Gabelbach Castle Stables

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The two castle stables in the Zusmarshausen district of Gabelbach in the Augsburg ( Swabia ) district were the residences of the Lords of Gabelbach in the High Middle Ages . While the older castle near the parish church has largely disappeared, the extensive earthworks of the successor system on the outskirts can still be seen in the area.


The Lords of Gabelbach appear for the first time in a document in 1263 . At this time the people of Gabelbach had probably already given up their original residence and were already sitting on their new hilltop castle above today's train station.

The family seems to have originally belonged to the ministry of the Margraves of Burgau . In the 13th century, the Gabelbachers served the Augsburg bishopric as servants. Konrad von Gabelbach, who was documented several times between 1293 and 1308, was the keeper of the nearby Oberschönenfeld monastery . His son Heinrich founded the clearing settlement in Gabelbachergreuth in 1327.

The male line of the Gabelbacher probably died out in the middle of the 14th century. In 1361 Hartmann von Burgau is named as the owner of the castle. This nobleman was the husband of Anna von Gabelbach.

A part of the rule, together with the castle stables, later fell to the Counts of Helfenstein. The counts enfeoffed the Augsburg citizen Zacharias Rudolf with their share in the 15th century . The remaining properties were acquired by the Augsburg Hospital for the Holy Spirit. On behalf of the hospital bailiffs administered the property until secularization . In 1801 the Hospital Foundation built two new Vogthouses in the village.

The castle on the low ridge southwest of the village was probably abandoned after the death of the last Gabelbacher at the latest. The ruins served the farmers in the area as a welcome quarry, as in other places. Today only features of the terrain north of the parish church tell of the first castle of the local nobility.

The earthworks of the successor castle “in the Pflanzgarten” are much better preserved. The impressive Burgstall is freely accessible and can be reached in a few minutes from the town center.


The older castle stable in town

The walled parish church is probably on the area of ​​a former outer bailey . However, clear features of the terrain are no longer recognizable anywhere.

The main castle was north of the church. Otto Schneider and F. Nunner from the Working Group for Pre- and Early History Augsburg were able to document the remainder of an eastern neck ditch and the northern, artificially divided flank of the main castle cone in 1970 . Since then, the ground monument has been further impaired in its existence by construction measures.

The Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation lists the ground monument as a medieval tower hill under the monument number D 7-7629-0007.

The castle "in the Pflanzgarten"

The castle complex (approx. 60 × 140 m) is only about 20 meters above the Augsburg-Ulm railway line on a spur that juts out to the northeast. The very well-preserved earthworks are reminiscent of the nearby Wolfsberg Castle above Steinekirch .

The Burgstall shows the typical two-part system of high medieval ministerial castles, which, however, appear here combined with early medieval fortification concepts. The approximately rectangular outer bailey (approx. 40 × 40 m) in the west is separated from the rectangular main castle cone (approx. 20 × 35 m) by a ditch up to eight meters deep.

The ring moat continues at different depths around the entire, rectangular main castle plateau. The mighty ramparts that encircle the core castle in the shape of a horseshoe are reminiscent of early medieval fortification concepts. In the southeast, the edge wall ends in a kind of gate situation. Today the asphalt path to Grünenbaindt runs here, which leads on the southern flank of the Burgstall to a water reservoir west of the outer bailey.

The moat of the outer bailey is only up to four meters deep and presented to the outer works at an angle to the south and west, but does not merge into the main ditch. In the north, the trench excavation, like that of the main trench, was heaped up to form tongue-shaped trench heads. These terraced porches were certainly secured by palisades or fences. A ridge of earth should mark the location of a bridge pillar.

On the western edge of the bailey plateau, a mighty, shield-wall-like embankment may indicate the location of a building. It is possible that the 40 meter long rampart can also be interpreted as part of an early medieval predecessor castle.

In the east of the main castle cone the circular eruption of the keep can still be seen. The tower was probably built from Nagelfluh ashlars . This conglomerate rock is in the vicinity close to the surface. The large main tower of the neighboring Wolfstein Castle is also made of this building material. In the area of ​​the Gabelbacher Höhenburg, on the other hand, there are surprisingly few remains of bricks and no wall remains. The material has apparently been almost completely recycled.

The high medieval castle complex could have been built into an older, perhaps Hungarian, village defense castle in the vicinity of the huge Hungarian defense castle on the Buschelberg near Fischach . The village of Gabelbach was probably laid out in the 8th or 9th century. The ministerial families of the High Middle Ages usually only moved from the villages to their new hilltop castles in the 13th century. The castle stable above the railway line shows typologically but early medieval features such as the mighty ramparts, the trench heads on the north slope and the front wall of the outer bailey. However, clear statements on this are reserved for a professional archaeological examination of the castle area.

The Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation lists the ground monument as a medieval castle stable under monument number D 7-7629-0008.


Topographical survey

see: Gutmann, Ruckdeschel, Schneider (et al.): Archaeological walks around Augsburg , pp. 90 and 92


  • Horst Gutmann, Wilhelm Ruckdeschel, Otto Schneider (among others): Archaeological walks around Augsburg . (Guide to archaeological monuments in Swabia, 1). Stuttgart 1977. ISBN 3-8062-0185-4 .
  • F. Hauf: The Knights of Gabelbach . In: 1973 annual report of the Heimatverein for the Augsburg district, p. 97 ff.
  • Wilhelm Neu, Frank Otten: District of Augsburg (Bavarian art monuments XXX, short inventory). Munich, 1970.

Individual evidence

  1. Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation: Entry ( Memento from August 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation: Entry ( Memento from August 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )

Coordinates: 48 ° 22 ′ 41.6 ″  N , 10 ° 33 ′ 33 ″  E