded area with an impressive view over the town of Eberbach and the Neckar valley.
The group of castles, which today only survives as a ruin, consists of a front, middle and rear castle. The connection between the individual castles in the complex has not yet been clarified. Due to the weak source situation, only further archaeological excavations could bring certainty here. In any case, there are no structural connections between the three castles. On the contrary: the entire system has structural features that suggest that the individual components may have been deliberately delimited from one another despite the spatial confinement (cf. three exes in Alsace).
The Vorderburg is the oldest part of the castle complex. It is located in the very south on a spur of the terrain, which slopes steeply on three sides, about 320 m above sea level. NN. The walling of the Vorderburg forms an irregular polygon. In the southeast are the remains of a residential tower with corners made of humpback ashlars . A round arched entrance leads to the ground floor room, which probably served as a stable. A second, high entrance, also provided with a round arch, leads to the well-fortified tower apartment. The wall remains of a barn are attached to the residential tower. In front of the barn a 3.5 m deep cistern was used to collect rainwater. There was probably no castle fountain. The tower in the northeast corner of the Vorderburg is near the eastern main gate.
According to Knauer (2013), the Vorderburg was built with a residential tower and a small keep during a first construction phase in the first half of the 12th century. A fire later destroyed the facility. The reconstruction took place in the last third of the 12th century with 1.70 meter thick, elaborate masonry.
The middle castle connects directly to the outer castle and is only separated from it by a ditch . It is a little lower than the Vorderburg and also has an irregular floor plan. The entrance is on the east side of the facility. Its walls enclose the ruins of the keep and Palas .
The keep rose over a square 11 m long over 3 m thick walls. The tower entrance was only accessible by a ladder and is on the first floor. The design of the keep is similar to that of the first construction phase of the Red Tower in Wimpfen (2nd half of the 12th century).
The main hall of the central castle in the north is divided into two halves by a wall. Two arched entrances lead into the interior. There are no windows in the basement. On the upper floor, three Romanesque arcade windows break through the outer walls. The design of the bases of its pillars shows a significant resemblance to those of the Palas of the Königspfalz Wimpfen .
Only sparse ruins remain of the rear castle, which give an idea of the former complex: the walls of the rectangular floor plan with the keep in the south, the palace in the north, the Zwinger in the west and the castle gate in the southeast. Towards the central castle, the rear castle is set off by a neck ditch, against the ridge also by a neck ditch and another upstream ditch provided with a wall .
- Hansmartin Schwarzmaier : History of the city of Eberbach. Volume 1: Until the introduction of the Reformation in 1556 . Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1986, ISBN 3-7995-4084-9
- Jochen Goetze (text) and Werner Richner (photography): Castles in the Neckar Valley. Braus, Heidelberg 1989, ISBN 3-925835-52-0 , p. 53 ff.
- Jochen Pressler: Castles and palaces in the Rhine-Neckar triangle. Everything you need to know about the 126 castle complexes in North Baden, South Hesse and the Upper Palatinate. Schimper, Schwetzingen 1996, ISBN 3-87742-097-4 , p. 31 f.
- Manfred Benner: The castles of Eberbach and Stolzeneck Castle. In: Guide to archaeological monuments in Germany. Vol. 36: Heidelberg, Mannheim and the Rhine-Neckar area . Theiss, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-8062-1407-7 , p. 121 ff.
- Rüdiger Lenz: Eberbach Castle - a Hohenstaufen "chain of castles" on the castle wall? : Presentation of their history up to the early 20th century , in: Eberbacher Geschichtsblatt 102 (2003), pp. 86–128.
- Eberbach Castle on the Deutsche Burgenstrasse website
- The Hinterburg on the private castle project website burgenwelt.de
- The middle castle on the private castle project website burgenwelt.de
- The Vorderburg on the private castle project website burgenwelt.de
- Nicolai Knauer: The castles of the counts of Lauffen in the Neckar valley . In: Christhard Schrenk , Peter Wanner (eds.): Heilbronnica 5 . Sources and research on the history of the city of Heilbronn 20. Heilbronn City Archives, Heilbronn 2013, p. 96–99 ( PDF; 2.9 MB [accessed February 21, 2014]).
- Mark Twain: A tramp abroad , Volume 1, 1880. P. 139; in German z. E.g .: Mark twain: Reise durch Deutschland , Anaconda-Verlag 2013, ISBN 978-3-86647-937-1