Schneeburg Castle



Located: Ebringen, Baden-Württemberg   Map

Constructed: 1312 by Lords of Hornberg

Destroyed: 1525 during German Peasants' War


Description of Schneeburg Castle

Ruins of medieval Schneeburg Castle is located in Ebringen, Baden-Württemberg region of Germany. Schneeburg Castle was constructed in 1312 by Lords of Hornberg. Although Schneeburg Castle is largely ruined and abandoned, it is still worth a visit offering authentic medieval feel and architecture. The Schneeburg Castle was destroyed in 1525 during German Peasants' War. It was abandoned ever since. Local peasants used the structure for rock quarry. Nevertheless large portions of the stronghold remain standing.



The Schnewlins, one of the most respected and wealthy families in Freiburg in the 13th century, are believed to be the builders and namesake of the castle due to the old name "Schnewesberg". According to other statements, the castle was built by the Lords of Hornberg. It was first mentioned in 1312. In 1349 Werner von Hornberg handed them over to the feudal sovereignty of the Sankt Gallen monastery, from which he received them back as a man fief. The small feudal lordship of Ehaben was thus created. It seems that the Schnewlin men still had certain rights to it or received income from it, because on June 7, 1387, the Schnewlin von Wiger and the Hornberg brothers Hanman, Ulrich, Werner and Brun because of the snow castle and the village of Ebringen concluded a contract.

Because Ulrich von Hornberg pledged the snow castle to his son-in-law Berchtold Schnewlin Berenlapp, it was returned to Messrs. Schnewlin. By means of a contract concluded on November 19, 1426, Konrad, the grandson of Ulrich von Hornberg, enforced the right to release the snow castle from the pledge against payment of 1200 gold guilders. However, since he could not raise the money, he quickly married the daughter of the mortgagee and, with the approval of the St. Gallen Monastery, prescribed her 2500 guilders on the rule. Thus the man feud was transformed into a "woman feud". In 1444 the Junker Konrat von Hornberg was enfeoffed by the St. Gallen Monastery with the fortress Schneeburg, the associated building yard and the bailiwick over Ehaben and Thalhausen. In 1448 he was followed by the Junker Anthoni von Hornberg, probably his son, against which Albrecht von Habsburg lodged a complaint with the abbot in St. Gallen on behalf of Konrat von Hornberg.

Probably before 1500 the castle was abandoned and left to decay, as the Falkensteiner local rulers had acquired land in the village of Eringen and had taken up residence at that time. This first Ebringer castle stood on the area where it is today, which was built between 1711 and 1713.

For the assumption, often expressed in older literature, that the castle was destroyed by the Margravians in the battles of the Peasant War in 1525; B. Joseph Bader, however, no evidence or sources can be determined.

Remains of the keep and a residential building have been preserved from the castle. The ruin is about 37 meters long and about 17 meters wide and is surrounded by a wide moat, which is cut deepest out of the rock on the north side. There is the rest of the keep with four floors and two windows to the north. The two-part residential building stands over a small courtyard in the south. New sandstone cornices are built into the window openings, which correspond to what was found in fragments in the old well shaft. The former entrance can be assumed to be in the defensive wall of the courtyard, which has now disappeared. In the courtyard, instead of the old well, a stone surround can be seen, which is sometimes used as a fireplace.

In the 1930s, there were wooden viewing terraces and stairs leading to them on part of the walls.