The Fuchsturm (also Latin Vulpecula Turris ) is one of the Seven Wonders of Jena and is a 30 m high old keep on the Hausberg , which belonged to Kirchberg Castle (not to the Kirchberg Royal Palace, which was to the west of it).
The castle is the historic ancestral castle of the knightly von Jena family , first mentioned in 1145, which is still flourishing today . Your family crest shows a standing fox with a bunch of grapes in its mouth. Their ancestors were ministerials in the service of the Counts of Kirchberg. The castle fell in 1304 with the dynasty of the Counts of Kirchberg in an attack by the Erfurt , Nordhausen , Mühlhausen and Landgrave Albrechts alliance . The castle complexes were largely destroyed, only the keep remained.
Due to a fundamental repair in the 16th century, the substance of the tower was saved. In 1784 a footpath to the tower, a staircase and a roof were created to enable Johann Ernst Basilius Wiedeburg to make astronomical observations from the tower. The tower soon became a popular hiking destination. The tower room has been licensed to serve since the early 19th century . A miners' union was founded in 1842 and the Fuchsturm Society in 1861, which received the tower. In 1868 the Fuchsturmhaus was built next to the tower , which, expanded several times, still houses a restaurant today.
There are several legends about the fox tower . One of them says that a giant hit his mother. As a result, a mountain collapsed over him, burying him under itself. The giant was only able to stick his index finger out of his grave warningly. The fox tower is therefore the giant's index finger, which is why it used to be called "giant finger".
Legends also surround the origin of its current name. One thinks that a master thief was hung in a cage at the fox tower , others derive the name of young students who are also dubbed foxes . Still others think the name comes from the foxes that were resident in the area. The name can perhaps also be derived from the time when the tower was first renovated. In the 17th century, for example, a piece of gold was popularly referred to as a “fox” (as in 1669 in Grimmelshausen's Simplicissimus ), many of which were probably invested in renovation. It is no longer known today where the name really comes from.
- Ulrich Engelmann: The building history of the Fuchsturmhaus , part 8: From 1930 to 1945, in: Der Fuchs vom Turm, Volume 36 (2006), pp. 6–8; Part 9: From 1941 to 1963 in Volume 38 (2007), pp. 6-8.
- Rüdiger Haufe: Spiritual home care. The “Bund der Thüringer Berg-, Burg- und Waldgemeinden” in the past and present , in: Joachim Radkau , Frank Uekötter (ed.): Nature conservation and National Socialism (= history of nature and environmental protection, Volume 1), Frankfurt a. M. 2003, pp. 435-446.
- Friedrich Appenrodt: The local mountain with the fox tower in Jena , ed. vd working group “Fuchsturm” in the German Cultural Association, Jena 1959.
- Fuchsturm and Fuchsturm Society. Festschrift to celebrate d. 75th anniversary , ed. from the board of directors of the Fuchsturmgesellschaft, with a foreword by Julius Kober , Jena: Neuenhahn 1936.
- Fuchsturm Society Jena eV
- a legend about the tower in Ludwig Bechstein's German book of legends at zeno.org
- Guest book of the Fuchsturm Society Jena 1838–1932 available digitally on the ThULB website
- Fuchsturm on the jenaKultur website , accessed on March 27, 2016
- Ludwig Bechstein : German book of legends . 1853, Georg Olms Verlag, p. 505.