Hotel Burg Wernberg
Hotel Burg Wernberg

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An Amazing Castle and Its Amazing History

The drawbridge, the pride of any fortress worth its salt is moving again at Wernberg Castle. It took years of dedication and commitment, and a keen eye for historical detail to caringly restore the ancient walls to former glory, getting the castle once more ready to continue a journey that already lasted for almost 800 years. Skilled craftsmen and legions of helpers literally left no stone unturned to restore and preserve a true gem of Bavarian history - down to the orginal 15th century oak rafters and 13th century masonry work. Although words are not enough to describe the historic ambience oozed by medieval archways, vaults and massive stone walls. That's something that needs to be experienced. Thanks to everyone who is, or has been staying with us in the past, the castle has come alive again. Which has been the intention right from the start.

Telling Tales: The History of Wernberg Castle

Travel back in time by clicking the blue dateline tags, to read more about the main events making up Wernberg Castle's exciting, proud and admittedly rather turbulent history.

Burg Wernberg im 13. Jahrhundert

13th Century

1280 Wernberg Castle being first mentioned in the records. The landgraves of Leuchtenberg transfer ownership of the fortress and the surrounding lands to Konrad of Paulsdorf.
1281 Konrad signs over the ownership rights to his son–in-law, Heinrich Nothaft of Wildstein who henceforth adopted the title “of Wernberg” (after the eponymous village situated at the foot of the castle mount)
1284 For a brief period, Burgrave Frederik of Nuremberg becomes the owner of the premises. After which the castle returns to the Nothaft family.
© Historical drawing of the former fortress nowadays known as Wernberg Castle (Image courtesy of Repro Riedl)

Burg Wernberg im 14. Jahrhundert

14th Century

1367 March 9 marks an important date in the castle's history: Heinrich Nothaft voluntarily became a vassal of the Bohemian Crown, and was allowed to keep the property rights to the castle. Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, becomes the protector of Wernberg.
1381 (November 29) Hans and Beatrix Nothaft sell half of the premises to their nephews Heinrich, Albert and Hans.
© Panoramic view of castle and surrounding settlements (Image courtesy of Vertrieb Michael Sir, Wernberg. Graph. Kunst- u. Verlagsanstalt A. Weber & Co., Stuttgart)

Burg Wernberg im 15. Jahrhundert

15th Century

1401 Heinrich Nothaft (now also known under his cognomen "The Rich") commissions a chapel to be erected on the premises. The building, dedicated to St George, is consecrated on October 16.
1407 (August 23) Heinrich Nothaft of Wernberg (judge at Nabburg Distric court from 1397 to 1434) obtains the ius gladii (the right to sentence convicted fellons to death) from King Ruprecht III.
1430 The Hussite Wars reach the Oberpfalz. The Nothard family does their part in crushing the rebellion three years later.
© Wernberg Castle's inner courtyard (Image courtesy of Ansichtskartenverlag Bayreuth)

Burg Wernberg im 16. Jahrhundert

16th Century

1509 Death of Heinrich III of Nothaft. Jörg Wispeck, Lord Chamberlain and one of the family’s inlaws, acquires the property.
1530 Wispeck's son, Adam, sells the castle to the Landgraves of Leuchtenberg.
1560 Landgrave Ludwig Heinrich bestows a coat of arms on Wernberg Castle.
© Wernberg Castle in 1910 (IMage courtesy of Kunstdenkmäler Bayern, Vol 18, Bezirksamt Nabburg, Munich 1983)

Burg Wernberg im 17. Jahrhundert

17th Century

1646 The death of Max Adam of Leuchtenberg on November 1 marks the end of the Leuchtenberg lineage. Wernberg Castle and Wernberg town return to the Bohemian Crown. Count Khevenhüller restores the run-down premises, subsequently selling them to Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria.
1650 The Duke of Bavaria transfers the castle ownership to his son Maximilian Philipp. After the death of Maximilian Philipp the premises do not return to the Bavarian Crown, but are seized by Emperor Ferdinand III who bestowes the property rights on Count Leopold of Lamberg.
© View of Wernberg Castle's inner courtyard (Image courtesy of Repro Ernst Dausch)

Burg Wernberg im 18. Jahrhundert

18th Century

1714 With Bavaria’s rights restored, Wernberg Castle returns to the ownership of the Wittelsbach dynasty. The castle houses the Oberpfalz district authorities of the newly established Electorate of Bavaria. Wolf Clement Peter Fernau of Offenstetten, instated as Protector of the Realm, takes up residence at the premises.
1741 The fortress serves as a garrison during the Austrian War of Succession (until 1745).
© View from the South: Wernberg Castle's drawbridge (Image courtesy of Repro Ernst Dausch)

Burg Wernberg im 19. Jahrhundert

19th Century

1803 The premises house the Nabburg Council revenue office before being converted into a branch of Ebrach Prison Services. A bad time for the castle - the buildings rapidly delapidate.
1871 The Oberpfalz Historical Society decides to preserve the castle as a building of public historical interest but fails to secure government funds for upkeep.
1873 (April 28) The Bavarian Treasury sell the premises to Captain von Peritzhoff, a retired Prussian army officer, for the price of 1.000 fl, and on condition to preserve all building parts of historic interest.
1891 (October 20). The captian's widow, Amanda von Peritzhoff becomes the castle's new owner.
1892 (November 21) Amanda von Perizhoff sells the premises to Franz Zapfl of Murnau.
1893 Major Karl Boshart, a resident of Brussels, acquires the castle. However, Boshart has overstretched himself financially. The property is repossessed and auctioned off.
1894 Baron Rudolf von Brenken purchases castle and surrounding land. After his death in 1915, the castle remains the property of his widow and the couple's three daughters.
© Wernberg Castle during the 19th Century (Image courtesy of Foto Schießl, Flößaustrasse 91, Fürth, Bavaria)

Burg Wernberg im 20. Jahrhundert

20th Century

1920 Count Andreas von Schall-Riacour acquires the castle, restoring the fortress and rebuilding the east wing.
1992 Wernberg District Council repurchases the premises. In the same year, the Council and the owners of Conrad Electronic GmbH sign a 99-year lease agreement.
1998 The castle, restored to former glory after six years of extensive restauration work, reopens. Within a year, the premises are voted among Germany's Top 100 hotels.

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