Osterstein Castle (Gera)

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Coordinates: 50 ° 52 '50.7 "  N , 12 ° 3' 46.9"  E

Remains of Osterstein Castle, 2008

Osterstein Castle on the Hainberg above the Untermhaus district of Gera was the residential castle of the Principality of Reuss younger line .

During the Second World War , the castle was destroyed in an air raid on April 6, 1945, and the ruins were blown up in 1962. Today only the former keep from the 12th century, the Wolfsbrücke leading to the castle from 1857 as well as the remains of farm buildings and the castle courtyard remain of the original structure .


Keep 2008

At the site of a Bronze Age rampart and a later Slavic castle on the Hainberg , which has only been documented since 1997 , the bailiffs of Weida were rebuilt in 12/13 A castle was built in the 19th century. The keep, one of the few remaining parts of the castle, dates from the middle of the 13th century. It is unclear whether the complex was the main residence and mansion of the line of the Bailiffs von Weida, who named themselves after Gera since the 1230s; Christine Müller contradicted the traditional view that the bailiffs and lords resided in the city castle in Gera's old town until the Saxon Brotherly War and that the Osterstein was only used as a neighboring residence. The bailiffs initially owned the castle as a fiefdom of the Quedlinburg monastery , but as a result of the events of the Vogtland War in 1358 had to give it to the Margrave of Meißen as an after fief. Since then, the Wettins had sovereignty over the castle and town of Gera.

In 1550 the line of the lords of Gera died out, the area fell to the related line of the Reuss from Plauen to Greiz . In the 16th and 17th centuries - beginning with Heinrich the Younger, the father of Heinrich Posthumus Reuss , in the 1560s - the castle was converted into a stately renaissance palace. In 1581 the name Osterstein was first mentioned by Petrus Albinus . Until it died out in 1802, the castle was the seat of the Reuss-Gera line .

Wedding at Osterstein Castle in 1917

Since 1863 Osterstein was the residence of the Principality of Reuss Younger Line. On March 1, 1908, the marriage between the Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand I and Eleonore Reuss zu Köstritz was concluded at the castle . It was a Protestant ceremony after the couple had been married two days earlier in Coburg . On April 24, 1917, the last princely wedding took place at Osterstein Castle , in which Feodora Reuss younger line married Duke Adolf Friedrich zu Mecklenburg .

As a result of the November Revolution, Heinrich XXVII signed. as the last ruling Prince Reuss on November 10, 1918, his abdication certificate at Osterstein Castle, which remained the property and residence of the royal family until 1945 after the end of the monarchies in the German Reich . In the final phase of the Second World War , the castle was destroyed in the heaviest bomb attack by the United States Army Air Forces on Gera on April 6, 1945 and burned down completely. The last owner since 1928 was Heinrich XLV. whose entire property was confiscated at the end of the war on the orders of the Soviet military administration and expropriated in 1948. He himself was abducted by the Soviet military in August 1945 and has been missing since then.

The terrace café 1964
Wolfsbrücke to the castle

The burned-out ruins of Osterstein Castle were largely left to decay, only the keep was restored and received its current conical tower dome. As part of a NAW project, the dilapidated ruins were blown up on December 9, 1962. On the plateau of the former main castle, an excursion restaurant, the terrace café Osterstein, which also includes a small open-air stage and a children's playground, was built. Together with the 21-meter-high keep, which is now used as an observation tower , the café is now a popular destination.

Individual evidence

  1. Christine Müller: "Gera hus und stat" - Where was the castle of the bailiffs of Gera? In: 775 years city of Gera. Contributions to medieval and modern history (=  Gera books on history, archeology and folklore . Volume 5 ). Gera 2017, p. 56-84 .
  2. ^ Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, Tsar of Bulgaria on thepeerage.com , accessed September 10, 2016.
  3. Andreas Röpcke: Duke Adolf Friedrich and Princess Feodora: the last princely wedding at Osterstein Castle. In: "The oldest preserved with loyalty, the new in a friendly way": Festschrift for Volker Wahl for his 65th birthday. Rudolstadt: Thüringer Archivarverband 2008 ISBN 978-3-00-024781-1 , pp. 491–503
  4. Hans Riehl : The birthday. The end of Heinrich XXVII. and the two principalities of Reuss. In: When the German princes fell . Verlag Franz Schneekluth, Munich 1979 ISBN 978-3-7951-0588-4 , pp. 304-305

Web links

Commons : Schloss Osterstein  - Collection of images, videos and audio files