Wachenburg Castle



Location: Weinheim, Baden-Württemberg Map

Constructed: 1907-28 by Weinheimer Senioren-Convent


Description of Wachenburg Castle 

Wachenburg Castle is situated in Weinheim, Baden-Württemberg region of Germany. Wachenburg Castle was constructed in 1907-28 by Weinheimer Senioren-Convent, a corporation of association of student corps. Wachenburg Castle was intended to offer member of the organization to meet and remember fallen members in various European military conflicts. Today the citadel is open to the public. Wachenburg Castle has a restaurant on its grounds with a great view of the picturesque valley below.


The Wachenburg (330 m above sea level) is located on the western edge of the Wachenberg (400 m above sea level) in the Neckartal-Odenwald nature park and offers a beautiful view over the Odenwald and the Upper Rhine Plain. It can be reached both by car and via its own hiking trail. The hiking trail begins in Weinheim and leads over the Windeck castle ruins to the Wachenburg and further into the mountain landscape of the nature park. The ascent from Weinheim takes about an hour for the inexperienced.

In the run-up there were efforts to create a memorial for the members of the WSC who died in the Franco-German War. This was followed by the idea of ​​connecting the memorial with a festival area for the annual conference. The Windeck castle ruins were ideal for both purposes in 1896. The Domain Directorate of the Grand Duchy of Baden had approved the designs, but shortly before construction began, the Grand Duke sold the Windeck castle ruins to the Count of Berckheim. This did not allow any additional buildings.

A lookout tower with a refuge was to be built in 1903 on the Wachenberg, which is partly in the district of the former municipality of Leutershausen (today Hirschberg an der Bergstrasse). The mayor of Weinheim informed the Weinheimer Alte-Herren-Vereinigung (WAHV), later Weinheimer Verband Alter Corpsstudenten (WVAC). Through joint negotiations between the city of Weinheim, the WAHV and the municipality of Leutershausen, a lease for 99 years was concluded. The contract obliged the WAHV to build a castle complex and includes the option of a further 99 years of lease.

Out of 14 designs, Arthur Wienkoop's design was selected in 1906, which offered the advantage of carrying out the construction in several stages. Aute Bode and Emil Hartmann have made further contributions. All three were honorary citizens of the city of Weinheim. At the beginning of 1907 the building permit was granted; on May 16, 1907, the foundation stone for the hall of honor and the fairground was laid. The inauguration of the keep took place on May 31, 1908.

With the end of the construction work on the palace building, the guard castle was completed in May 1913. However, the Fuchsenkeller in the building was left unfinished for the time being.

From 1928 electric lights were installed. The ballroom was lit by candlelight until 1959. The road up to the castle was built between 1929 and 1934.

After the forced dissolution of the WVAC in 1938, the Wachenburg became the property of the city of Weinheim. It was returned in 1950 when the WVAC was re-established. The city of Weinheim left the long-term lease agreement with the municipality of Leutershausen in 1956.

In 1949 the Union of European Youth (today Young European Federalists) was founded on the Wachenburg. Only a few years after the end of the war, the youth organization of the Europa-Union Germany saw European integration as a project of hope.

The space in the hall of honor with the memorial plaques was expanded in 1963 according to plans by Wilhelm Gottsauner for the corps students who died in World War II. In 1965, WVAC bought the Wachenburg site from the municipality of Leutershausen.

In the years 2009 to 2013 the Wachenburg was completely renovated by the WVAC for over one million euros. In 2010, the Wachenburg was also connected to the sewer network of the city of Weinheim.

The annual WSC meeting takes place at the Wachenburg on the Ascension weekend.

The Wachenburg is structurally completely intact and has several buildings:
the gatehouse, the so-called heraldic gate
the keep, height approx. 34 meters (with viewing platform)
the courtyard
the castle tavern
the three-story main building, the so-called Palas

Various event rooms are located in the Palas:
the great ballroom
the refectory
the chapter house
the Fuchsenkeller

Residential buildings are missing. The hall is usually only accessible to members of the Weinheim Senior Citizens' Convention and is used for events. The building is open to the public on special dates published on the castle's website. There you can also find the opening times of the castle tavern. Castle courtyard, castle tavern and viewing platform are freely accessible.

On the roof of the tower are VHF transmitting antennas from Deutsche Telekom, via which the program of "Rainbow 2" is transmitted on the VHF frequency 107.7 MHz with a radiated power of 100 watts.

The building gave its name to the association magazine Die Wachenburg.