Freiensteinau Castle

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Freiensteinau Castle (under renovation)
View through the arch of the castle
Entrance portal with the coat of arms of the Riedesel zu Eisenbach, increased by the marshal's baton and in the heart shield depicting the towers of the heirs of the lords of Eisenbach

The Freiensteinau Castle (on the former Riedeselschen Amtshof or Riedeselschen Hofgut Freiensteinau ) is an early modern country castle with an area of about 21 × 10 m on the southern outskirts of Freiensteinau in the Hessian Vogelsberg district . Today's building ensemble , which is entered through an archway in the boundary wall on the street “Am Kirchberg”, includes a farmhouse (administrator's apartment ), stables, barns, a gardener's house and a small castle cemetery as well as a total park area of ​​around 15,000 m² .


In 1338 Werner von Blankenwald u. a. the goods at Freiensteinau to the brothers Johann and Heinrich von Eisenbach. After the lords of Eisenbach died out in 1429, Hermann von Riedesel (* around 1407 (?), † July 31, 1463) also inherited their Freiensteinau goods (documented in 1441 at the latest), and in 1457 at the latest they also owned the court and estate at Freiensteinau. In the same year, the pledge was reinstated by the Fulda prince abbot Reinhard von Weilnau with the obligation that the Fulda monastery and Hermann von Riedesel wanted to jointly own Freiensteinau for ten years. In 1482 the Riedesel transferred their share of the Freiensteinau court to Fulda for 1200 guilders. In 1543 the court in Freiensteinau was awarded to Hereditary Marshal Johann II and the children of the late brother Herrmann IV in a mutation under the Riedesel family clan. The Riedesel must have redeemed the court from Fulda. The Riedesel became Protestant with the Reformation and came around 1574 in open opposition to the Catholic Fulda. In 1606 in the ruling of the Reich Chamber of Commerce in Speyer, the Riedesel were granted almost all rights to Freiensteinau, but it was not until 1684 that a final agreement was reached with Fulda that now renounced all rights to Freiensteinau.

Logically, in 1688, the Riedesel zu Eisenbach, raised to barons in 1680 , had a single-storey manor house with mighty outer walls made of basalt stones built on a vaulted cellar on the grounds of the estate, about 75 meters north and below the church . In the foundation, the outer walls are about three meters thick, which indicates a fortified predecessor castle, but of which there does not seem to be any documentary mention.

For most of its history, the property served as the seat of the Riedesel bailiff or mayor for the Freiensteinau court, and from 1713 of the Samtschultheissen for the two Freiensteinau and Moos courts .

At the beginning of the 19th century, the mansion was raised by a second floor and a steep pitched roof . The outer walls were again made of basalt, tapering to about 80 centimeters up to the roof. The interior received a spiral staircase made of sandstone to the upper floor, and the interior walls and storey ceilings were built in half-timbered construction from oak beams . In the 1920s, there was a further expansion into a small country castle, with the attic also being expanded and three gable dormers each on the east and west sides. The building, which had become the residence of a branch of the Riedesel, now had 16 rooms with around 600 m² of living space.

Today's condition and usage

In 1975, after the death of the last owner from the Riedesel family, the entire property was sold and divided. The larger area and the buildings of the former Hofreite on the north side of the property, which were used for the management and administration of the property, the administrator's apartment, the barns and stables belong to the municipality of Freiensteinau. These buildings have been restored in recent years. The local NABU has housed an exhibition in part of a restored barn building, the arched house, and a tour is possible there by arrangement. Other parts of the building are used for annual markets. Some of the barns are used to accommodate agricultural equipment, while the former sheepfold cannot be used again. Every second weekend in Advent there is a Christmas market on the grounds of the castle.

The actual castle, part of the farm buildings, open spaces and the private burial site were acquired by the von Westernhagen family, who have had the farmhouse, stables and gardener's house restored since then . The renovation of the castle is still in progress. The outer walls were stripped of plaster and the vaulted cellar was exposed. In January 2007, Hurricane Kyrill caused severe damage to the roof, which necessitated a complete roof renovation. The red plain tiles contrast appealingly with the almost black slate cladding on the gable ends and the dormer facade.

The representative front facing west is symmetrical , with five window axes. The three dormers rise above the three central axes. The portal with a two-sided flight of stairs is located in the central axis of the basement . The lattice windows and the portal are framed with red sandstone. The coat of arms of the Riedesel zu Eisenbach is located above the entrance . Another coat of arms of the family is located above the archway on the courtyard wall. The trunk and full coat of arms of the Riedesel, drawn by different colored slates with a diameter of about two meters, is attached to a slated gable side of the castle . At the corners of the building there are envious heads at eaves level to keep evil spirits away.


  • (Ed.) Eberhard Michael: In the footsteps of the Brothers Grimm from Hanau to Bremen: fairy tales, sagas, stories , (travel guide) Regensburg 1978, ISBN 3-7917-0536-9 . P. 26
  • Georg Dehio: Handbook of German Art Monuments , Hesse Volume I, Deutscher Kunstverlag, edition from 1949, ISBN 978-3-4220-3092-3 . P. 248

Web links

Commons : Schloss Freiensteinau  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. cf. in addition, under the Hessian Hereditary Marshal's Office, the Riedesel
  2. cf. Documents from the Hessian State Archives Darmstadt (HStaD) to Freiensteinau or Riedeselsche Erburkunden.
  3. ^ Hessisches Staatsarchiv, documents of the Riedesel von Eisenbach, inventory B 13, call numbers: 18, 209, 251
  4. Georg Landau : The Hessian knight castles and their owners , Volume 4, Cassel 1839, therein: Die Riedesel zu Eisenbach , p. 17
  5. Georg Landau: The Hessian knight castles and their owners , Volume 4, Cassel 1839, therein: Die Riedesel zu Eisenbach , p. 29
  6. ^ Georg Landau: The Hessian knight castles and their owners , Volume 4, Cassel 1839, therein: Die Riedesel zu Eisenbach , p. 44
  7. Georg Landau: The Hessian knight castles and their owners , Volume 4, Cassel 1839, therein: Die Riedesel zu Eisenbach , p. 66
  8. Unfortunately there are no documents or plans for the property, not even in the archives of the Riedesel family in Lauerbach .
  9. Source: Freiensteinau land register sheet No. 158
  10. Kinzigtal Nachrichten: Amtshof: Roof renovation nearing completion  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Article of April 2, 2011) (accessed February 19, 2013)@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  

Coordinates: 50 ° 25 ′ 23.2 "  N , 9 ° 24 ′ 19.4"  E