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Example of a Hofmark Castle Fußberg : Hofmark Castle with farm buildings, church and courtyard wall.
Engraving by Michael Wening around 1700

Hofmark is a term from medieval and early modern law in the Duchy of Bavaria , the Habsburg Monarchy and the Archbishopric of Salzburg .

It can be traced back to the middle of the 12th century and describes the demarcated district of a manor that had the right to lower jurisdiction below the maleficent trade . The legal basis for this was the Ottonische Handfeste of June 5, 1311, in which the Lower Bavarian estates gave the Duke Otto III. granted a one-time tax, but received inferior justice for their possessions.

A distinction is made between closed and open courtyard stamps. In the closed court brands , the subjects of foreign court lords residing in the Hofmark were also subordinate to the court lord. In the open court stamps, on the other hand, the owner's domain only extended to his own buildings and the subjects who built on property belonging to him. The next higher administrative unit was the regional court in Bavaria as well as in Austria and Salzburg .

Court marks could be owned by both ecclesiastical and noble lords. Their significance lies in the fact that justice could be pronounced and compulsory labor demanded independently of the sovereign . In 1818 patrimonial courts emerged from the closed court brands . The last privileges of the Hofmark owners were abolished with the revolution of 1848 in Bavaria as well as in Austria .

The former manor of the landlord in a Hofmark is called Hofmarkschloss in the Bavarian language area .


  • Heinrich Wirschinger: Presentation of the development, training and the current legal status of the patrimonial jurisdiction in Bavaria. from the royal. Prize book awarded to the law faculty of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. Weber 1837.
  • Gisela Drossbach, Andreas Otto Weber, Wolfgang Wüst (eds.): Seats of the nobility - rule of the nobility - representation of nobility in Bavaria, Franconia and Swabia . Results of an international conference in Sinning Castle and Residence Neuburg ad Donau, 8. – 10. September 2011 (= Neuburger Kollektaneenblatt 160/2012). Neuburg ad Donau 2012, ISBN 978-3-89639-897-0 .