Virneburg county

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Virneburg county
coat of arms
coat of arms
Grafschaft Virneburg visible on a map from 1696. ( A.-H. Jaillot)

Form of rule monarchy
Ruler / government Count

Capitals / residences Virneburg Castle
Dynasties Virneburg , Manderscheid , Löwenstein-Wertheim
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic
Language / n German

The county of Virneburg was a territory of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in the Eifel region in what is now Rhineland-Palatinate .


The history of the county is closely connected to that of the Rhineland Count Palatine , who held important rulership rights in the so-called Pellenz until the 13th century and gave the county of Virneburg as a fief. The Counts of Virneburg first appear as witnesses in documents in the 11th century. The center of the county and ancestral castle of the family was the Virneburg castle of the same name .

In 1288 Ruprecht II took part in the battle of Worringen as the tactical commander in chief of the Brabantians .

In 1306 Count Ruprecht bought half of the County of Wied from Siegfried von Eppstein, who had inherited it. The share fell to Wilhelm I von Wied in the 14th century . With Heinrich II. Of Cologne and Heinrich III. of Mainz , the Virneburgers provided two archbishops in the 14th century.

At first there was a feudal community between the Counts of Virneburg and the Counts of Sponheim-Sayn . Gottfried II. Von Sayn († 1327) and Johann III. von Sayn († 1359) were enfeoffed by King Ludwig the Bavarian in his capacity as Count Palatine of the Rhine with Virneburg. Later the Counts of Virneburg were the sole fiefs of the Count Palatine. The further history of the county is shaped by the struggle between the archbishops of Cologne and Trier with the count palatine and the Virneburgers for supremacy in this area.

In the 14th century, many rulership rights were lost to Archbishop Baldwin of Luxembourg in Trier . He took advantage of the Virneburg's financial difficulties. In 1419 Philipp von Virneburg married Katharina von Saffenburg , with which parts of the county of Neuenahr and the rule of Saffenburg came to the counts of Virneburg.

In 1445 the paternal inheritance was divided between the Ruprecht VI brothers. and Wilhelm von Virneburg, with whom the county of Virneburg fell to Ruprecht. In 1543/45 Count Palatine Friedrich II released the Virneburgers from their feudal duties because of the Pellenz and referred them to the Archbishopric of Trier. In 1545 the Counts of Virneburg died out with the death of Kuno von Virneburg. The actual heirs were the Counts of Manderscheid . However, a large part of the property was lost. In 1554, Count Dietrich V. von Manderscheid-Schleiden (1508–1560) gave Monreal and the large and small Pellenz to Trier and took the rest of the area as a Trier fiefdom.

After the death of the last male agnate Dietrich VI. from Manderscheid-Schleiden-Kerpen (1538–1593) the Virneburg legacy fell to Löwenstein-Wertheim . On September 28, 1615, the six Manderscheid heirs in the city of Luxembourg signed a definitive inheritance agreement, in which the lot with the castle and county of Virneburg initially fell to Count Karl von Manderscheid-Gerolstein (1574–1649), the husband of Countess Anna Salome von Manderscheid-Schleiden-Virneburg (1578–1648), who exchanged the lot on the same day with his sister-in-law Countess Elisabeth Amalie von Löwenstein-Wertheim (1569–1621), born Countess of Manderscheid-Schleiden-Blankenheim, for the rule of Kronenburg .

Until the end of the 18th century, the county remained as a fiefdom of the Electorate of Trier in the possession of the Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Virneburg. Under French administration, the canton of Virneburg was formed from the county in 1798 , which was part of the Bonn arrondissement in the Rhin-et-Moselle department .

Location and territory

The possessions of the Counts of Virneburg consisted of an area around the castles Virneburg and Monreal as well as numerous other fiefs, such as the County of Falkenstein , south of Mainz . The Pellenz dishes were particularly important . They consisted of the "large Pellenz", an area around Mendig , and the "small Pellenz", an area around Münstermaifeld . The expanded Pellenz Courts included the Beltheim Court , the Bubenheim Court and the Lonnig Court .

At the end of the 18th century, Virneburg County included the spots Virneburg and the villages of Anschau , Arbach , Baar (Ober-, Mittel- and Niederbaar), Bereborn , Ditscheid , Freilingen (today part of Baar), Hirten , Kolverath , Lind , Lirstal , Luxem , Mannebach , Mimbach (today part of Anschau), Münk , Nachtsheim , Niederelz (today part of Weiler), Nitz , Oberelz , Retterath , Wanderath (today part of Baar), Weiler and Welcherath .


  • Wilhelm Iwanski: History of the counts of Virneburg. From its beginnings to Robert IV (1383). (diss. phil. Berlin). Görres, Koblenz 1912 ( )
  • Peter Brommer: Smaller territories, dominions and parts of foreign territories. Northern part. In: Franz-Josef Heyen (Ed.): History of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate Freiburg / Würzburg 1981, pp. 67–76, pp. 67–70.
  • European Family Tables Volume VII (1979) Plate 143 (Genealogy of the Counts of Virneburg).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. See Wilhelm Iwanski: History of the Counts of Virneburg. From its beginnings to Robert IV (1383). (diss. phil. Berlin). Görres, Koblenz 1912, esp.p. 19f ( digitized version of the State Library Center Rhineland-Palatinate Koblenz).
  2. Cf. Damian Ferdinand Haas: Detailed description of the ... the Engelbert man line of the Counts of Sayn-Wittgenstein ... is entitled to inheritance . Wetzlar 1797, p. 44 and supplement, p. 8; Regest of October 18, 1327, Pisa; Johann Friedrich Böhmer (arr.): Regesten Kaiser Ludwigs des Baiern and his time . (Regesta imperii 7). Siegmund Schmerber, Frankfurt am Main 1839, No. 948, p. 57.
  3. ^ Document of October 3, 1445; Landeshauptarchiv Koblenz (holdings 25 Reichsgrafschaft Falkenstein am Donnersberg, document 6).
  4. Staatsarchiv Wertheim (F-Rep. 103 Grafschaft Virneburg - files and invoices, no. 160; F-US 6 Grafschaft Virneburg - documents, no. 703).