Stronghold (Emmendingen)

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Panorama of the stronghold

Panorama of the stronghold

Alternative name (s): Hachberg Castle
Creation time : before 1127
Castle type : Hill castle, fortress
Conservation status: ruin
Standing position : Count
Place: Emmendingen -Windenreute
Geographical location 48 ° 7 '0 "  N , 7 ° 54' 2"  E Coordinates: 48 ° 7 '0 "  N , 7 ° 54' 2"  E
Height: 343.6  m above sea level NHN
Stronghold (Baden-Wuerttemberg)

The stronghold , also called Hachberg Castle , is a hilltop castle 343.6  m above sea level. NHN on the district of Windenreute, a district of Emmendingen , near Sexau in the Emmendingen district in Baden-Württemberg . After the Heidelberg Castle , the stronghold is the second largest castle complex in Baden . The line of the Margraves of Hachberg takes its name from this castle.

The name

The origin of the name is not clearly proven. One hypothesis assumes that a follower of Charlemagne by the name of Hacho had received an estate from him in the area of ​​Hachberg Castle and that the castle was named after. This hypothesis is also supported by a plaque placed in the castle by Margrave Charles II . A document from 1161 calls it Castro Hahberc . The builder of the castle probably took the name of the castle for his family, just as the new side line of the House of Baden later bore the name "Hachberg" .

The transformation of the designation "Hachberg" into "Hochberg" can first be noted in French sources dealing with members of the Hachberg-Sausenberg line who were also Counts of Neuchâtel .

In 1787, the name "Hochberg" came back to life when Margrave Karl Friedrich von Baden married Luise Karoline Freiin Geyer von Geyersberg for the second time and made her Baroness von Hochberg .


General view of the stronghold

The Lords of Hachberg

The castle was probably founded in the 11th century by Dietrich von Emmendingen , who later called himself "von Hachberg" - probably as a clearing castle . The first documentary mention comes from the year 1127. From the circumstances it is deduced that Erkenbold von Hachberg was the last of his family to hand over his property to the Zähringer and financed his participation in the crusade (1147–1149).

The Margraves of Baden 1161–1212

A document about the negotiations for the establishment of the Tennenbach monastery from 1161 indicates that Herrmann IV. Von Baden was master of Hachberg Castle at that time.

The margraves of Baden-Hachberg 1212–1415

When the sons of Herrmann IV, Herrmann V and Heinrich I divided the margraviate around 1212, Hachberg Castle became the center of power of the margraviate Baden-Hachberg and the ruling branch of the House of Baden.

The Margraves of Baden 1415–1535

In 1415, Margrave Bernhard I from the Baden main line acquired the castle and rule from the indebted Margrave Otto II of Baden-Hachberg .

In 1424 the castle survived the war of the Upper Rhine City Association against Bernhard I. It also withstood the Peasants' War in 1525.

The Margraves of Baden-Durlach 1535–1771

From 1553 the castle was greatly expanded under Charles II . "The medieval aristocratic castle was rebuilt into a Renaissance palace and fortress ..."

Stronghold (1609)

Margrave Georg Friedrich added seven bastions to the castle . The names of some of these bastions refer to the sister castles of the stronghold in the Baden Oberland , which also belonged to the Baden-Durlach margraves (Bastion Rötteln , Bastion Sausenberg , Bastion Badenweiler ).

In the Thirty Years' War , the castle was from 1634 to 1636 siege and to surrender the defender dragged . The reconstruction took place from 1660 by Margrave Friedrich VI.

However, the fortifications of the castle were voluntarily destroyed as early as 1681 after France had extended its rule to Freiburg im Breisgau after the Peace of Nijmegen and the castle was therefore a thorn in the side of its new powerful neighbor. On October 13, 1684, a fire caused by the servants negligently destroyed the former fortress. On October 12, 1688, French troops from Freiburg occupied the remnants of the fortress at the beginning of the War of the Palatinate Succession and on February 17, 1689 blew up the corner towers and part of the walls. After that, the still habitable buildings and the cellar vaults were blown up. According to the French view, the bastions could previously be restored within six weeks. A restoration was to be finally prevented with the demolition.

Preservation of the ruin

Aerial view of the stronghold (July 2016)

At the end of the 19th century, the first structural security and maintenance measures were taken, which have been continued to the present day. The two world wars interrupted work on the ruins.

Since 1971, the castle complex has been cared for by the Association for the Preservation of the Castle Ruins based in Emmendingen and its helpers on a voluntary basis. Since 2007 the association has also leased the castle ruins.

Todays use

The stronghold is open for sightseeing. It is one of the state's own monuments and is looked after by the State Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Württemberg . A small castle museum has been set up in the basement of the upper castle since 1991.

The stronghold in art and literature

Engraving of the ruin Hochburg by Johannes Esaias Nilson

Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz stayed in Emmendingen several times from 1775 to 1779 - where he was introduced by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to his brother-in-law Johann Georg Schlosser - and was inspired by the ruins of the stronghold to write a treatise on Shakespeare's dramas. There is a copper engraving by Johannes Esaias Nilson with the ruins of the stronghold around 1770. There is also a drawing by Goethe with motifs from the stronghold.

There are several legends about the stronghold, each of which speaks of a hidden treasure:

  • In the moonlight, a white maiden walks happily into the Brettental and weeps back to the castle. She always has a bunch of keys, which could give access to a treasure.
  • A shepherd boy finds a splendid hall in the castle ruins, in which twelve men entertain him like a king and finally give him gold pieces. When the boy and the villagers go back to the castle, nothing can be seen of the hall or the men. The twelve cursed are supposed to appear as saviors when Germany is in great need.
  • A young man gets lost in the idea of ​​looking for a pot of gold in the underground passages of the ruin and eventually dies, going mad.

In 2017 the stronghold also became the setting for a detective novel by Thomas Erle .


Web links

Commons : Hochburg (Emmendingen)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Hochburg  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  2. ^ Philippe Henry: Hochberg, Jeanne de. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  3. See Brinkmann 1, p. 9.
  4. See Brinkmann 2, pp. 6-7.
  5. Brinkmann 2, p. 13.
  6. See Brinkmann 2, p. 21.
  7. See Maurer, p. 86.
  8. See Baumann, p. 211.
  9. Opening times on the Castle Association's website
  10. See Lenz, pp. 192–199 ( digitized version of the Internet Archive )
  11. See Brinkmann 2, p. 25.
  12. See Ulf Diederichs, Christa Hinze (ed.): Alemannische Sagen, Berlin 1987, pp. 65–66.
  13. See August Schnezler: Badisches Sagenbuch, new edition Leipzig 1978, p. 334.