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The History of Guttenberg Castle

Guttenberg Castle is considered one of the last undamaged Staufer castles in Germany. It was founded around 1180, is today over 800 years old and has a correspondingly eventful history. It has always been inhabited and has been completely preserved to this day. It has been owned by the Barons of Gemmingen for over 560 years.
The first documentary mention of Guttenberg Castle dates from the late 13th century – the Chapel of St Nicholas below Guttenberg Castle is mentioned in 1296. At that time the Lords of Weinsberg owned the castle. They remained until the middle of the 15th century. Most recently, the royal hereditary treasurer Conrad von Weinsberg was the lord of the castle. Since Conrad von Weinsberg lent considerable sums of money to the king, which he did not get back, however, and thus he himself came into financial distress, he felt compelled to sell the castle.
On St. Andrew’s Day in 1449, Hans “the Rich” of Gemmingen bought Guttenberg Castle from the heirs of Conrad von Weinsberg, who had died almost two years earlier, for 6,000 Rhenish guilders. Hans von Gemmingen was also set by the wedding with the wealthy Katharina Landschädin von Steinach in the position not only to buy the castle, but also to expand it extensively. An important milestone in the history of the castle.
At the end of 1521 the Lords of Gemmingen joined the Reformation. In later Baden the family thus belonged to the first followers of the teachings > Martin Luther. Guttenberg was spared the destruction during the Peasant War and the Thirty Years’ War by fortunate circumstances, for already in 1622 a great battle raged at Wimpfen, which resulted in numerous lootings and destruction. In 1689 Guttenberg also escaped the French troops who cremated Heidelberg and many of the Neckar castles.
With the proclamation of the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1806, the Lords of Gemmingen lost their ruling function. But they remained owners of the castle and its lands. In the early 19th century, the history of the castle was connected above all with the stay of the poet Wilhelm Hauff, who was the tutor of a family member.

Today the castle is the centre of the family estate and one of the most popular excursion destinations in the region, as it has been opened to the interested public.


Clara von Gemmingen-Guttenberg Foundation