Rabenstein Castle (Chemnitz)

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Rabenstein Castle
Rabenstein Castle

Rabenstein Castle

Creation time : around 1100-1200
Castle type : Hilltop castle
Conservation status: Palas and keep of the upper castle, foundation walls of the lower castle preserved
Standing position : Nobles
Place: Chemnitz-Rabenstein
Geographical location 50 ° 49 '59.2 "  N , 12 ° 49' 5.7"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 49 '59.2 "  N , 12 ° 49' 5.7"  E
Rabenstein Castle (Saxony)
Rabenstein Castle

The Rabenstein Castle , the (since demolished the lower castle) smallest medieval castle of Saxony , located in the Chemnitz district of Rabenstein , is called "Castle Museum Rabenstein" to Schlossbergmuseum Chemnitz . Not far from the castle rock on which today's castle stands are the Rabenstein Castle and the Oberrabenstein reservoir , which is connected to the Rabensteiner Forest.


Rabenstein Castle, view from the Rabenstein Viaduct (2016)
Rabenstein Castle - mansion of the Siegert family from Chemnitz
Side view of the castle

The Höhenburg was first mentioned in 1336 in a document from Ludwig the Bavarian , in which he promised his son-in-law, the Margrave Friedrich von Meißen , as an imperial fief, if the line of the Lords of Waldenburg died out without a male heir. At that time, the castle was much larger than today's complex. The castle rock was enclosed by a 180 m long ring wall , which took up an area of ​​around 2000 m². Buildings were faded into the curtain wall both outside and inside, and there was a moat in front of the curtain wall for protection.

The castle, of which part of the upper castle and the connected round tower on a 15 meter high slate rock is still preserved, was built much earlier. The construction of the castle was presumed to have started between the 9th and 11th centuries; it was probably not built until the 12th century, when the German colonization in the east and the development of the Ore Mountains primeval forest began here.

In 1375 the castle was sold to the Benedictine monastery in Chemnitz , which at the same time acquired the Rabenstein rule from the Lords of Waldenburg. This was not accepted by the Wettins , so the rule was pledged to the burgrave Albrecht von Leisnig , which led to a ten-year feud. It was not until 1396 that Margrave Wilhelm von Meißen confirmed the sale of the castle and the manor to the monastery.

In 1418 there were further violent disputes about the castle, which was partially destroyed by fire around 1480. This prompted the abbot Caspar von Meckau to rebuild the castle from 1483. At that time it probably no longer had a curtain wall, and only a few buildings were still on the castle grounds.

During the process of dissolving the Chemnitz Benedictine monastery, the castle and the rulers came to the Saxon rulers, the Wettins, who united the two rulers of Rabenstein and Chemnitz in 1546. Since the official business was now done from Chemnitz, the castle remained unused and was left to decay.

With the purchase of the castle and the Vorwerk by the electoral forest master (from 1626 Landjägermeister ) Hans Georg von Carlowitz in 1619 the decay process was stopped and the ruined castle was restored from 1620. At that time the tower received its baroque dome (1624) and the knight's hall was decorated with wall paintings depicting animals.

The oldest known view (around 1774) of the castle is a drawing by Adrian Zingg and shows a half-timbered gatehouse, which was completely preserved at that time and no longer exists in the area of ​​the outer castle. In front of this gatehouse location, foundations of a bridge or bridge piers were found in the moat.

The Carlowitz family had to give up the castle in 1774 and it was sold to Johann Georg Siegert from Chemnitz. Two years later, the manor house, now known as Rabenstein Castle, was built not far from the castle. It was intended for his daughter, the only heiress, Rahel Amalie, who was married to Hofrat Karl Wolfgang Maximilian Freiherr von Welck . After Rahel Amalie inherited it in 1783 and he was raised to the nobility in 1785, he bought the whole of Oberrabenstein with palace and castle from his wife and had the castle area rebuilt in the old knight style and the park area embellished in the English style - for this the lower castle was demolished. After his death in 1809, Oberrabenstein passed to Georg Ludwig Freiherr von Welck auf Oberrabenstein.

The Welck era ended with the sale of the system in 1837 to the Leipzig shopkeeper and house owner William Eduard Kraft , who owned it until his death in 1878 and was happy to open it to interested visitors . Other owners followed. So the manor Oberrabenstein, which also included the castle, came to the Chamberlain von Ried in 1900, who in turn sold it in 1902 to the factory owner Matthé Paul Herfurth , who owned the castle and estate until 1945.

Under the Herfurths, the excavation of the rubble-filled vaults has already begun. From 1927 the castle was open to the public for a fee on weekends and holidays. Nevertheless, the castle continued to fall into disrepair, so that it was closed to visitors from May 26, 1942 for security reasons.

After the Second World War, Rabenstein belonged to the Soviet occupation zone, so that from July 1945 the manor fell under Soviet administration and from 1947 became the property of the State of Saxony, which transferred it to the Rabenstein community in 1949. Rabenstein was incorporated into Chemnitz on July 1, 1950, so the town came into the possession of the castle, which it restored and reopened to the public as a museum on May 16, 1959. Further restorations took place in the 1980s and 1990s. Today the castle is a branch of the Schlossbergmuseum Chemnitz.


  • Dietmar Werner: Rabenstein Castle and its legends. In: Erzgebirgische Heimatblätter 3/1980, pp. 77–79, ISSN  0232-6078
  • "Burg und Schloss Rabenstein", In: "Stadtbuch Chemnitz Edition 4/2011", WochenSpiegel Sachsen Verlag GmbH, Chemnitz, pp. 122–123 [www.stadtbuch-chemnitz.de online version of the city book] (on the history of Burg and Castle and legend of the enchanted treasure in Rabenstein Castle, Rabenstein district p. 121)

Individual evidence

  1. Rabenstein then & now. In: ub-rabenstein.de. Retrieved January 2, 2019 .

Web links

Commons : Schloss und Burg Rabenstein  - Collection of images, videos and audio files