Mittelburg (Neckarsteinach)

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Mittelburg in Neckarsteinach
Creation time : around 1165
Castle type : Hilltop castle
Conservation status: Preserved essential parts
Standing position : Free nobles
Place: Neckarsteinach
Geographical location 49 ° 24 '34.2 "  N , 8 ° 49' 57.7"  E Coordinates: 49 ° 24 '34.2 "  N , 8 ° 49' 57.7"  E
Height: 160  m above sea level NN
Mittelburg (Hesse)

The Mittelburg is a well-preserved and inhabited medieval hilltop castle at 160  m above sea level. NN near Neckarsteinach in the Bergstrasse district in Hesse . It is the second oldest of the four castles Vorderburg , Mittelburg, Hinterburg and Schwalbennest .


Ownership history

Mittelburg around 1668/1670
Garden side of the central castle 1668/1679

The middle castle was probably built around 1165 by Conrad I von Steinach, the youngest son of Bliggers II von Steinach , and was half a fiefdom of the diocese of Worms and the other half an allod . After the death of Conrad's last descendant, Boppo von Steinach, the Worms half came to his one son-in-law, Luzzo von Helmstatt , in 1325 , the allodial part to the other son-in-law Conrad zu Erbach , who immediately sold his part to Archbishop Matthias von Mainz , who concluded a truce with Luzzo and installed Conrad von Helmstatt as bailiff in his half. The Worms half was pledged several times in quick succession, until finally in 1382 the son of Luzzo, Boppo von Helmstatt, came into their possession and thus owned the entire central castle. Boppo sold the Worms half in 1398 to Hans von Hirschhorn . After Boppo died around 1400 without a male heir, the Mainz part of the castle came to Reinhard von Neipperg , who in 1442 passed it on to the then owner of the rear castle , Weiprecht III. von Helmstatt , pledged. According to Weiprechts III. Death in 1478 led to a dispute between Weiprecht's nephew Martin, who owned the Mainz half, and Hans von Hirschhorn, who owned the Worms half, about the ownership of some of the castle's properties. In 1483 Otto von Hirschhorn and his nephew were enfeoffed with the Worms part. In 1497 the lord of the Vorderburg , Blicker XIV. Landschad von Steinach, appears as the owner of a quarter, his heirs sold the share to Heinrich VII. Von Handschuhsheim, who already owned the Hinterburg . After the von Handschuhsheim had to leave the Hinterburg after a lengthy process in the 1540s, they also sold their share in the Mittelburg to the brothers Hans, Hans Pleikard and Christof Landschad von Steinach in January 1550. In the 16th century the Landschad came back into possession of the entire central castle. In 1575 Christof I. Landschad von Steinach appears as the sole owner and from this the castle was passed on to his grandson Friedrich († 1653), the last Landschad.

Coat of arms of the Barons von Dorth (above) and the reduced coat of arms of those of Warsberg (below) at the gate entrance on the mountain side

After the Landschad died out, the Worms and Speyer retired the previous fiefdoms (Hinterburg, Vorderburg and half of the Mittelburg), managed it themselves for a short time and transferred it to Wolf-Heinrich von Metternich zu Burscheid as a fiefdom in 1657. In the same year Eva Elisabeth Landschad also acquired the Landschad allodial property and also the remaining half of the central castle from the barons of Venningen , so that from the last third of the 17th century the four castles were again united in one hand. After the Metternich line died out in 1753, the earlier fiefs and even the earlier allodial possessions were withdrawn from the Speyer and Worms monasteries. In 1803, the entire property came to the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt as part of the mediation process , which concluded a settlement with the heir of the allodial property, Baron von Dorth, and ceded the ruins of the rear castle to the latter in addition to the central castle used as the official residence. Von Dorth also bought the Vorderburg from a Dr. Plantain that bought it from the country. In 1910 the Lords of Dorth renounced the ruins of the rear castle, which then fell back to the country. When the last Freiherr von Dorth, Ludwig, died in 1925, the Mittel- and Vorderburg passed to the son of his adopted son Alexander, Boemund Freiherr von Warsberg -Dorth, whose descendants still own the castles to this day.

Building history

The first of a mighty castle keep and a small core Burg existing plant has been constantly expanded and later modeled after the Heidelberg Castle in a castle in the style of the Renaissance transformed with colonnade and arched hall. A large part of the old curtain wall and the drawbridge access on the east side also disappeared . Around 1820/30 it was rebuilt again, now in a neo-Gothic style. It is not clear whether and to what extent Georg Moller and / or Ignaz Opfermann were involved.

The castle is inhabited and cannot be visited.


in alphabetical order by authors / editors

  • Rolf Müller (Ed.): Palaces, castles, old walls. Published by the Hessendienst der Staatskanzlei, Wiesbaden 1990, ISBN 3-89214-017-0 , p. 263.
  • Rudolf Knappe: Medieval castles in Hessen. 800 castles, castle ruins and fortifications. 3. Edition. Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2000, ISBN 3-86134-228-6 , p. 568.
  • Walter Möller u. Karl Krauss: Neckarsteinach, its lords, the city and the castles . Mainz 1928
  • Silvia Speckert: Ignaz Opfermann (1799–1866): Selected examples of his construction work in the vicinity of the city of Mainz = housework to obtain the academic degree of a Magister [!] Artium. Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz 1989. Typed. Volume 1: Text, Volume 2: Tables. Mainz City Archives: 1991/25 No. 11.
  • Thomas Steinmetz: Castles in the Odenwald . Verlag Ellen Schmid, Brensbach 1998, ISBN 3-931529-02-9 , pp. 85-88.

Web links

Commons : Mittelburg  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. Speckert, p. 36, names the years 1935/36.
  2. ^ So Friedrich Schneider: Sacrifice man, Ignaz, Baurath (keyword). In: Representation of the city of Mainz and its monuments. Exhibition 1879 . Mainz 1879, pp. 113-115 (115).
  3. Speckert, p. 36.