The Landgraves Rule and their service

There is no documented evidence as to when the Brandenburg was actually built; the Count of the Wartburg, Count Wigger was mentioned in 1144 as a patron of the newly founded parish in that year. Lauchröden was noted for the first time at this time so it seems probable that the castle was also founded at the same time, the middle of the 12th century. As of the 12th century the Wartberg family also owned the Brandenburg and other properties with villages in and around Goth. During the reign of office of archbishop Heinrich of Mainz, Count Wigger von Wartberg operated a consistent power policy, the result of which gave him added jurisdiction over Harburg and the Mainz county office county at Hofgeismar.  However these were both lost with the dismissal of the archbishop in 1153.
The name Brandenburg was granted the three Counts in 1224 after they followed the Count of Thuringia on crusades in 1197/8 and in 12278. The merging of the two families accounts for the double eagle in their coat of arms.
This suggests the nobility formed a subordination of self government under the ruling Kaiser.

Kreuzzug


With the death of Ludwig von Wartenberg in 1227 all formal duties at the Wartburg were terminated.  This loss of income in the second half of the 13th century resulted with the noble families of the Brandenburg becoming slowly impoverished and the castle had to be abandoned. It was last mentioned in 1435 long after the castle had passed further into other hands.


Change of ownership and further development

At the beginning of the 14th century the separate castles were under different ownership and diverse sovereignty has been detected. Also they were governed under different jurisdictions.
The city of Erfurt also purchased the west castle during the 14th century to safeguard its sales route through the valleys.
George of Recruit who enrolled as one of the most well-known mercenary leaders in the history of the religious wars of the 16th century originated from a family of Brandenburg nobility.
Towards the end of the middle ages attempts were made to adapt the castle to fill the requirements of the arising of warfare with firearms. It was thereafter abandoned presumably vacated by its residents at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War.
 
Afterwards its stones were taken and used for local construction thereafter it fell into disrepair.
The castle ruins were taken over by the Thuringia state government in 1936.
For the next 40 years Germany was a divided country and the existence of the Brandenburg castle was denied because it was in a prohibited GDR area next to West Germany:
Since 1989 the castle is freely accessible again. After extensive renovation work in the nineties the visitor can today enjoy the view into the Werratal from the top of the observation platform, or take a tour around the spacious castle complex and the castle museum.
In 1994 the Brandenburg was added to the “Thuringia Foundation for Castles and Gardens”
The bi-annual castle festival was first celebrated directly after the German Unification in 1990. Meanwhile every two years the historical re-enactment of historical battles and its festivities have attracted visitors from far a field, and continue to develop further and now include concerts, music and theatre play.

History of the Castle

 

 

 

 

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Sonderausstellung Georg von Reckrodt