Anhausen (Hayingen), The county of Reutlingen
Today one of the most imposing ruins, Schülzburg Castle was the longest inhabited and intact castle in the valley Lautertal until it was destroyed by fire in 1884. No longer accessible, it leads an almost forgotten existence. The remains of its walls, which still tower several storeys high, are now in serious danger of collapsing due to long overdue safety measures.
It was long assumed that the Schülzburg was built around 1329 by the knight Walther of Stadion. However, it is likely that he expanded an older castle that already existed. Secondary humpback ashlars in several places as well as archaeological finds suggest that such a castle already existed at this location in the 12th/13th century. The castle is first clearly mentioned in 1362, when Walter's successor Eitel of Stadion gave the "Veste Schültzburg" to Duke Rudolf of Austria as a fief. After several changes of ownership, the castle passed to Albrecht Speth in 1452, in whose family ownership it remained from then on. In 1605, a new Renaissance castle was built in the front part of the complex and in 1749 extensive renovation work was probably carried out again. Schülzburg Castle remained inhabited until 1884, when it fell victim to a devastating fire in February of that year and was never rebuilt. The ruins were extensively secured in 1984-88. The walls, which were in danger of collapsing in places, have not yet undergone any urgently needed restoration work. As a result, the existence of one of the most imposing and towering ruins in the Lauter Valley is acutely threatened and its preservation for posterity is now seriously endangered!
The Schülzburg rises on a rocky spur on a semi-elevated position around 30 m above the Lauter valley south-east of Anhausen. An approximately 16 m wide walled moat protected the castle from the field side, while steep slopes on the west and east sides provided natural protection. The south side of the castle rests on a high wall. At the northern end of the spur is the older part of the castle with a massive three-storey residential building, in whose walls larger window openings were subsequently broken. It used to have a projecting half-timbered extension. Underneath was a barrel-vaulted cellar. The castle chapel mentioned in 1508 was also located in the northern part of the complex.
On the south side, the inner courtyard between two strong walls connects the older part of the castle with the younger four-storey castle building on the field side. The latter dates back to the 16th century with its round stair tower. The castle well was once located in the inner courtyard, while an intact cellar entrance has been preserved in the outer courtyard, above which once stood a smaller building that has now completely disappeared. The entire complex was also enclosed on the west and north sides by a narrow enclosure, which was reinforced by two small semi-circular towers. Access to the castle was via a drawbridge, which was later replaced by a stone and then a wooden structure. The latter finally collapsed in the recent past. In several places in the lower part of the more recent castle building, secondary limestone humpback ashlars can be seen, which are relics of the 12th/13th century castle. It is almost impossible to reconstruct the overall shape of the castle today.