Schoenburg (Rhine)

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Castle hill and Kolping building

Castle hill and Kolping building

Creation time : around 1100 to 1149
Castle type : Hilltop castle
Place: Oberwesel
Geographical location 50 ° 6 '4.5 "  N , 7 ° 43' 56"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 6 '4.5 "  N , 7 ° 43' 56"  E
Schönburg (Rhineland-Palatinate)

Schönburg am Rhein Castle is a hilltop castle from the 12th century near Oberwesel in the Rhein-Hunsrück district in Rhineland-Palatinate .


The castle is located in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site . The Schönburger grape variety was named after her.

The serpentine ascent from Oberwesel from the west side of the Burgberg takes about 30 minutes and is very steep. A first lookout point, Elfenley, allows a view to the north down the Rhine to Oberwesel, south up the Rhine to Kaub and the Schönburg high on the slate rock. A second vantage point, Flaggenwiese, is located on a terrace just in front of the castle and offers a view of Oberwesel from a higher perspective.

It is also possible to arrive by vehicle from Oberwesel. Parking spaces are in front of the shield wall .


Flaggenwiese viewpoint: View of Oberwesel
Location of Schönburg above Oberwesel
Schoenburg (1907)

Construction of the castle began in the first half of the 12th century, whether by the Archbishop of Magdeburg or as an imperial castle is not certain. 1149 she appeared in the sources as a fief of the Hermann von Stahleck that his rivals for the Rhine Palatinate , Otto II. Of Rheineck had assassinated on this castle. In the 14th century the castle came to Kurtrier .

The Knights of Schonenberg as administrative officials ( Reichsministeriale ) got along well with all their changing liege lords (the Archbishop of Magdeburg, the Emperor and later the Archbishop of Trier). From the middle of the 13th century this family line had branched out into different lines, all of which lived in the castle at the same time, as ownership passed through inheritance over the generations . No later than the 14th century, the plant for was Ganerbenburg with three separate living areas and three Bergfrieden expanded - a division that is still visible even in today's complex, despite the major changes. A list of names from 1340 lists 95 co-owners of the castle. However, not all of them lived in the castle for a long time. The completion of the expansion was formed by the high coat , a shield wall from the first half of the 14th century, probably built under Baldwin von Trier .

Like most castles in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley , the Schönburg was destroyed by the French in 1689 during the Palatinate War of Succession . The last Schönburger died in 1719; the ruin fell back to Kurtrier. It was only the German-American TI Oakley Rhinelander who began to partially rebuild it after buying the castle in the years 1885 to 1901. Rhinelander came, as the name suggests, from the Rhineland , more precisely from a community that was on the same level as the town of Oberwesel . His ancestors were the end of the 18th century in the United States emigrated and had by real estate transactions on the east coast of the United States earned a fortune. Among other things, they owned the land today at the Wall Street in New York is.

Rhinelander died in 1947. In 1950 the town of Oberwesel bought the castle from the heir. 1951 to 1953 the northern part was expanded as a youth castle of the Kolping Society . The southern part has been used as a hotel since 1957; here the ruin was rebuilt in close coordination with the state monument protection.

Since April 2011, the 25-meter-high gate tower of the Schönburg has housed an informative museum on the subject of castles, monument protection and castles in war. On the top floor there is a steel viewing platform that offers wonderful views of the Rhine Valley.


Schönburg from the Rhine
The high coat
Hotel construction around the Barbarossaturm

The mighty shield wall (high cloak) with round arch frieze is unique in this form. The building is first mentioned in 1357. The wall breaks three times at an obtuse angle and thus covers most of the castle against the attack side. Along this wall you enter the inner courtyard of the castle complex. On the inside of the shield wall there are two blind arcade zones with loopholes.

From this courtyard leads on the one hand to the southern residential complex (southern Palas ), converted to a hotel in an architecturally heterogeneous ensemble. The building received new window openings in the Gothic style. The red plaster with the joint painting corresponds to historical findings. Integrated is a half-timbered building and one of the keep, called the Barbarossa Tower , as Friedrich Barbarossa visited the castle several times. The interiors, furnished with tapestries and other antiques, are only accessible to hotel guests. The castle restaurant is open to the public with an outdoor terrace in summer and a view of the Rhine upstream to Kaub and Gutenfels Castle .

On the other hand, the path leads past various half-timbered auxiliary buildings through a mighty, square, 25-meter-high gate tower to the second residential complex in the north with its own keep , which houses the Kolping House. The compact Palas - 2 wings that cannot be visited - is essentially the reconstruction work from 1953 with extensions in 1962 as well as conversions in the 1970s and 1980s. The castle chapel was restored in 1983 in the Gothic style.

The third keep has not been rebuilt.


The 72-hectare large site Schloss Schönburg belongs to the Middle Rhine . White grape varieties such as Riesling , Müller-Thurgau , Kerner and others are grown on the steep slope , as well as a small part of the Schönburger variety , which the castle has given its name. The winemakers produce wines of different quality levels.

See also


  • Bauverein Historische Stadt Oberwesel (Ed.): A journey through time through Oberwesel. Historical city guide , 2000
  • Fuhr, Michael: Who wants to be the keeper of the river? 40 castles and palaces on the Middle Rhine . 1st edition. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2002, ISBN 3-7954-1460-1

Web links

Commons : Schönburg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Schönburg (existing buildings, central courtyard) on the private website
  2. Heiko Laß: The Rhine - Castles and Palaces from Mainz to Cologne, Petersberg 2005, p. 70, Michael Imhof Verlag, ISBN 3-937251-64-2