Burg Weiler


Münzdorf (Hayingen), The county of Reutlingen

On a conical hill rising above the valley Lautertal, between the small village of Weiler and the neighboring castle of Derneck, once stood a largely forgotten castle. Today, a Way of the Cross (Calvary) leads up to the summit cross, where inconspicuous traces of the terrain bear witness to the medieval site.

"Near the village there is a hilltop projecting into the valley, also called Burgstall by the inhabitants of Kapfle. Weiler Castle stood on this hilltop, the remains of which can still be seen", as it can by read in a description by the local authorities in 1825. However, the small aristocratic residence subsequently largely disappeared from the public consciousness. There are no contemporary written sources that could report on the castle, nor is it known who the builders or early owners of the small complex were. Archaeological finds suggest that it was built during the first half of the 12th century. However, the castle no longer appears to have been inhabited in the 13th century. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the village below, which could have originated as a presumed castle hamlet, was always called "Gundelfingenweiler" or "Burgstallweiler" and was demonstrably an accessory of Hohengundelfingen Castle at this time. Whether conclusions about earlier conditions can be drawn from this manorial interlocking must remain uncertain and so it remains open to this day what role this early castle complex could have played against the background of the formation of the Gundelfingen lordship in the Lauter valley. The assumption that it could be an early castle of the Lords of Gundelfingen, which was abandoned around the year 1200 in connection with the rebuilding of Hohengundelfingen Castle, has not yet been substantiated.

The castle near Weiler was located on a mountain cone protruding freely from the rising slope about 40 m above the Lauter valley, about 300 m north of the village. Only faint traces of the terrain are still visible at the castle site. The site was secured by a fragmentary, circular moat about 8 to 10 m below the summit. In front of this, the remains of a rampart can be seen in places. Towards the east side, the steep slope falling deep into the Lauter valley shielded the castle. A residential tower may once have stood in the area of an approximately 4 x 5 m mound on the summit. In addition, several artificially created terraces or land slopes can be seen in the slope area. On the northern side, two semi-circular areas situated one below the other can be seen below the summit; on the southern slope, a crescent-shaped ledge is noticeable just 5 m below the summit. Even if clear traces of former building activity are no longer recognizable, at least above ground, it can be assumed that these traces of the terrain could be the sites of former castle buildings. While mortar remains and burnt lumps of clay in the finds generally indicate their existence, no traces of wall remains or roof tiles can be recognized. It is therefore possible that Weiler Castle was only a wooden structure. Today, a more recent Way of the Cross with stone wayside shrines leads to the leveled summit of the former castle. Several chunks of iron slag in the finds could testify to a castle smithy or the castle's own craft. The remains of an old ravine can be seen in the terrain to the south below the castle, indicating that the castle was once a more traffic-related site.

72534 Hayingen
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