Kaltenburg Castle (Burg Kaltenburg)

Kaltenburg Castle



Location: Lonetal, Baden-Württemberg  Map

Constructed: 12th century by Henry of Kalden


Description of Kaltenburg Castle

Ruins of medieval Kaltenburg Castle stands near Lonetal, Baden-Württemberg region of Germany. Kaltenburg Caslte was originally constructed in 12th century by the orders of Henry of Kalden who also gave the name to a Kaltenburg Fortress. The place was chosen wisely as a strategic location on top of the 60 meter high hill above confluence of rivers of Lone and Hurbe rivers. Military fortifications of the citadel were badly damaged by the siege of 1435 by the Nürnberg armies. The final nails were deadly shots fired in 1632- 34 in the coarse of the Thirty Years' War. Kaltenburg Castle was abandoned after portions of the South West wall have collapsed. Although some local peasants were squatting on the grounds of the former Kaltenburg Castle, the fort itself was never used again for its primary purpose.


Geographical location
The ruins of the hilltop castle are at 510 m above sea level. NN about 60 meters above the confluence of the Hürbe and Lone on the Taleck.

About 500 meters north of the Kaltenburg is the entrance to the Charlottenhöhle, one of the longest show caves in the Swabian Alb.

The name of the castle is said to refer to the alleged castle founder Heinrich von Kalden (Pappenheim), who held the office of Imperial Court Marshal under Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa. The fortress is believed to have been built between 1150 and 1180.

Under the Hohenstaufen the rule was imperial and probably occupied by service men. In 1240 a Dietmar and in 1265 an Otto von Kaltenburg appear in the documents. In 1332 the castle was owned by the Counts of Helfenstein. At that time, Heinz Vetzer was the count's bailiff at the fortress.

From 1357 the Lords of Riedheim sat on the Kaltenburg. The Riedheimers held the castle temporarily as a fiefdom of the Duchy of Bavaria or were appointed bailiffs of the imperial city of Ulm. From the 15th century, other noble families also owned shares in the castle, such as the von Grafeneck and Stadion families.

In 1435 the Kaltenburg was besieged and damaged by the troops of the imperial city of Nuremberg. Another destruction took place in 1632/34 during the Thirty Years War. It was not rebuilt until 1677 by the Riedheimers.

In 1764 the south-west building collapsed. The rubble was removed for the construction of the new manor in Reuendorf.

After the complex had already been described as dilapidated in 1800, the castle chapel was demolished in 1804. In 1806, however, a partial repair took place, in 1820 five families lived in the castle. That year the Counts of Maldeghem took over the property. In 1837 30 residents are mentioned. In 1897 only the gatehouse seems to have been intact and inhabited.

In 1938 and 1940, the first securing work began on the ruins, which was continued from 1980 to 1983. In the course of these measures, the two square towers on the valley side were also renovated and expanded.

The fortress was expanded in four sections, which can still be clearly distinguished. The 12th century castle actually only consisted of a tower house on the castle rock. In the 13./14. In the 19th century the facility was expanded to its present size and expanded again from 1450 to 1560. After the destruction in the Thirty Years War (1632–34), it was rebuilt from 1677 onwards, adding the two preserved square towers to the existing building.

The irregular pentagon of the outer or Zwingermauer was reinforced by two square and three - possibly formerly four - round, protruding towers. The attack side was protected by an angled neck ditch about 5 meters deep and 10 to 16 meters wide. The gate was in the south near the steep drop.

In the north-west there is still a section of the neck ditch of the Hohenstaufen castle complex behind the Zwingermauer, above which the rock of the core castle rises. As a remnant of the first castle, a 4-meter-high and 16-meter-long piece of the shield wall has been preserved on the plateau. Of the other buildings of the first and second castle, only individual cuboids remained in the vicinity of the almost square rock, which towers up to 13 meters. The approximately 3.4 meter thick shield wall was obviously the east wall of a rectangular tower house of the first castle (remains of the wall). The palace of the successor building probably rose to the west of it on the lower rock edge.

From the curtain wall of the 13th / 14th century Century only the south side with the gate building is partially preserved. At the south-west corner, the shield wall of the tower house of the second castle rises above the moat. The structure is almost 10 meters long and 7 to 8 meters high, the wall thickness is approx. 2.2 meters. The remains of a vaulted corridor at a height of 5 meters and six openings on the field side indicate a curtained wooden battle house or a hurdle gallery. The extension of the Lords of Riedheim later rose underneath (the surrounding walls were partially preserved).

The kennels with the stumps of the round towers have been heavily restored and supplemented on the mountain side. Century. The valley side with the two high square towers was built around 1677. These plastered towers crowned by pyramid roofs are the landmarks of the castle and shape the view from the valley.

After a wall collapsed, the facility was cordoned off with a construction fence and only partially accessible (as of August 11, 2011).