Hasserode Castle

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Location of Hasserode Castle

The Hasserode Castle in the same area of Wernigerode in the Harz was a medieval fortress near the train station Hasserode the Harz narrow gauge railways . Today there are no more visible traces of it.


The archival history of the Harz forests around the formerly independent community of Hasserode, which has been a district of Wernigerode since 1907, goes far back into the Middle Ages. This forest area originally belonged to the Reichsbannforst before the Counts of Wernigerode , who came from Haimar in the Hildesheim diocese and were first mentioned in a document in 1121, were enfeoffed by the Roman emperors and German kings.

Like every ruling family, the Counts of Wernigerode tried to expand their sphere of influence. In the Harz foreland at the foot of the mountain range called Huy , they owned land in various villages. However, these villages were subordinate to the Counts of Regenstein . With a clever move, the Wernigerode counts tried to bind the subjects of these villages closer to themselves by granting the local farmers rights to use wood in their Harz forests. In 1253, for example, the "Hadebergeberg" was named, which is still known today under the name Heudeberberg and extends south of the Augustinian hermit monastery in Himmelpforten, which was destroyed in 1525 . The village of Heudeber in Regenstein had rights to use wood here. Other villages were granted such rights by the Counts of Wernigerode at the latest in the middle of the 14th century in the woods to the right and left of the Holtemme and in the Drängetal. In addition to Heudeber, Reddeber , Danstedt , Ströbeck , Athenstedt , Aspenstedt , Sargstedt and Runstedt were among them. These communities, mostly located on the Huy, had certain permissions in a delimited forest area, for which the expression eight word was coined at the beginning of the 15th century . Under medieval conditions, the use of this forest area was very problematic for the villages about 10 to 30 km away from the Harz Mountains. A base at the foot of the Harz Mountains was necessary to protect them and to better organize the management of the forest. It is therefore assumed that some of the Huydörfern built a settlement in the Harz Forest by clearing forests in the first half of the 13th century at the latest: today's Hasserode. This explains the fact that Hasserode, like many of the Huydörfer, was subordinate to the Counts of Regenstein, although the area was in the middle of the domain of the Wernigerode counts. This assumption only changed on June 26, 1343, after the Regensteiners were defeated in the power struggle by the Counts of Wernigerode. a. the villages of Reddeber, Heudeber, Danstedt, Athenstedt and also Hasserode had to sell.

First mention

The document of Bishop Ludolf von Halberstadt dated July 24, 1236 is the first mention of Hasserode by name. The knight Tidericus de Hartsrode, who named himself after this clearing settlement , testifies, among other people, that the bishop settled the dispute over church possessions in Veltheim . Dietrich von Hartesrode belonged to a so far little researched lower aristocratic family, which on the one hand belonged to the service team of the Counts of Wernigerode and on the other hand administered the marshal office of the Halberstadt monastery . Already in the period 1207-1226 a "Thidericus" is mentioned as marshal of the bishopric, who was very likely the father of the above-mentioned Dietrich von Hartesrode. The latter apparently settled between 1226 and 1236 in the emerging and now administered village settlement at the foot of the Harz Mountains and built a fortified residence surrounded by a moat at the junction of Holtemme and Drängetal. It was also the aforementioned knight Dietrich von Hartesrode who furnished the Augustinian hermit monastery in Himmelpforten, which was donated in a side valley not far from his castle, with forest and land property in 1253. Even in later years, the Knights of Hartesrode showed themselves to be generous donors. On February 7, 1298, the brothers Johann, Dietrich and Anno von Hartesrode donated the property on which the Heiligenblutkapelle was built to the Waterler Monastery (today Wasserleben ).

From their seat - the permanent house or the castle - the Lords of Hartesrode managed the forest district of the eight Huydörfer in addition to the small village settlement as the chief lumberjack. The first known order about the wood justice of the civil and farming communities involved, which was confirmed by Count Heinrich von Wernigerode, dates from the period between 1407 and 1429. The rights of the villages existed u. a. in that they were allowed to obtain their timber and firewood from the defined forest area north and west of Hasserode, for which the name "Landmann" emerged in the 16th century. However, the use of the forest was not possible without restrictions, it was not a community forest in the actual sense, but the landlord, the ruling Count of Wernigerode (from 1429 the Count of Stolberg ), continued to have certain privileges. So the hunt was reserved for the counts alone. Furthermore, it was not allowed to cut fir, maple, linden and ash wood. The other types of wood were only allowed to be felled between Easter and June 24th, and then only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The felled wood only had to be transported on certain wood paths and was only allowed to be used for personal use. A separate court, presided over by the Knights of Hartesrode and which met at Hasserode Castle, monitored compliance with this order. It was only after the lords of the castle died out in male succession in 1398 that it was moved to a building at what is now called Hohe Warte.

The last knight, Ludolf von Hartesrode, was buried like many of his ancestors in the Canons' Church of St. Georgii and St. Sylvestri in Wernigerode. After his death, the marshal's office in the Halberstadt monastery, which had been in the possession of the von Hartesrode for over 150 years, passed to the von Rössing knights. The possession of Hasserode fell back to the Counts of Wernigerode as feudal lords. Hasserode initially pledged these to the city of Wernigerode. Ultimately, on June 29, 1410, Count Heinrich von Wernigerode transferred the farm and village "Harteßrode" with all rights and usable property to the City Council of Wernigerode. He only reserved the blood spell and suzerainty for himself and his heirs. From this time on, the castle and settlement, which was now part of the town's property and located far from the gates of Wernigerode, sank ever more into insignificance. An outward sign of this was the decay of the village church dedicated to St. Andrew. Probably because of their poor financial situation and dilapidation, several cardinals gave indulgences a hundred days for every day spent there to all believers who would visit this church on certain festivals and open their benevolent hand for it on February 11, 1488. The patronage of the church belonged to the Drübeck Jungfrauenkloster , only a few kilometers away from Hasserode , which had numerous properties in Hasserode and Marklingerode to the east. As recently as 1486, several farms in Hasserode that were subject to interest at the Drübeck Monastery were mentioned, but these farms also fell into disrepair in the following decades. In 1530 the church bells were brought from Hasserode to Wernigerode and in 1541 the abbess of the Drübeck Monastery, Anna Spangenberg, approved that the income from Hasserode, which is described as "desolate", should in future go to the St. Nikolaikirche in Wernigerode. Many residents of the village had moved to the nearby town of Wernigerode. The village of Hasserode had become a desert by the middle of the 16th century at the latest . Only a few farm buildings in the upper part of the village that were used for mining purposes or as mills on the Holtemme watercourse remained. These buildings were dominated by the old castle complex, which is rarely mentioned in documents.

Building history

Little is known about the appearance of the castle, as there are relatively few results of research into the history of architecture on the seats of lower aristocratic families in Saxony-Anhalt.

The deed of transfer from 1410 shows that it was a fortified courtyard, a permanent house . At the end of the 16th century, water flowed around the building complex and was surrounded by a lined moat, walls and masonry. The landscape painter Pramme copied the appearance of the facility in one of his paintings. He had a sketch of the castle on a site plan from 1761. At that time the castle tower, which had been awarded to Cordt Welborn for demolition in 1548/49, was missing. Probably in its place a new kitchen building was built for the servant bailiff in 1568.

After a storm in 1581, the glazier “ufm Haus Harssrode” installed 140 window panes, which suggests the stately size of the castle, especially since one has to consider that storm damage usually only occurs on one side of a building.

At the beginning of the armed conflict that the County of Wernigerode experienced during the Thirty Years' War, the municipal council of Wernigerode organized a feast for the two counts brothers Heinrich Ernst and Botho Ulrich zu Stolberg in the early summer of 1624 or 1625 in the Hasserode permanent house that belonged to it the town musicians also played.

In the combing invoices of the city of Wernigerode, expenses for Hasserode Castle are mentioned several times. Construction work on the castle gates took place in the summer of 1625. The moat is mentioned in 1642, namely when some soldiers who had stayed at Hasserode Castle were to be fetched on behalf of the Wernigerode Council, one of them fled through the moat. In 1768 there were still numerous trout in this moat, the inflow and outflow of which also served as a mill .

The interior painting of the hall and parlors was renewed in the summer of 1667. It is of particular interest that the coats of arms in the windows of the castle's ballroom were gilded. But only a few years later, the walls of the building are described as dilapidated. On December 16, 1676, a building inspection took place on the "Hauß Harßroda, which Maur wants to invade". Again and again one comes across expenses for roofing work in the invoices, for example in October 1676 or in August 1683. For the later years there are hardly any expenses for construction work on the castle.

Even before the First Thirty Years War, there were several crimes in the immediate vicinity of Hasserode Castle. There was particular excitement behind the castle walls when Elisabeth Horn gave birth to an illegitimate child here. On July 7th, 1687, several gentlemen of the city council of Wernigerode “uff der Burg zu Haßroda” met to discuss the “broken whore”.

Assignment of Hasserode to Brandenburg-Prussia

For more than two centuries there was no dispute over Hasserode between the city and the Count House of Stolberg, which had ruled over Wernigerode and the county of the same name since 1429. However, on July 28, 1633, not far from the Western Gate in Wernigerode, a fight broke out between the two citizens Christoph Wohlgemuth and Hans Schrader, which had unforeseen consequences. The boundary between the count's and the city's possessions was quite confusing in front of the western gate. The new count's magistrate, Johann Bodinus, had the two brawlers summoned and ordered them to pay a larger fine for the count's treasury. When the city officials found out about this, they felt they were being ignored because, in their opinion, the culprits had fought on land belonging to the city and consequently had to pay the fine to the city. In several letters to Count Christoph (II.) Zu Stolberg, the mayor and council of the city of Wernigerode emphasized that “the rule of Hardsroda with all pertinances, rights and justice, including courts (except for overheads and hands) to the council this city more than 200 years ago "came" . They protested against any interference with the previous rights and freedoms and demanded the reversal of the decision made by the count's official locks.

The count defended himself that it should first be checked whether the brawl had actually taken place on the territory of Hasserode, which the city was entitled to. Due to the war riots, however, this place could not be visited at first. So the negotiations dragged on over the winter. Then in March 1634 there was an alleged renewed intervention by the count's clerk in the city justice concerning Hasserode. Bodinus had a plot of land called "the Veckenstetschen Witben Kamp" pledged in front of the western gate, as he considered it to be a count. However, the mayor and council of the city of Wernigerode denied this and claimed that it was "in the Hardsrodischen jurisdiction". They again requested an immediate inspection appointment. However, due to the ongoing war, it does not seem to have come to that. A comparison was only made in 1652 and in the following year new marrow and dividing stones were erected on the border between the urban and the count's territory, many of which had fallen over in 1654 at the particularly sensitive point in front of the western gate. The comparison and the setting of the boundary stones did not end the dispute over the justice on the territory of Hasserode between the city and the count's house. He entered a new phase through the open question of mutual rights in the Landmann forest area, in which some Huydörfer wood rights still held. In addition, there were inner-city disputes between the council and the citizens. The never-ending conflict, in the course of which u. a. also the electoral Brandenburg court was turned on, had the consequence that the elector Friedrich III. von Brandenburg, as the lord of the lord, had "the Haßerode house with its pertinence and the district, rights and justice associated with it from time immemorial in April ... 1694 in sequestration" . He incorporated the area as a separate office of Hasserode territorially of the Kurmark and subordinated it to the authorities in the Principality of Halberstadt. With 3 ½ Hufen Land, the Hasserode office was the smallest in the Electorate of Brandenburg .

The administrative seat of the office was not the castle, but the old forester's house. This suggests that either the town bailiff still had his seat in the castle or that the building's state of preservation at that time was no longer suitable for permanent use. The first administrator from Hasserode, temporarily appointed by the Elector of Brandenburg, the Oberberginspektor Julius Questen from Wernigerode, died after only a few weeks of service. His death caused the elector to repeal the previous interim administration and to appoint the former bailiff of Brumby , Frantz Andreas Hanstein, as the new bailiff of Hasserode. On April 7, 1695 Hanstein began his service in the Hasserode office and forester's house. His first activity was to make the residents of Hasserode at the time responsible and to ask them to swear allegiance to the Elector of Brandenburg. This happened "in the upper room in Haßerode".

Hasserode Castle is mentioned several times in the first record of the term of office of Frantz Andreas Hanstein that has been preserved. As Hanstein z. B. learned that the Count's bailiff had caused Veckenstedt to plow the Ützschenbreite, a meadow belonging to Hasserode on the way to Darlingerode, he ordered the two foresters to hurry there and unhitch a horse for the peasants "and then anhero to the castle bring to". Disputes with the ruling Count Ernst zu Stolberg were predetermined, because he was of the opinion that Ützschenbreite would belong to the count's possessions. Count Ernst had protested decisively, but without success, against the sequestration of Hasserode. At the height of the dispute, the Elector of Brandenburg had even gone so far as to deny the Count in general all rights in the regulations of May 12, 1699. The count achieved through his protest that Elector Friedrich III. von Brandenburg on March 7, 1700 informed his court that the disputed points of the regulations of 1699 should remain suspended until the Count of Stolberg is heard. Until the final settlement, the status quo should also apply to the municipal authorities of the city of Wernigerode. After many years of disputes, the aging Count Ernst agreed, in order to create "peace and quiet", finally "with tearful eyes" to cede Hasserode and six mountains from the forest area known as Landmann to Brandenburg-Prussia. But before the conclusion of a corresponding written settlement, he died at the age of 60 on November 9, 1710 in Ilsenburg .

After further negotiations between the 19-year-old and politically relatively inexperienced Count Christian Ernst zu Stolberg-Wernigerode and King Friedrich Wilhelm I in Prussia, both sides entered into a settlement on May 19, 1714 in Berlin . The focus was on the agreement on "different differences, in particular ... 3rd ratione of the house of Haßerode cum pertinentiis, 4th of the farmer and the saga mill in Haßerode" . The count finally ceded the Hasserode house with all its accessories including the forests to the Prussian crown. Only the "Upper Sage mill behind the Haßerode Castle", which is absolutely necessary for the processing of the wood, along with the "garden, including the little hunter's house and garden standing there, as well as the place near the mill, on which the legend blocks and floorboards were laid" , was given back to Count Christian Ernst zu Stolberg-Wernigerode when the new borders were set, which began on May 30, 1714 at three o'clock in the morning. In the territory of the County of Wernigerode there was now a Brandenburg-Prussian exclave with the Amt of Hasserode, in which the area around the now count's sawmill existed as an enclave. The sawmill Hans Holland was released from his obligations to the king in Prussia and had to take the new oath of subjects to the Count of Stolberg-Wernigerode.

The further details of the handover of Hasserode Castle and the associated possessions to Brandenburg-Prussia were negotiated on the spot on August 21, 1714. The following possessions belonging to the castle were listed, which now became Brandenburg-Prussian territory:

  • "1) The castle with the small garden, the large garden, three more places at the mill, so in the notice the three Lähden before Haßerode are named.
  • 2) The Kuhlwiese and two Lähden in the jug, ...
  • 3) The Hohewarts pond with the meadows and small Lehde dabey, ...
  • 4) A meadow in the mill site.
  • 5) A meadow by Martin Ludewig's paper mills, where anitzo has the dung hole and oven ...
  • 6) Half a morning under the head at the Eisenberg, itzo is turned into fields.
  • 7) 2 Lehden in Marcklingerode, ...
  • 8) The Saubrücke or Mayor's Meadow, ... Item the Himmelpfordte and Itschen Meadow, cow width, also the new Kalckofen in the forest, ... “.

In addition, there were 130 acres of arable land on Schmiedeberg, on Hohe Warte, over Schönerts Mühle and in front of Hasserode. In the previous decades, the Counts of Stolberg had used various of these properties. King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia requested in a letter of March 2, 1715 to Count Christian Ernst zu Stolberg-Wernigerode the "cession of those possessions that belonged to the Ambte Haßerode". The count initially resisted this, but after another request from the Prussian king, he had to cede these areas to the Crown of Prussia. Three or four years earlier, a map of Hasserode Castle's property accessories had been commissioned. Both the first draft of this map from 1711 and its second copy from 1712 show visual views of the castle building at that time.

Use and demolition of the castle complex

After the renovation, Hasserode Castle was used as the Brandenburg-Prussian office building from 1714 at the latest . The street names Amtsgasse and Amtsfeldstrasse, which are still in use today, date from this time. The effort to manage the small office of Hasserode was out of proportion to the low income. After King Friedrich II took over the government in Prussia in 1740, there were several plans "for the Peuplierung of the Hasseröder valley". Due to the increasing number of disputes over hat and grazing rights from 1749, the colonization project was not implemented in practice until 1768. Brandenburg-Prussia promoted the influx of colonists by exempting them from all taxes for the first 14 years after the settlement. As a result of this tempting offer, the population increased from 281 to over 600 by 1775 and to 753 by 1786 . The number of houses increased to 153 by 1813. The new settlement was named Friedrichsthal. Since the end of the 18th century the double name Hasserode-Friedrichsthal had become common, but the name Friedrichsthal disappeared at the end of the 19th century and the old name Hasserode prevailed for the entire place.

The property belonging to Castle Hasserode was converted into a royal Prussian domain in 1770 and leased. The respective domain tenant was also the bailiff, who usually took his seat in the old moated castle. However, the domain only existed for a short time. Not all colonists had received arable land, so there were several requests to the Prussian king to divide up the domain arable. Ultimately, the church intervened and achieved that the so-called official field was divided into 112 parts the size of one morning in the years 1797–1799 and divided by drawing lots to the parishioners. The last domain tenant received a substantial financial compensation for this. There was hardly anything left to cultivate from the old castle. In addition, with the French occupation from 1807 onwards, Hasserode finally lost its function as the official seat, as it was integrated into the rural canton of Wernigerode of the Blankenburg district of the Saale department. After the formation of the province of Saxony in 1816, the Hasserode office - like the entire county of Wernigerode - was subordinated to the district administrator of the newly formed Osterwieck district . The small count's enclave within the office, which included the area around today's raft place with the upper sawmill, the forester's apartment and two workers' houses, was reactivated. In the "Topographical Local List of the County of Wernigerode" prepared in September 1818, the counts' property in Hasserode is described as follows: "A direct royal to the extent that is enclosed by the county. District Hasserode occupied and separated from it by the comparison of 1714 again to the county, 1806 enlarged by swap district, which lies south of the Holzemme and surrounds the blue paint factory located under the Beerberge, north and east. In addition to the 4 apartments, he understands the place to defeat the blocks. The associated meadows are north of the Holzemme under the basement mountains. The district is too small for the previous cards to be eliminated and especially covered with color. "

The subordination of his county to the district administrator of the Prussian district Osterwieck was an intolerable situation for the ruling Count Christian Friedrich zu Stolberg-Wernigerode, against which he protested several times to the Prussian king. The administrative reform demanded by him also provided for the restoration of the count's rights, which had been revoked in 1714, over the entire area of ​​Hasserode. After lengthy negotiations, an agreement was reached in Section 31 (3) of the recess between Count Christian Friedrich and King Friedrich Wilhelm III, which was concluded in Berlin on August 13, 1822 and confirmed on September 17, 1822 . of Prussia, the Prussian income in the "1714 retired district of Hasserode and the since then built colony Friedrichsthal and the Landmannsforste, ... as formerly belonging to the county and enclosed by the same, the Lord Count against payment of the value in sounding money, like the same will be assessed by commissioners of the Finance Ministerii, apart from being available for purchase by way of licitation ” . Further negotiations resulted in the district of Osterwieck being dissolved and the county of Wernigerode as an independent district with counts' sovereign rights on January 1, 1825, the administrative district of Magdeburg in the Prussian province of Saxony. A so-called senior civil servant, who was subordinate to the ruling Count zu Stolberg-Wernigerode and half to the King of Prussia, was now responsible for the administration of Hasserode until the county of Wernigerode was finally integrated into the Prussian state in 1876. His official seat was Wernigerode. The medieval castle complex in Hasserode had served as the administrative center for the longest time. It was now finally superfluous and its already desolate masonry was now finally used for the extraction of building material. The moat was filled with the worthless rubble and part of the leveled area was added to the neighboring castle mill to the east. The last remaining structural remains of the castle had finally disappeared in 1845.

On July 12, 1916 , Ferdinand Karnatzki acquired the old castle mill, which he tore down and had the factory buildings of the “Schokoladenwerke Ferdinand Karnatzki AG” built here. In 1923, when working on the expansion of the chocolate factory, a split stone was found that was probably walled up in the north-west corner of the castle. Furthermore, the supports of the drawbridge as well as piles and fascines from the former bank fortification of the moat came to light. During the construction of the boiler house, according to eyewitness reports, a burial place is said to have come to light, the graves of which were weapons and vessels.

Today, in the immediate vicinity of the former castle complex , only the names Burgmühlenstrasse and Amtsgasse as well as the stately half-timbered building of the Boetersmühle , whose water inflow once fed the moat, are reminiscent of times long past.


  • Eduard Jacobs : Document book of the Deutschordens-Commende Langeln [...], Halle 1882
  • Gustav Sommer, Eduard Jacobs: Descriptive representation of the older architectural and art monuments of the county of Wernigerode. Hall 1883
  • Jörg Brückner : Hasserode Castle: the history of a knight's seat at the foot of the Harz Mountains. In: Burgen und Schlösser in Sachsen-Anhalt, Vol. 7, 1998, pp. 26–41.
  • Jörg Brückner: Fighting spawned an electorate: News about Hasserode Castle. In: Neue Wernigeröder Ztg., Vol. 9, 1998, 6, p. 20

Coordinates: 51 ° 49 ′ 15 "  N , 10 ° 44 ′ 42"  E