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Drawing attempt to reconstruct the Aachen Royal Palace

A Palatinate was understood to mean (residential) bases for the traveling king that were created in the early and high Middle Ages (more rarely for a bishop as territorial lord who was obliged to host the king ).


The existing since the Middle Ages word palatine comes over medium high German pfalenze , "royal house", from Old High German pfalanza from national Latin palantia of medieval Latin palatia ( plural the entire buildings, spanning) of Latin palatium (medieval Latin for " palace ").

The Latin term palatium (as House of Augustus on the Roman hills Palatin ) came in later imperial period for aula regia based on the Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome on throughout much of the Roman Empire of Augustus resided ( Domus Augustana ).


Reconstructed main building of the Palatinate of King Heinrich II , today a museum in the Kaiserpfalz

The medieval king of the Holy Roman Empire did not rule from a capital city, but had to be "on site" as much as possible and maintain personal contact with his vassals ( travel royalty ). Since Palaces were built and used by the King in his capacity as ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, their historically correct name is the Royal Palatinate . The name Kaiserpfalz is a name from the 19th century that overlooks the fact that the king only carried the title of Roman Emperor after a coronation (by the Pope) . In contrast to a Palatinate, where the traveling king exercised his lordly duties, a royal court is merely an economic property owned by the king, which only occasionally serves as a place of residence for the king in transit. The head of a royal court was judge, administrator and military leader in the area assigned to him.

Falzes consisted primarily of large manors, which provided food and accommodation for the king and his numerous entourage, which often comprised hundreds of people, as well as for numerous guests and their horses. In Latin these royal courts were called villa regia or curtis regia . They were either near bishops , large monasteries, remaining urban remnants, or on open land in the midst of royal estates. Pfalzen mostly emerged at a distance of 30 kilometers, which at that time corresponded to a day trip on horseback.

A palace consisted at least of the palace , a palace chapel and an estate . The kings and emperors carried out official acts there, held their court days and celebrated high church festivals there. Many Falzes also made it possible to hunt due to their proximity to imperial forests , which, as royal property, were forests .

The palaces that the rulers visited changed depending on their orientation. Particularly important were the palaces in which the kings spent the winter (winter palaces) and the feast day palaces, with Easter being the most important festival (Easter palatinate).

Larger Pfalzen were often in cities that had special rights (e.g. imperial freedom), but could also be bishoprics or imperial monasteries .

In the Staufer epoch of the Roman-German kingdom, important imperial princes began to demonstrate their claims to power by building their own palaces. Important examples are the Dankwarderode Castle of Heinrich the Lion in Braunschweig and the Wartburg above Eisenach . Both buildings follow the basic structure of the Hohenstaufen Falzes and also have their dimensions.


According to Caspar Ehlers , the planning of the itinerary changed over the course of the Middle Ages: “Apart from the fact that there were heartlands of royal rule that could shift from dynasty to dynasty, sometimes even from one ruler to the next, the scenes of the great ones also changed Meetings and church celebrations. While the late Carolingians up to Konrad I mostly traveled in the west, Saxony received the status of a core landscape under the Ottonians - which was due to their origin from this region. The Salians , on the other hand, tried to integrate the Saxon region into their travel kingdom in addition to their Rhineland-Franconian ancestral lands (the area around Speyer and Worms ), which was under Henry III. its most famous climax in Goslar and its spectacular end under Heinrich IV with the Saxon uprisings in the last third of the 11th century. The Hohenstaufen finally managed to include the north as well, but the conflicts between Barbarossa and Heinrich the Lion are an indicator of continuing problems within the empire. Henry VI. and Frederick II, finally, could only be found sporadically north of their Swabian homeland; a political shift towards the south as far as Italy had decisively shaped its itinerary. During the Hohenstaufen era there was also a development towards domestic power politics , which under Rudolf von Habsburg , with whose election the Interregnum ended in 1272 , became a decisive factor in royal politics. "

List of German royal palaces

List of German royal palaces in today's Switzerland

List of Franconian royal palaces in what is now France

List of Franconian royal palaces in today's Netherlands

List of Franconian royal palaces in today's Belgium

List of neustrian royal palaces

See also


in order of appearance

Introductions, research history

  • Adolf Eggers: The royal property in the 10th and early 11th centuries. H. Böhlaus successor, Weimar 1909.
  • Gottfried Schlag: The German Imperial Palaces , Frankfurt / Main, 1940
  • Walter Hotz : Palaces and castles of the Staufer period. History and shape . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1981, ISBN 3-534-08663-5 .
  • Gerhard Streich: Castle and Church during the German Middle Ages. Studies on the sacred topography of palaces, castles and mansions , 2 vols. Published by the Constance working group for medieval history. Thorbecke-Verlag, Sigmaringen 1984, ISBN 3-7995-6689-9 .
  • Günther Binding : German royal palaces. From Charlemagne to Frederick II (765–1240) . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 3-534-12548-7 .
  • Alexander Thon: "... ut nostrum regale palatium infra civitatem vel in burgo eorum non hedificent". Studies on the relevance and validity of the term “Palatinate” for the exploration of castles of the 12th and 13th centuries . In: Castle building in the 13th century. Published by the Wartburg Society for Research into Castles and Palaces in conjunction with the Germanic National Museum. (= Research on castles and palaces, Volume 7). Deutscher Kunstverlag , Munich 2002, ISBN 3-422-06361-7 , pp. 45–72.

The series of German royal palaces

Individual regions and individual Falzes

  • Paul Grimm : Status and tasks of archaeological research on the Palatinate in the districts of Halle and Magdeburg. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1961.
  • Alexander Thon: Barbarossaburg, Kaiserpfalz, Königspfalz or Casimirschloss? Studies on the relevance and validity of the term "Pfalz" in the High Middle Ages using the example of (Kaisers-) Lautern . In: Kaiserslauter Yearbook for Palatinate History and Folklore , ISSN  1619-7283 , Vol. 1 (2001), pp. 109–144.
  • Monika Krücken (Ed.): Obviously hidden. The Aachen Palatinate in the focus of research . Geymüller Verlag | Architecture, Aachen 2016, ISBN 978-3-943164-16-9 .
  • Walter Hotz : Imperial Palaces and Knight Castles in Franconia and Thuringia, Berlin, 1940

Manual article

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Entry Pfalz in Duden online .
  2. ^ Friedrich Kluge , Alfred Götze : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 20th ed., Ed. by Walther Mitzka , De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1967; Reprint (“21st unchanged edition”) ibid 1975, ISBN 3-11-005709-3 , p. 541 ( Pfalz ) and 528 ( Palast ).
  3. ^ Michael Gockel: Carolingian royal courts on the Middle Rhine. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht publishing house, Göttingen 1970.
  4. ^ Max Döllner : History of the development of the city of Neustadt an der Aisch until 1933. Ph. CW Schmidt, Neustadt ad Aisch 1950. (New edition 1978 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Ph. CW Schmidt Neustadt an der Aisch publishing house 1828-1978. ) P. 292 f .
  5. The Aachen Royal Palace was located near the Eifel and Ardennes , the Imperial Palace Goslar on the Harz , the Palatinate Nijmegen on the Klever Reichswald , the Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth on the Kalkumer Reichswald, the Kaiserpfalz Kaiserslautern on the Palatinate Reichswald , the Kaiserpfalz Hagenau on the Hagenauer Reichswald , the Kaiserburg Nuremberg near the Nuremberg Reichswald , the Kaiserpfalz Gelnhausen am Büdinger Reichswald , the Königspfalz Frankfurt not far from the Wildbanns Dreieich , the Palatinate Seligenstadt opposite the Bannforst Spessart .
  6. Caspar Ehlers  : The repertory of the German royal palaces , in: Burgen und Schlösser 4/2017, p. 250f.
  7. ^ The story of Kraisdorf
  8. Hansmartin Schwarzmaier : The Reginswindis tradition of Lauffen. Royal politics and aristocratic rule on the central Neckar . In: Journal for the History of the Upper Rhine / NF Volume 131 , 1983, ISSN  0044-2607 ( PDF; 2.6 MB [accessed February 21, 2014]).
  9. Journal of the Harz Association for History and Antiquity
  10. Stallbaum district
  11. Augustin Thierry The kings and queens of the Merovingian Until his death in 561 Braine was the favorite royal palace of Clotaire I. .