Markgrafenstein (Bad Liebenstein)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The castles Altenstein and Markgrafenstein around 1500

The castles Altenstein and Markgrafenstein around 1500

Alternative name (s): Neuenstein
Creation time : 1225
Castle type : Höhenburg, spur location
Conservation status: Small remains of walls and rock sections
Standing position : Landgraves
Place: Bad Liebenstein
Geographical location 50 ° 50 '4.5 "  N , 10 ° 21' 5.3"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 50 '4.5 "  N , 10 ° 21' 5.3"  E
Height: 450  m above sea level NN
Markgrafenstein (Thuringia)

Markgrafenstein Castle (also Neuenstein ) was a medieval spur castle at 450  m above sea level. NN near Schweina and Bad Liebenstein in the Thuringian Forest .


The name Altenstein refers to a high medieval castle, which was one of the first stone-built castle complexes in the central Werra Valley and was given to the original Franconian knight family von Stein (de Lapide) around 1120 by the Fulda monastery .

Opposite this Stein (Altenstein) castle, the Ludowingians built a castle on Bonifaciusfelsen in the 13th century, later named "Markgrafenstein" and simply "Neuenstein" as "the new one" to better distinguish it from the complex previously known as Stein Castle Stein “forced. The Landgraves of Thuringia from the House of Wettin were the most powerful noble family in West Thuringia at the time the castle was founded, they were also Margraves of Meissen .

The name Altenstein (de aniquo lapide) used for the first time in 1225 for the older castle complex and the associated burgraviate Altenstein , known to the population as the "Dornheckenamt", has remained in use to this day, while the counter-castle "Neuenstein" was rarely mentioned. Via the Lords of Frankenstein , Altenstein came into the possession of the Landgraves of Thuringia in 1346, who also owned Neuenstein Castle.

The historical representation in the Schweina church as a mural, probably painted according to an older description and a map, shows a covered bridge as a connection between the two castles. This only made sense if both castles were in common, i.e. after the Wettins took over Altenstein.

Destruction in the Markgräflerkrieg

During the Peasants' War, the "Markgrafenstein" was captured and destroyed by rebellious peasants, the Altenstein, however, remained untouched, the lords of Wenckheim had apparently sided with the peasants.

Archaeological research

Remnants of the wall on Bonifacius rock (1995)

Since the 1950s, site inspections and evaluations of the findings from the area around the Bonifacius rock as the assumed and plausible location of Markgrafenstein Castle have served as a prerequisite for designation as a ground monument .

In the years 2004–05 it was possible to dig north of the terrace, the finds found there show building remains and phases of use from the 13th to 15th centuries.


  • Thomas Bienert: Bad Liebenstein, Altenstein Castle In: Medieval Castles in Thuringia, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2000, ISBN 3-86134-631-1 , p. 315
  • Ludwig Hertel: Der Altenstein In: Lehfeldt, Paul / Voss, Georg (ed.): Architectural and art monuments of Thuringia, Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen, Booklet XXXV District Court District Salzungen Jena 1909. P. 31–40.
  • Georg Brückner : Regional Studies of the Duchy of Meiningen - Part Two - P. 3–68
  • Werner Eberhardt: The Hohe Strasse between Salzungen and Gotha (Schweinaer Strasse) . In: Museum of Prehistory and Early History of Thuringia (ed.): Prehistory and local research . Issue 24. Weimar 1987, p. 27-33 .
  • Walter Börner: Where did the old pass road near Bad Liebenstein run across the Thuringian Forest, where Luther's capture took place? In: Museum of Prehistory and Early History of Thuringia (ed.): Prehistory and local research . Issue 24. Weimar 1987, p. 34-44 .

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Köhler: Thuringian castles and fortified prehistoric and early historical living spaces . Jenzig-Verlag, Jena 2001, ISBN 3-910141-43-9 , Altenstein, Stein, p. 54-55 .
  2. Ines walking, Thomas Grasselt, Roland Geyer: Wartburgkreis, South . Ed .: Thuringian State Office for Archaeological Monument Preservation (=  Archaeological Hiking Guide Thuringia . No. 12 ). Beier & Beran, Weimar 2011, ISBN 978-3-941171-41-1 , pp. 60 f .