Landsberg Castle (Saxony-Anhalt)

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Landsberg Castle
Double chapel as the rest of Landsberg Castle

Double chapel as the rest of Landsberg Castle

Creation time : 1160 to circa 1184
Castle type : Hill castle on porphyry rock
Conservation status: Chapel, small remains of the wall, foundations of the former keep
Standing position : Margraves, nobles (ministerials)
Place: Landsberg
Geographical location 51 ° 31 '32.1 "  N , 12 ° 9' 50.2"  E Coordinates: 51 ° 31 '32.1 "  N , 12 ° 9' 50.2"  E
Height: 148  m
Landsberg Castle (Saxony-Anhalt)
Landsberg Castle

Landsberg Castle is the remainder of a hilltop castle on a porphyry hill near the town of Landsberg in the Saale district in Saxony-Anhalt . From the former hilltop castle, which is now part of the Romanesque Road , only insignificant wall remains exist. Important is the art-historically valuable Stauffer period double chapel St. Crucis .


Archaeological excavations have shown that the striking Landsberg castle hill was already fortified in Slavic times. Small remains of a wall can still be found in the area. During the removal of layers of earth in the 1990s, small remains of the walls of the high medieval castle complex, which had plaster scratches, were exposed. In general, the dimensions of the castle are difficult to determine due to the former quarry operation on Kapellenberg (in the area of ​​today's rock pool).

In the 12th century, Landsberg belonged to the Wettins . When Konrad the Great of Meissen withdrew to the monastery on the Petersberg in 1156 , he divided his possessions among his three sons. Dietrich received the Ostmark or the Lausitz mark , to which Landsberg belonged. In 1174 Dietrich was mentioned in a document as "Comes de Landsberc". The castle will therefore have been completed or at least under construction by this time. Dietrich belonged to the close circle of Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa . He took part in the Italian campaign in 1176/77 and in the peace negotiations in Venice. The shape of the castle chapel also explains the close ties to the emperor. Double chapels were only built in the close vicinity of the Hohenstaufen imperial family. Based on the traditional building history, it is assumed that the castle was completed in 1184, the year Dietrich died. As an important follower of the emperor, Dietrich had very likely had buildings built in his castle that corresponded to the high artistic level of the castle chapel.

The double chapel, whose architectural forms are committed to a “Staufer imperial idea” in architecture according to Ernst Ullmann, among others, was built between 1156 and 1184 as a uniform structure. The attribution of a previous basilica as the predecessor of the castle chapel or a possible collegiate church that was later rebuilt (from 1180) must be rejected as incorrect due to both the building research by Reinhard Schmitt and the sources and literature at Auert-Watzik / Mertens. The use of bricks on the apses of the first floor, i.e. the upper chapel, places Landsberg in a series of earlier brick buildings ( Pouch , Eilenburg ) and places the double chapel in a context of buildings in the Lausitz, southern Brandenburg and Saxon regions. It is still unclear why brick was used as an externally visible material in the upper chapel, which is presumably reserved for the margrave / the aristocratic upper class. A blind arch above the tympanum above the north portal - unfortunately plastered today - is also made of brick.

The previous assumption that Landsberg experienced a heyday under the Margrave Dietrich the Wise and his son in the second half of the 13th century must be rejected. Margrave Heinrich III., The illustrious , established the Margraviate Landsberg for his second-born son Dietrich from 1258/61, which existed until 1291. Weißenfels served as the residence of the Wettin territorial principality of Landsberg, only the title of the newly created margraviate Landsberg still referred to the former importance of the castle. In Weißenfels, Margravine Helena von Brandenburg founded the Poor Clare Monastery in 1284, which was to serve as the new house monastery of the young princely dynasty and in whose monastery church Margrave Friedrich Tuta was buried in 1291. With the transfer or the sale of the northern part of the former margraviate Landsberg to the Ascanian margraves of Brandenburg - more precisely to Otto IV of Brandenburg - the gradual decline of the castle began, as there was no longer any interest in it. The sale developed into the starting point of an Ascanian-Wettin feud, which brought with it the annexation, devastation and destruction of entire landscapes, cities and, last but not least, castles. The disputes about the dynastic supremacy and spheres of influence of the Brandenburg Ascanians and the Wettins in Central Germany dragged on until around 1320 and came to a temporary end with the Peace of Tangermünde . The former Wettin ministerial family of the Schenken von Landsberg , which were in changing feudal relationships , served as castle men at the castle without owning it, but had not been represented in Landsberg since the middle of the 13th century and appeared at Teupitz Castle from 1330 .

The area of ​​the former margravial castle, which only experienced a brief climax as an important state castle and early residence of the Ostmark, before it increasingly fell into disrepair from the 14th century and ended as a quarry, requires a source-critical review and historiographical representation, which is still pending. Winfried Schich recently referred to the networking of the Wettin castle in Landsberg with the Brandenburg towns of Alt- and Neu-Landsberg, taking into account aspects of settlement history, archeology, castle history and the transfer of place names. It should also be pointed out that the previously published and assumed destruction of a never-existing Reichsburg Landsberg in the turmoil of a noble legal dispute (1507–1514 / 19) between the Wettins and the taverns of Landsberg , which was carried out as an enforcement of the imperial ban, was published and assumed by Gottfried Sehmsdorf must be rejected as false.

Shortly before the Thirty Years War , the state of the castle was described as "now completely desolated"; the chapel was also in poor condition. Damage in the Thirty Years' War, repeated fires in the city - made it necessary to renew the chapel and the roof in 1658/62. Under Christian I of Saxony-Merseburg made numerous repairs to the chapel as a place of worship and "dynastic memorial" or place of Memoria to make it usable. This adaptation and incorporation of existing structural relics such as the Landsberg double chapel should not least be expressed through the prince's efforts to restore them and thus “imaginary occupation” or participation in their history and later tradition.

In the 19th century, the double chapel was rediscovered as an important architectural testimony to the Romanesque era because of its value as a monument. The wild treasure hunt, which began in 1789 after presumed grave goods in the lower chapel, made more difficult. From 1860, thorough restoration work on the chapel was carried out with the help of Ferdinand von Quast , Friedrich August Stüler and other founders of Prussian monument preservation. The double chapel was to be subjected to a "stylish restoration" which, in addition to numerous changes in the interior (including the introduction of a blue and gold starry sky), would also have radically changed the external appearance (construction of a roof turret analogous to the Petersberg collegiate church and massive, acute-angled dormers). This planned “re-Romanization” could not be carried out in full due to financial difficulties. Only the seating, the floor and the like that still exist today. a. were carried out in addition to a less construction-invasive and cost-intensive repair. Since 1990 and most recently in 2003, extensive restorations and conservation (plastering of the chapel after the exterior building had previously been stoneware) have been carried out from the point of view of monument preservation.


  • Johann Gottlob Horn: Cumbersome report from the old Osterländischen Marggraffthum Landsberg [...], Dresden and Leipzig 1725.
  • Waldemar Giese: The Mark Landsberg up to your transition to the Brandenburg Ascanians in 1291, in: Thuringian-Saxon magazine for history and art 8 (1918), pp. 1-54; 105-157.
  • Heinrich L. Nickel: The double chapel in Landsberg , Berlin 1960.
  • Rolf Kutscher: History of the castle and town of Landsberg , part I., Landsberg 1961.
  • Ders .: History of Landsberg 10. – 14. Century , Landsberg 1979.
  • Gottfried Sehmsdorf: The double chapel in Landsberg near Halle (= large architectural monuments 450 ), Munich / Berlin 1993.
  • Gunter George: Double Chapel “St. Crucis “Landsberg , Halle 1993.
  • Gottfried Sehmsdorf: The destruction of the castle and town of Landsberg , in: Heimat-Jahrbuch Saalkreis 12 (2006), pp. 22–30.
  • Claudia Trummer: Early brick building in Saxony and southern Brandenburg (= culture and life forms in the Middle Ages and modern times 4 ), Berlin 2011.
  • Stefan Auert-Watzik, Henning Mertens (eds.): Peripheries of Saxon history. Central Germany, Seeburg and Landsberg as rulership and cultural areas of the Ekkehardines and Wettins 936–1347. (= Contributions to Landsberg regional history 1 ), Landsberg 2011, ISBN 978-3-940744-43-2 .
  • Stefan Auert-Watzik, Henning Mertens (ed.): Times and ways. Landsberg as a historical networking place of Saxon history between the Middle Ages and the modern age. (= Contributions to Landsberg Regional History 2 ), Landsberg 2014, ISBN 978-3-00-047646-4 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Eric Mertens: Earth, Shards, Stones - Landsberg in the mirror of archeology. A report. In: Stefan Auert-Watzik / Henning Mertens (eds.): Times and ways. Landsberg as a historical networking place of Saxon history between the Middle Ages and the modern age. (= Contributions to Landsberg Regional History 2), Landsberg 2014, pp. 49–90.
  2. Reinhard Schmitt: On the building history of the double chapel in Landsberg (Saalekreis) from the 12th to the late 19th century. In: Auert-Watzik / Mertens (Ed.) 2014, pp. 91–128.
  3. Ernst Ullmann: The imperial idea in the Hohenstaufen art. In: Ders .: From Romanesque to Historicism. Architecture - style and meaning. Leipzig 1987, pp. 52-60.
  4. Reinhard Schmitt: On the building history of the double chapel in Landsberg, Saalkreis. In: Burgen und Schlösser in Sachsen-Anhalt 13 (2004), pp. 54–80.
  5. Stefan Auert-Watzik: Fortuna, Murder and Politics - History and Networking of the Margraviate Landsberg as "terra incognita" in Central German historiography. In: Ders./Henning Mertens (Hrsg.): Peripheries of Saxon history. Central Germany, Seeburg and Landsberg as dominion and cultural areas of the Ekkehardines and Wettins 743-1347. (= Contributions to Landsberg Regional History 1), Landsberg 2011, pp. 185–266.
  6. Claudia Trummer: Brick as an award? A building material as a possible sign of domination. In: Auert-Watzik / Mertens (Ed.) 2014, pp. 129–148.
  7. ^ Franz Jäger: Brief history of the Poor Clare monastery in Weißenfels. In: Weißenfels. History of the city. 1st ed., Dößel 2010, pp. 243-254.
  8. Wolfgang Rose: At the border. Teupitz and the Brandenburg Schenkenländchen in the Middle Ages and in the early modern period. In: Auert-Watzik / Mertens (Ed.) 2014, pp. 319–356.
  9. Winfried Schich: The Wettin castle Landsberg and the Brandenburg cities Alt- and Neu-Landsberg. Your history and early role. In: Auert-Watzik / Mertens (Ed.) 2014, pp. 11–48.
  10. Stefan Auert-Watzik: [...] a highly valued architectural monument - the Landsberg double chapel as a medieval architectural monument and a Saxon place of remembrance. Interpretations and attributions since the 17th century. In: Ders./Mertens (Ed.) 2014, pp. 149–204.