Gundelfingen (Münsingen), The county of Reutlingen
The imposing remains of Hohengundelfingen Castle rise up on a steeply sloping rock massif above the village of the same name. Built in the 12th century, it served as the ancestral seat and symbol of power of the mighty lords of Gundelfingen. Today, Hohenhundersingen is considered the landmark of the valley Großes Lautertal.
The knight Swigger I, who is mentioned in the sources around 1105 and again in 1112, is seen as progenitor of the House of Gundelfingen. His family subsequently had a considerable domain, which extended around the central valley of the Großes Lautertal and large parts of the surrounding plateaus. Hohengundelfingen Castle itself is first mentioned in 1236, when Swigger IV issued a charter there. However, archaeological finds prove that it was built well before this first mention and suggest that it was built in the second half of the 12th century. Hohengundelfingen Castle is therefore in all probability not the first ancestral castle of the Gundelfingen dynasty - it is not yet clear where such a castle could be located. In this respect, an older predecessor complex at the location of Niedergundelfingen Castle, the core of which could date back further, cannot be ruled out.
From 1190, the knight Swigger VI of Gundelfingen, who has also been called "the Elder" since 1246 and under whom the house experienced a period of economic prosperity, was active. After his death around 1250, the estate was divided among his sons and several collateral lines of the House of Gundelfingen were formed. Research today largely agrees that this division of the estate had far-reaching consequences and heralded the beginning of the dynasty's decline and the separation in different lines.
Hohengundelfingen Castle was last mentioned in a document in 1293, before it was sold to the Habsburgs and was actually under their control in 1306. The castle was finally destroyed between 1377 and 1389. In 1504, "the Hohengundelfingen castle stables" were sold by the king to the nobleman Adam of Stein to Klingenstein along with all rights and appurtenances. In the following centuries, numerous changes of ownership took place until it was acquired by the factory owner Hans Römer from Ulm in 1939, who began extensive excavation of the ruins in 1949. The aim of the work at the time was not only to secure the existing structure, but also to carry out extensive additions to the masonry up until 1965 and to install a tower room. It is worth mentioning that a wealth of finds were unearthed in the process, providing a multi-layered insight into the everyday life of the castle's inhabitants. The late medieval and early modern history of Hohengundelfingen Castle, with its numerous changes of ownership and the high esteem in which it was held throughout, clearly show the economic and symbolic-representative potential that was still attributed to this complex long after its actual demise as a habitable building.
Burg Hohengundelfingen von Horst Guth, Cinecopter