Guttenberg Castle

Guttenberg Castle is a late medieval hilltop castle above Neckarmühlbach, a district of Haßmersheim in the Neckar-Odenwald district in Baden-Württemberg. The castle has never been destroyed and has been continuously inhabited for almost 800 years, since the middle of the 15th century by the Gemmingen-Guttenberg line of the Barons of Gemmingen
On May 1, 1393, the Archbishop of Mainz, Konrad II von Weinsberg, endowed a new chapel in Mühlbach prope castrum nominatum Gutenberg, near Guttenberg Castle. Here the castle, which according to archaeological findings dates back to the first half of the 13th century, is mentioned in documents for the first time. As a fief of the bishops of Worms it belonged to the lords of Weinsberg. Presumably, the von Weinsbergs had also built the castle on behalf of their liege lord. The Bishop of Worms was concerned with securing customs revenues on the long-distance routes in his territory. Guttenberg Castle is not a foundation of the Hohenstaufen dynasty; the presumed function of the castle as part of a defensive ring around the Wimpfen palatinate is not proven by sources and is also not probable due to the legal relationships. In a document dated December 2, 1449, the Bishop of Würzburg confirmed that he, as guardian of the sons of the deceased Reichserbkämmerer Konrad IX von Weinsberg, had sold Guttenberg Castle, located on the Neckar River, with the associated villages, together with all rights, uses and appurtenances, to Hans the Rich von Gemmingen for 6,000 Rhenish florins. With this purchase, Hans von Gemmingen, called Hans the Rich, became the founder of the Gemmingen-Guttenberg line, which still owns the castle today. With the partition treaty of February 1, 1518, Hans' grandson Dietrich von Gemmingen († 1526) inherited the family's new ancestral seat. Under him, the castle played a role in the Reformation period, among other things as a place for a religious discussion in the Reformers' Last Supper dispute. There is no evidence of a siege in the Middle Ages, nor did the castle suffer any damage during the German Peasants' War. In the Thirty Years' War, Catholic troops under Lieutenant General Johann T'Serclaes von Tilly defeated the Protestant army under the Margrave of Baden in May 1622 in the battle of Wimpfen, which resulted in heavy losses (1500 to 2000 dead on each side). In 1689, during the War of the Palatinate Succession, King Louis XIV of France systematically devastated the Electoral Palatinate and the neighboring territories. Although troops were always passing through the region, Guttenberg Castle was spared in all wars due to fortunate circumstances. The castle passed through the hands of various branches of the Lords of Gemmingen-Guttenberg. Philipp von Gemmingen (1702-1785), who was favored in a division of inheritance, outlived his only son, so that the castle came to the Bonfeld-Unterschloss branch and therein, beginning with the sons of Ludwig Eberhard von Gemmingen-Guttenberg (1750-1841), was in the possession of a condominium of several shareholders, which lasted until 1932. In 1825 Wilhelm Hauff (1802-1827) stayed at the castle. Behind the name Thierberg Castle in his novella The Picture of the Emperor is Guttenberg Castle. Tourism at the castle was founded by Gustav von Gemmingen-Guttenberg (1897-1973), who had taken over the castle's forestry business in 1923 and founded the sawmill in Neckarmühlbach. In 1949 he established the castle museum and in 1950 the castle tavern in the front building, which was already expanded the following year. Gustav von Gemmingen-Guttenberg was also responsible for the arrival of the Deutsche Greifenwarte in 1971. After the arrival of the "Greifenwarte" the tourist traffic on the castle increased immensely, so that in 1972 the castle tavern was again extended by a self-service restaurant. Gustav von Gemmingen's son Christoph von Gemmingen-Guttenberg (1930-1999) and his wife Gabriele née. von Lersner (* 1935) continued the administration and expansion of the castle.
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