Wertheim Castle

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Wertheim Castle
Wertheim Castle

Wertheim Castle

Creation time : around 1132
Castle type : Höhenburg, spur location
Conservation status: ruin
Standing position : Count
Place: Wertheim
Geographical location 49 ° 45 '31.9 "  N , 9 ° 31' 11.7"  E Coordinates: 49 ° 45 '31.9 "  N , 9 ° 31' 11.7"  E
Wertheim Castle (Baden-Württemberg)
Wertheim Castle

The Wertheim Castle is the ruins of a hilltop castle on the high, narrow mountain ridge between the two valleys of the Main and Tauber above the town of Wertheim . It is one of the oldest castle ruins in Baden-Württemberg .

Building history

The Wertheim Castle was first mentioned in 1183 and "until its destruction during the Thirty Years' War in several construction periods extended from the upper castle proceeding to a spacious castle. The keep (around 1200) and the palace from the second third of the 13th century still stand from the upper castle. Another residential building adjoins the Palas, in which the remains of an older complex have been preserved. ”The city was a“ planned foundation at the foot of the castle [...] The construction of the city fortifications must have begun around 1200; it finally enclosed the castle and the city with a wall. "

The original settlement was on the other bank of the Main, because “until the high Middle Ages, Kreuzwertheim was called Wertheim, which means something like 'elevated land by the water'. The name auf -heim identifies this settlement as an early foundation, which was probably created during the time of the Franconian conquest of the land . ”The area of ​​today's town of Wertheim at the confluence of the Tauber and Main rivers was certainly exposed to constant flooding into the Middle Ages.


The Counts of Wertheim , members of the Franconian noble family of the Reginbodonen , named themselves for the first time in 1132 after Wertheim. In this century the construction of the castle began, which also developed into a cultural center. The poet Wolfram von Eschenbach was in close contact with the Counts of Wertheim. His presence in the castle can be considered safe.

Sculpture of “Parsifal” in the Wertheim Glass Museum

Record of Parzival

Wolfram's reference in the 4th book of Parzival: “min herre der grave von Wertheim” is the basis of the assumption that he also wrote it in the castle of the counts. The writing, which was generally accepted between 1200 and 1210, falls into the reign of Count Poppo II from Wertheim from 1212: “It can be assumed that Count Poppo, who [since 1190] in the vicinity of Emperor Heinrich VI. Weilte, who is known as a minstrel , was also interested in the courtly poetry of the time. ”The acquaintance of the two could have already begun before Poppo's reign. "What is more or less certain, however, is that Wolfram, as Ministerialer of the Counts of Wertheim, had estates in Obereschenbach and Pleinfeld near Ansbach, because Wertheim property and sovereign rights are documented in those places and at the time and later." Another place the record (mentioned in Chapter 5) is Wildenberg Castle .

Wertheim Castle 1847

Modern times

In 1556 the Counts von Wertheim died out. He was followed by Ludwig Graf zu Stolberg-Königstein , who was replaced in 1598 by one of his sons-in-law, Count Ludwig von Löwenstein .

Parts of the castle were destroyed by a powder explosion in 1619. During the Thirty Years' War the castle was occupied by the Swedes, and further destruction followed when the imperial troops were shelling in 1634. Since then it has been in ruins.

From 1982 the castle ruins were renovated with considerable support from the state of Baden-Württemberg. Since 1995 it has been owned by the city of Wertheim, which it bought from the previous owners, the former noble families Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg and Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg .

On July 21, 2008, the majority of the Wertheim municipal council approved a submission by the city administration that provides for the castle to be made more accessible by installing an inclined elevator . A citizens' initiative, however, fears for the townscape of Wertheim and collected signatures until September 1st, 2008 to enforce a referendum that is supposed to overturn the municipal council resolution.


Behind a deep neck ditch , the buildings stand on staggered rock terrain. In addition, the castle was secured by the strong outer works of the period after 1400, and wing walls connected it with the city, which developed under their protection. Enclosed on the eastern side by a high mantle wall, the slender keep stands in the middle of the upper castle . The palace building , formerly with a castle chapel , completes the construction program of the oldest castle complex, of which three-part window groups from the Staufer era have been preserved. An octagonal stair tower with a beautiful portal from 1562 connects the hall and the residential building. The outer bailey , which has been continuously expanded into a residential castle , stands on a significantly lower mountain step . Today an imposing ruin, the "new" Löwensteiner building built around 1600 surpasses the stately Johannesbau. In the direction of the Taubertal, a late Gothic arbor with openwork tracery parapet protrudes. The archive building above the gatehouse dates back to the baroque period .

The approximately 25 m high keep can be climbed as a viewing tower and offers a very good view of Wertheim as well as Tauber and Main.

See also


  • Alexander Antonow: Castles in the Main Square. Breuberg, Freudenberg, Miltenberg, Prozelten, Rothenfels, Wertheim, Wildenberg . Antonow, Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-924086-30-3 (handbook series historical buildings, 1)
  • Hermann Ehmer: History of the county of Wertheim , Verlag E. Buchheim, Nachf., Wertheim 1989. ISBN 3-924611-11-4 .
  • Frank Kleinehagenbrock, Robert Meier, Jörg Paczkowski: Wertheim. Castle. Small art guide No. 2817. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-7954-6959-7 .

Web links

Commons : Wertheim Castle  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ulrike Plate and Uwe Gross: Finds at Wertheim Castle in: Archäologische Ausgrabungen in Baden-Württemberg , Ed .: Landesdenkmalamt, Ges. F. Vor u. Early history in Württemberg and Hohenzollern, support group for prehistoric and early historical research in Baden, Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 1987, p. 235. Reprinted in: Wertheimer Jahrbuch 1986/87, Verlag des Historischen Verein Wertheim, Wertheim 1989, p. 11.
  2. ^ Hermann Ehmer: History of the Grafschaft Wertheim , Verlag E. Buchheim, Nachf., Wertheim 1989, p. 39.
  3. ^ H. Ehmer: Geschichte der Grafschaft Wertheim , 1989, p. 28.
  4. ^ Wilhelm Hertz : Stories of the Middle Ages. Parzival , Volume 1, Mundus-Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 122.
  5. ^ Hermann Ehmer: History of the Grafschaft Wertheim , Verlag E. Buchheim, Wertheim 1989, p. 36. ISBN 3-924611-11-4 .
  6. ^ Heidemarie Seifert: Dispute over an inclined elevator to the castle high above the city . In: Heilbronner Voice from August 6, 2008