Wolfsberg Castle (Steinekirch)

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Wolfsberg Castle
The high medieval keep

The high medieval keep

Creation time : 10th century
Castle type : Hilltop castle
Conservation status: ruin
Place: Zusmarshausen - Steinekirch
Geographical location 48 ° 22 '17.3 "  N , 10 ° 35' 3.8"  E Coordinates: 48 ° 22 '17.3 "  N , 10 ° 35' 3.8"  E
Wolfsberg Castle (Bavaria)
Wolfsberg Castle

The castle Wolfsberg is the ruins of a hilltop castle above the Zusmarshausener district stone church ( the district of Augsburg , Swabia ) on a wooded hill. The earthworks and remains of the large keep have been preserved from the high medieval castle complex .


Topographical map of the area on an information board at the keep
The north side of the keep
The inside from the south

The castle was built in the 10th century as the seat of the Messrs. Fraß, who supposedly distinguished themselves in the battle on the Lechfeld (955). This family of servants of the bishops of Augsburg later named themselves after the castle "von Wolfsperch" (1233) and had a wolf in their coat of arms .

In 1292 a Heinrich Fraß von Wolfsberg (Hainrich Frayß von Wolfsperg, ministerialis ecclesie Augustensis) testified to the peace treaty between Bishop Wolfhart and Duke Ludwig of Bavaria . In 1333 Ulrich Fraß was named as surety for the sale of Zusameck Castle to the Augsburg bishopric .

Around 1350 the gender of the Fraß disappeared from written sources. The Schwelcher appear on the fortress as successors . In 1374 Wieland (Wielant der Swaelher) and in 1382 Ulrich Schwelcher are called "von Wolfsberg". The family originally came from the ministry of the Dukes of Teck .

The new lords of the castle are said to have been guilty of some attacks on trade trains. The castle was not far from the road between Augsburg and Ulm . The Wolfsberg was then besieged several times in vain by troops from the imperial city of Augsburg. Even during the “City War” in December 1388, when the Dukes of Bavaria devastated the Augsburg area, the Augsburg troops had to withdraw because of the bad weather.

In 1390 Wieland der Schwelcher sold Wolfsberg to the dukes. The castle was then pledged to Friedrich von Freyberg (mentioned in a document in 1394 and 1396). In 1434 the lien was owned by the brothers Ulrich and Hans Nördlinger in Augsburg.

As a result of the armed conflicts during the " Imperial War " between Duke Ludwig the Rich of Bavaria-Landshut and Emperor Friedrich III. Augsburg mercenaries under Wilhelm von Rechberg destroyed the ducal castle Wolfsberg on January 26, 1462. The castle was then abandoned.

In 1508 the dukes of Bavaria sold the Steinekirch rule for 6,000 guilders to Philipp von Stain zu Jettingen. In 1589 the guardianship of Marquard von Stain passed the property on to the Augsburg Cathedral Chapter. The cathedral chapter held the rule until secularization in 1803.

Around 1852 the castle ruins were exploited as a quarry for the construction of the Augsburg-Ulm railway line. Until then, even larger remains of the castle wall should have stood upright. The ruins of the keep remained largely untouched at that time, as they had belonged to the historic Swabian Association since 1836.

The agricultural properties on the main and bailey plateaus date back to the 19th and 20th centuries. After the Second World War , a modern residential building was built next to the keep. The castle area is freely accessible, but the inside of the tower is on private property.


The large castle complex is around 525 meters above sea level on the eastern edge of the Zusamtal above Steinekirch. The main and outer bailey are separated by a 7 to 8 meter deep ditch . To the east of the core plant was the spacious outer bailey, the four meter deep neck trench of which was largely filled in in the access area. The ditch continues to the south and ends on a semicircular hillside plateau. To the west is another landing in front of the main castle. The northern outer moat can still be clearly traced in the terrain, the mighty edge of which documents the early medieval development of the castle.

These ramparts can also be found around the irregularly rectangular main castle plateau (about 25 × 50 meters). The trench depths are here up to five meters. The terrain slopes steeply into the valley in the south and west.

The edge walls were examined in 1973 as part of a rescue excavation (Otto Schneider). Apparently a berm was originally built around 10 meters below the castle plateau , which was only fortified by palisades . The post holes of this attachment could be documented. Later, the edge walls were built on this berm. Six successive construction sequences could be determined here. Numerous chunks of sandstone in the ground indicate a stone wall ring.

A few brick walls can still be seen from the ring wall of the main castle, the stone dimensions of which (about 35 × 16 × 7 cm) indicate that it was built in the 14th century.

The keep The mighty remainder of the keep goes back to the 12th century. Today the big tower is the only stone evidence of early knight culture in the entire district of Augsburg. Particularly noteworthy is the enormous wall thickness of the ground floor, which is around four meters. The masonry consists of large Nagelfluh cuboids (length approx. 0.60–1.10 meters, height approx. 0.50 meters), some of which were designed as a humpback cuboid with an edge.

The mighty tower was built in the typical shell construction. The space between the inner and outer shell was filled with mortar interspersed with rubble stones and pebbles (cast brickwork).

The north side is about 12.30 meters long, the west side up to 7 meters, the east side still around 3.80 meters long. The lower stone layers are designed as a base . Inside, a wall step can be seen in the upper third. Here in the interior, the cuboids are smoothly finished, and bar holes indicate the division between floors. The former keep is still about 11 meters high.

Despite its partial demolition in the 19th century, one of the most important high medieval keep in southern Bavaria has been preserved here, although it has so far received little attention from academic castle studies.


  • Georg Dehio : Handbook of German Art Monuments, Bavaria III; Swabia (arranged by: Bruno Bushart , Georg Paula ). Munich, Berlin 1986.
  • Wilhelm Neu and Frank Otten: District of Augsburg (Bavarian art monuments, brief inventory, XXX). Munich 1970.
  • Helmut Rischert: The castle ruins of the historical association for Swabia (magazine of the historical association for Swabia 68, 1974).
  • Otto Schneider, Horst Gutmann, Wilhelm Ruckdeschel: Archaeological walks around Augsburg (guide to archaeological monuments in Bavaria; Swabia, Volume 1). Stuttgart, Aalen 1977, ISBN 3-8062-0185-4 .
  • Otto Schneider: Topographical recording and first profile study "Wolfsberg" (1973 annual report of the Heimatverein for the Augsburg district).