Gleiberg Castle

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Gleiberg Castle
Gleiberg Castle

Gleiberg Castle

Creation time : around 900
Castle type : Höhenburg, summit location
Conservation status: ruin
Standing position : Count
Place: Krofdorf-Gleiberg
Geographical location 50 ° 36 '54 "  N , 8 ° 38' 5"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 36 '54 "  N , 8 ° 38' 5"  E
Height: 308  m above sea level NHN
Gleiberg Castle (Hesse)
Gleiberg Castle
Gleiberg Castle around 1860, glass painting 1894, Gießen Wingolfshaus
View from the northwest
View from the south

The Gleiberg Castle with the surrounding village of Gleiberg is an eponymous part of Krofdorf-Gleiberg and belongs to the municipality of Wettenberg in the district of Gießen in Hesse .


The summit castle is located on the 308  m above sea level of the same name NHN high Gleiberg .

Not far away, between Gleiberg and Dünsberg , lies the Vetzberg castle ruins , a former second castle of the Counts of Gleiberg.


Already the Konradiner used the Gleiberg as the location of a castle. It is possible that the castle was built by Otto, the brother of King Konrad , as a fortress against the Popponen .

Heribert von der Wetterau made the castle the residence of his county of Gleiberg in 949 . After his death, the castle came to his son-in-law Friedrich von Luxemburg , the founder of the Luxemburg count house . The castle is considered to be the possible birthplace of Empress Kunigunde around 980.

In 1103 King Henry V conquered the castle and had it destroyed. Only after the second line of the Counts of Gleiberg had split off from the Counts of Luxembourg, the castle was rebuilt in the 12th century.

A well-known historical figure from the 12th century is Clementia von Gleiberg. In 1129 she founded the Augustinian Canon Monastery on the Schiffenberg near Gießen.

With the extinction of the Counts of Gleiberg in the late 12th century, the western half of the castle and the county came to Hartrad II of Merenberg. The eastern half of the castle and the county went to the Count Palatine of Tübingen . The Merenbergers were later able to acquire the eastern half of the castle and it became the seat of the Lords of Merenberg for 150 years.

After the Merenberger died out with the death of Hartrad VI. the castle fell to the house of Nassau-Weilburg in the 14th century . It became the center of the "Land on the Lahn", but no longer had a residence function.

During the Thirty Years War the castle was destroyed in 1646 by the troops of Landgravine Amalie Elisabeth von Hessen-Kassel . Since it was no longer of any military importance, it was not rebuilt. On June 30, 1816, the castle was exchanged from the Duchy of Nassau to the Kingdom of Prussia .

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Gleiberg was often the target of protest marches by students at the University of Giessen. The inn "Zur Spießpforte" at the foot of the castle, which has been documented since the 16th century, also became famous. Since around 1860 it has been called "To the Black Whale". The Gießen Wingolf was founded here on August 15, 1852 . According to tradition, the restaurant “Zum Schwarzen Walfisch” was the founding establishment of the “Hermanus” Gleiberg choral society, the oldest predecessor of today's Gleiberg choir. On May 7th, 1870, the Giessen Free Student Association (today's Giessen Burschenschaft Adelphia) was founded in the castle ruins.


The castle is divided into the older upper castle, dated 950 AD, and the lower castle, built in the 16th century. In the second half of the 16th century, the Albertusbau and the Nassauerbau of the lower castle were built.


From the parking lot below the upper castle, you reach the ruins of the castle with the built in 1200 imposing castle keep . It has a front and rounded mantle wall and is 30 m high. Up to the former high entrance at a height of 15 m , the tower has a diameter of about twelve meters, above it it tapers to eleven meters. In the area of ​​today's entrance, the wall thickness is a good four meters. Inside, a concrete staircase with 150 steps leads to the viewing platform , which is designed as a counterclockwise spiral staircase over 54 steps . Above this, the inner diameter of the keep expands from 3.7 meters to 5.7 meters and the stairs lead via a left-hand staircase with a number of straight segments and ledges to the covered exit onto the platform. The staircase is illuminated by motion detectors by lamps and a glazed opening in the floor of the platform, on which a metal grid pyramid is placed for protection. From the platform on the keep, on which a permanently installed telescope is attached, you have a beautiful view over the Giessen basin to the Vogelsberg , the Westerwald and the Taunus . The keep was thoroughly renovated in 2013 and has been in a very good appearance ever since.


The ruins of the palace with a still standing gable wall and pointed arched doors date back to the 13th century. You can see the light slits in the cellar vault. The castle is surrounded by a curtain wall, was built on a slightly higher site and was defensible on its own.

Todays use

The ruin is now a popular destination. Since 1879 the ruin has been owned by the Gleibergverein, which endeavors to preserve it. The restaurant "Burg Gleiberg" with beer garden is located in a building in the inner courtyard of the lower castle.


  • Alexander Thon, Stefan Ulrich, Jens Friedhoff : Decided with strong iron chains and bolts .... Castles on the Lahn. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-7954-2000-0 , pp. 56-61.
  • Wettenberg municipality (ed.): Historical illustrated book Wettenberg. 1991.
  • Gleiberg Verein (ed.): Burg Gleiberg - A guide for foreigners and locals. Giessen 1921.
  • Gleibergverein (Hrsg.): The Gleiberg in nature and history . 1929.
  • Rudolf Knappe: Medieval castles in Hessen. 800 castles, castle ruins and fortifications. 3. Edition. Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2000, ISBN 3-86134-228-6 , pp. 285-287.
  • Jürgen Leib: Krofdorf-Gleiberg between tradition and progress. Home book for the 1200th anniversary of the community of Krofdorf-Gleiberg . Giessen 1974.
  • Jürgen Leib: Burg and “Thal” Gleiberg. Images from a thousand-year history. Krofdorf-Gleiberg 1978.
  • Hugo von Ritgen: History of Gleiberg Castle. Published by the Upper Hessian Association for Local History, Gießen 1881.
  • Friedrich Kraft: History of Giessen and the surrounding area from the earlier period up to the year 1265. Darmstadt 1876.
  • Ministry of Public Works: "Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung", Berlin Volume IX. 1889, pp. 467-470, pp. 484-486.
  • Eduard Duller: "Gleiberg and Vetzberg", Giessen 1905.
  • Ernst Happel: "The castles in upper Hesse" , Marburg 1905, pp. 79–88.
  • Second annual report of the Upper Hessian Association for Local History, Association year 1880–1881, Gießen 1881.
  • Curt v. Münchow: History of Gleiberg Castle and the Gleiberger Geselligkeits - Verein , university printing house, Giessen 1888.

Web links

Commons : Burg Gleiberg  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  2. Spielmann, Christian: History of the city and rule Weilburg ; City of Weilburg, 1896 (new edition 2005) without ISBN, p. 42ff
  3. Municipality of Krofdorf-Gleiberg (ed.): Krofdorf-Gleiberg between tradition and progress: home book for the 1200th anniversary of the municipality of Krofdorf-Gleiberg . Giessen 1974 ISBN 978-3980302319 , p. 140.
  4. a b c Photo of the information board about the castle, on
  5. Burg Gleiberg, 1982 to today ( memento of the original from May 1, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on the website of the Gleiberg Association @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /