Oberer und Unterer Greifenstein
Holzelfingen (The municipality of Lichtenstein), The county of Reutlingen
The Greifenstein family’s residence was probably the lower of the two Greifenstein castles near Holzelfingen. It was built in the second half of the 12th century. However, it is still unclear why they built a second castle, the Oberer Greifenstein, right next to it, possibly in the following century. At the same time, the Greifensteiners seemingly came in conflict with the imperial city of Reutlingen. During the imperial war against Württemberg around 1311, the two castles were important targets and were completely destroyed. Still, the rule of the Greifenstein family continued to exist until the middle of the 14th century up until the last Greifensteiner, Swigger, sold his holdings to Württemberg. In later centuries, the memory of the Greifensteiners remained alive, primarily in the form of legends and stories about “cruel robber barons,” which characterize their image to this day. Extensive excavation work was carried out on both sites as early as 1893, to which the ruins mainly owe their current appearance.