Burg Wildenstein - Leibertingen, BW, D
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member André de Montbard
N 48° 03.327 E 009° 00.053
32U E 500065 N 5322463
Quick Description: Wildenstein Castle is located above the Danube breakthrough through the Swabian Jura in the area of the community of Leibertingen (district of Sigmaringen).
Location: Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Date Posted: 6/16/2022 10:15:52 AM
Waymark Code: WM16APZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member tiki-4
Views: 2

Long Description:
The state of construction of the spur castle is still the same today, especially in the outdoor area, almost unchanged as it was in 1554, after the completion of the conversion to an early modern fortress initiated by Gottfried Werner von Zimmer in 1514. Both the main castle and the outer castle stand on artificially sloping rocks and are only accessible via bridges. The 20 meter long and originally also 20 meter deep moat, which extends across the entire width of the castle, has already impressed visitors to the castle in the past, as the famous engraving by Matthäus Merian shows. Inside, the castle has large Renaissance wall paintings with flower tendrils and bird motifs dating from 1538 to 1540. A cycle of images reflects the entire Sigenot saga.

The castle now serves as a youth hostel. The Baden-Württemberg Monument Foundation named the castle Monument of the Month for April 2016.

The Spurburg, which is one of the best-preserved and best-known castles in Germany, stands a few kilometers downstream from Beuron on a steep cliff at 810 m above sea level. NHN visible from afar a good 200 meters above the Danube.

The documentary mention of the castle in 1077 as the boundary of the possessions of the Beuron monastery is based on a forgery by the monastery chronicler. The evaluation of ceramic finds showed that Wildenstein Castle was not built until the 13th century. It succeeded the smaller former rock castles of Altwildenstein, Unterwildenstein, Wildenstein Castle Hexenturm and Wildenstein Castle Hahnenkamm in the vicinity.

In connection with a siege by the Werdenbergs, there is a report of an "Affenstets Tower", which must have been near the castle. It is unclear whether this is an old name for one of the castles mentioned above.

The current condition of the castle, hardly changed since the renovation by Gottfried Werner von Zimmer, as well as the rich information about history and everyday life, which the Zimmer chronicle provides on more than 1500 pages, lead to the current perception of the castle as the castle of the Lords of Zimmer. The historical presentation of the work of this family, originally from the upper Neckar valley, in the context of the castle's history is correspondingly broad. But the prehistory of the castle and the subsequent period in the possession of the House of Fürstenberg should also be honored here.

The castle at the current location was built in the 13th century as a successor castle to a chain of castles built by the Lords of Wildenstein, which consisted of four castles (all between 1100 and 1200). The construction was probably related to the transfer of ownership to Anselm von Justingen after 1263. He was the son or possibly grandson of Anselm von Justingen, who accompanied Friedrich II from Italy to Germany after his election as king. After Anselm had fallen out with the king and had supported the latter in the dispute between Frederick II and his son Henry VII, he fell out of favor, his ancestral castle Justingen was razed and the family lost importance. The lords of Justingen-Wildenstein were last mentioned in 1317.

In 1319 the castle came to Rudolf von Ramsberg. But even this sex was not granted a long lifespan. Around 1390, Burkhard von Lichtenstein and Wilhelm Schenck von Stauffenberg became co-owners of the castle. The latter, however, had to hand over the castle as ransom to the later King Ruprecht of the Palatinate in 1395 after a lost military conflict.

In 1397/98, King Ruprecht I gave John the Elder von Zimmer, called the Lapp, half of the castle as a fief and the other half for administration. In 1415 he received the entire castle from Count Palatine Ludwig im Bart "by special grace". In 1462 the entire castle was handed over to Johann Werner the Elder von Zimmer "for free and undisturbed enjoyment for himself and his heirs".

From 1441, the castle was expanded from the rooms under Werner the Younger (circa 1423-1483). According to the Zimmer chronicle, he spent 20,000 guilders on the expansion. In order to secure the annual maintenance of 120 guilders, he bought a gulden in the city of Überlingen for 3000 guilders.The construction of the cistern in the courtyard also dates back to Werner the Younger's time. This could not be sealed at first because the water kept finding cracks and fissures in the karst subsoil. The Zimmerische Chronicle reports that Werner solved the problem by asking a magic crystal for advice and telling the foremen the solution he found.

n the course of the Werdenberg feud, during which Johannes Werner the Elder von Zimmer was banned from the Reich in 1488, he secretly left Zimmer's documents, the silverware, the best household effects and other valuable movable property in barrels and chests at night stow away and drive from his residence in Meßkirch to the Wildenstein. When the Werdenbergs took over more and more parts of the carpentry property and an attempt by Werdenberg to take the castle through treason failed, the castle was sold in good time in 1491 for 4,000 guilders to Count Andreas von Sonnenberg, with a right of return binding on the heirs as well. Only the brother Gottfried (1425-1508) with the properties in front of the forest and Herrenzimmern Castle was not affected by these developments.

The imperial ban against Johannes Werner the Elder was lifted. He died in 1495. However, most of the carpentry property was still in the hands of the Werdenberg family. In 1497 Gottfried von Zimmer is said to have bought back the castle from Andreas von Sonnenberg at the request of his nephew Veit Werner von Zimmer, who after the death of his father pushed for the recovery of the family property. The latter had retained the Gült mentioned above until the proceeds from it had covered his accrued costs. Around this time the castle must have been bequeathed by Gottfried to his nephews before the Court of Justice in Rottweil.

With the support of Andreas von Sonnenberg, the brothers Albrecht and Eberhart von Klingenberg as well as many other southern German nobles and with the Wildenstein Castle as a base, Johannes Werner the Younger - his older brother Veit Werner had died in 1499 - succeeded in measuring Kirch and the dominion of rooms in 1503 reconquered by the Werdenbergers.

The return of the castle to carpentry was still associated with a few legalistic stumbling blocks. When Johannes Werner the Elder's inheritance was divided after regaining power and after the death of his uncle Gottfried, Wildenstein Castle initially fell under the inheritance contract of 1508 into the joint ownership of the brothers Johannes Werner and Gottfried Werner von Zimmer. Then the Klingenberg brothers laid claim to the castle, since their mother and Gottfried's mother were sisters and they were therefore one degree closer to the inheritance than the carpenter brothers. After arbitration proceedings led by Count Heinrich von Lupfen, captain of the company from Sankt Jörgenschild and Jos von Reischach zu Ach, the Klingenberg brothers refrained from their inheritance claims and were compensated with 200 guilders and a horse for their support in recapturing the Zimmer property.

On May 12, 1511, Felix von Werdenberg murdered the aforementioned Andreas von Sonnenberg. The motive for the murder was that Andreas von Sonnenberg had insulted Felix von Werdenberg at the wedding of Duke Ulrich von Württemberg because of his small stature. Wildenstein Castle came into play when Johannes Werner von Zimmer gave shelter to the member of the von Werdenberg family, who had just been enemies, and who had traveled from his estates in Brabant especially for this murder. So he didn't have to stay in Sigmaringen Castle, his family's ancestral castle. From Wildenstein he was able to secretly spy out the movements of Andreas von Sonnenberg, who had been one of the greatest supporters of Zimmer in recapturing their property, and set out from there on the morning of May 12 to carry out his deed. The chronicle does not offer a motive for this, from today's point of view, irrational change of attitude on the part of Johannes Werner.

Gottfried Werner von Zimmer, the younger brother of Johannes Werner, now took sole possession of the castle. The exchange of the Falkenstein dominions for Messkirch and the coup de main by Gottfried Werner, who took sole possession of the castle, can be explained by the uncertain position that Johannes Werner, as a helper and possible accomplice of the crime, took in the subsequent investigation into the murder. The chronicle explains the exchange with Gottfried's increase in rank after his favorable marriage to Apollonia von Henneberg in the same year. After the outer bailey burned down in 1512 and no agreement was reached between the brothers about its reconstruction, in 1513 Gottfried Werner ordered Karlin Pfeiler, the castle captain of Wildenstein, to only serve him. In 1514 the division of power among the brothers was sealed again. From this point onwards, Gottfried Werner, who developed a passion for castle building,[Note. 1] Wildenstein into a fortress, in line with the state of the art in the early modern period. Although Messkirch was the residence town, Gottfried Werner liked to stay in Wildenstein. He therefore had the living quarters extensively decorated with Renaissance ornaments containing ceilings and murals, but also with pictorial retellings of heroic stories that were popular at the time. On the open space in front of the castle, he planned to found a new town, for which he had already recruited the nobility, whom he wanted to include in their castle rights. He abandoned this plan when he was not granted legitimate sons.

The nephew and heir of Gottfried Werner, Count Froben Christoph von Zimmer (author of the Zimmerische Chronik, an outstanding source on the aristocratic and folk culture of life in the 16th century) also worked there in addition to his residence in Meßkirch.

Apart from minor skirmishes, the castle was never the scene of major military conflicts. In the course of the Werdenberg feud, the Werdenberg troops managed to break through the first gate through the betrayal of the gatekeeper. However, it was possible to throw them back, so that the castle, as mentioned, could be handed over to his friend Andreas von Sonnenberg with the right to buy it back. During plague epidemics, such as 1519, it served as an isolated shelter from which even food deliveries were only made to the castle gate in order to avoid personal contact. In the Peasants' War of 1525, as well as in the Schmalkaldic War, the Zimmer family sought refuge in Wildenstein together with their noble friends, the Counts of Helfenstein, the Stewardess of Waldburg, the Altshausen Commander-in-Chief, the Beuron Abbey and other nobles. The most threatening situation arose during the War of the Princes in 1552, when many aristocrats from the area sought protection at the castle and brought their movable assets to safety there. Well over 100,000 guilders are said to have been found on Wildenstein. The enemy were in Ulm and were about to make a move to the Hegau and Lake Constance. Count Friedrich von Castell planned to force Gottfried Werner to surrender with just a few men. Ablach and Göggingen had already been plundered and the castle crew prepared for the worst. She recognized the deficiencies in the defense preparations and in particular found that the morale of the teams was very low as they worried about their families left behind. Gottfried Werner also wanted to bring his blind daughter Barbara, who was a nun in the Inzigkofen monastery, to safety in the castle, but she wanted to remain in the monastery, true to her vows. The enemy troops then unexpectedly withdrew to the Allgäu.

Due to its ability to defend itself, the castle repeatedly attracted the attention of various wartime opponents in later years. Concrete arguments about the castle did not go beyond anecdotal episodes.

After the Counts of Zimmer died out in 1594 with the death of Wilhelm von Zimmer, the surviving sisters sold the castle for 400,000 guilders to Count Georg von Helfenstein-Gundelfingen, the husband of the second eldest sister Apollonia (1547-1604).

After the Helfenstein-Gundelfingen family had died out, Wildenstein came to this house in 1627 via the husband of Johanna Eleonora, Baroness of Gundelfingen, Wildenstein and Meßkirch, and Count Wratislaus I of Fürstenberg. In 1639, after the Peace of Prague, the Thirty Years' War had turned into an open war between France and the imperial estates. Wratislaus von Fürstenberg approached the imperial court with a request for 8,000-10,000 guilders in order to garner a stronger garrison on the fortress enable. Since this money was not forthcoming, Wildenstein was only manned by four musketeers under the command of Jacob Bürklin. On Sunday, August 10, 1642, he went to a festival in Messkirch with three of the musketeers. The remaining musketeer was smoking a pipe and lying in the sun in front of the castle attacked by Hohentwiel's troops. One of the women in the castle still managed to close the gates, but she was prevented by the other women from using force of arms against the conquerors, who only entered one by one via a loophole. There seems to have been a betrayal involved, as Bürklin and the other three musketeers fled. Bavarian troops advanced, but the assaults were successfully repelled with casualties for the attackers. However, when a siege was instituted and the new castle garrison was unsure when supplies and relief could be expected, an honorable surrender was agreed. On September 4, 1642, the fortress was in the hands of Bavarian troops under Lieutenant Colonel von Marmont. Wildenstein remained in Bavarian hands until 1649.

During the Palatinate War of Succession, the castle was again placed under imperial occupation, and the Fürstenbergers also sought protection on Wildenstein during the Spanish War of Succession.

After that, the castle was primarily used as a prison. In 1744 the bridge burned down due to the carelessness of a watchman who had knocked out his tobacco pipe. In 1756, lightning struck the gable of the arsenal, causing major damage to the walls of the entire west wing.

When Princess Marie-Antoinette traveled to France for her wedding in the spring of 1770 and stopped in Donaueschingen, the remaining guns were removed from Wildenstein in order to be able to receive them to be able to fire a salute. Apparently there was no longer a military need to bring them back to the castle afterwards.

The castle fell into disrepair, and in 1802 the administration in Meßkirch suggested that it be demolished. In the period of mediatization, however, between the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss in 1803 and the Rheinbund Act in 1806, when Fürstenberg was still fighting for its independence, the castle was renovated and repaired from 1804 to 1806 instead.

Source: (visit link)
Accessibility: Full access

Condition: Intact

Admission Charge?: no

Website: [Web Link]

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