Münzenberg Castle from the south
|Town or city||Münzenberg, Hesse|
Münzenberg Castle (German. Burg Münzenberg) is a ruined hill castle in the town of the same name in the Wetteraukreis, Hesse, Germany. It dates from the 12th century. It is one of the best preserved castles from the High Middle Ages in Germany.
The first lord of nearby Arnsburg known by name is Kuno von Arnsburg, who served Emperor Heinrich IV as a Ministerialis in 1057. Around 1064 he married Gräfin Mathilde of the House of Bilstein. Their daughter, Gertrud (b. c. 1065, d. before 1093) married Eberhard von Hagen (1075-1122), lord of Burg Hayn near Frankfurt, who moved his seat to Arnsburg and changed his name to "von Hagen und Arnsburg". Under Eberhard's son, Konrad I (1093-1130) the family became the most powerful in the Wetterau and the Rhine-Main region. Konrad II exchanged properties with Fulda Abbey, receiving the land around Münzenberg Castle. His son, Kuno I (1151-1207), from 1156 styled himself von Münzenberg, implying that by then a castle had been built at Münzenberg and the earlier one at Arnsburg had been vacated.:5
A striking feature of Münzenberg Castle is that it has two tall defensive towers, a structure known as a bergfried (Thompson 2008). Such a tower is a typical feature of castles in the region, but there is usually only one, forming the strongest point of the castle. The bergfrieds at Münzenberg are both round, the taller one being 29 meters high.
The two bergfrieds stand at opposite ends of the inner ward (here called the Kernburg). The inner ward is completely surrounded by an outer ward with an outer curtain wall, providing defense in depth.
- Thompson, M.W., The Rise of the Castle. Cambridge University Press 2008. ISBN 0-521-08853-4.
- Binding, G., Burg Münzenberg, eine staufische Burganlage. Bonn 1963.
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