Ruins in Steffenshof

Waldeck Castle

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Castle Waldeck in the Gemarkung of the village Dorweiler, in Dommershausen, in the Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis circle in Rhineland-Palatinate. It was the master seat of the Hunsrücker Family Boos.

The ruin is situated high over the Baybach valley. William I of Heinzenberg, built the fortress in 1150 and, in so doing, established the "Boos-Waldeck" house which was later to become widespread.

The medieval castle endured several wars, and was partially destroyed by the French (1689) in the course of the Pfälzischen succession war.

The first documentary mention of the castle plant (within the range of the today's ruins) originates from the year 1243. On that document, the knights, Heribert, Udo (Rudolf), Winand (surnames Boos von Waldeck, Boose of Walthecce) officially receive the rights of possession. Around 1250 Rudolf (Udo) Boos von Waldeck built the lower part, down hill, the Unterburg. The two parts of the castle are cited in a document in 1285.

The castle was in use until 1833 when the family of Boos von Waldeck sold its possessions in Rhein.

Historical background

The first documentary mention of the castle plant (within the range of the today's ruins) originates from the year 1243. The knights Heribert, Udo, and Winand (Boos von Waldeck) host, in the castle, the archbishop of Cologne, Conrad from "Hohenstaden to the Lehen".

The archbishop authorizes the family to act as landlords of the area, through commercial contracts with Cologne, thus establishing the aristocratic vein of the family that endured until 1833. This main seat would be the central administration of mills, offices, and residence for barons, counts, and noble visitors during the summer. Political connections through deals, commerce, military control against the French guaranteed almost six hundred years of influence.

The surname Boos is related to ancient medieval German meanings related to "lead", "nobleman", or "angry", possibly used to indicate the residents of the castle, thus the name variation "Castle of Boos-Waldeck" seen in some documents. In French cited as castle of "Bois Walthecce" or "Boosse de Walthecce".

Below, toward the valley, the Unterburg was established, possibly as castle houses of Ganerben. It is accepted also that the Unterburg was built around 1250 by Rudolf (Udo) cited above. Some documents cite this two sections of the building in 1285. Only in the last years the remainders of this lowest castle part could be identified.

With the new building of the pfalzgräflichen tower the castle consisted now of three castle parts: a new tower, that above the past two castles built was (today so-called upper castle) and two lower castles: the old upper (the current Unterburg) and the old Unterburg.

History Line

1124 First mention of archbishop Konrad about "Waldeck area" on the Bopparder.

1242 The knights Heribert, Udo (Rudolf) and Winand (Boos of Waldeck) buy the rights for using their assets from the Archbishop of Cologne.

1250 Building of the lower castle by Rudolf Boos von Waldeck.

1325 First well-known attempt to host multiple families (Ganerben) of the castle was regulated. Beside the sex of the Waldecker, in three lines (Winandsche, Rudolfsche and Boos´sche (Heribert's) line) were also the families of Winningen, Metz, Sabershausen (since 1398).

1331-36 The knights of the castles Eltz and Boos-Waldeck set up a resistance force of 50 knights against the arrival of Archbishop Balduin, but are defeated near Gegenburgen.

1361 The brothers Johann and Emmerich Boos von Waldeck recognize the authority of the Archbishop of Cologne, what was acknowledged as a chivalry/gentleman act, but wouldn't give any access to the castle.

1370 Johann IVTH Boos von Waldeck (1370+) marries Else of Montfort. The great-grandchild of this married couple, Simon Boos von Waldeck, received earns, until 1480, the ruin of Montfort (near by). From now on the descendants of this blood line would be called “Boos von Waldeck und Montfort”.

1398 Ruprecht from Pfalz conquers the castle, after Johann Boos von Waldeck died. In the peace treaty of March 29, Ruprecht was granted access for living in the new tower, to keep occupied "on the neck" (thus on the upper castle). Thus the authority of Pfalz became a neighbor enhancing the influence of the family on the business of the region.

1469 Geopolitical changes partially affects the administration.

1557 Beside the Boos von Waldeck there are only two families living in the castle (v. Metz and the Pfalzgrafen).

1689 The french partially destroy the castle.

1720 Colonel William Lothar Baron Boos von Waldeck, who lived in Koblenz, settles a summer house on the Unterburg.

1833 The Boos von Waldeck, facing new geopolitical trends after the Napoleonic Wars, sell its entire possessions in the Rhein country, thus also the newly built Boos-Waldeck Castle.

1850 Part of the landmarks, support stones are removed from the castle to build other houses on the yard area accelerate the decaying process and the building became the ruin.

Bibliography

  • ↑ Goerz, Adam/Hardt,Albert: Mittelrheinische Regesten, 5 Bände, Coblenz 1876/86, Band 2 Nr. 608. (Ein 1184 genannter Winandus ist nicht gesichert Görz Band 2, Nr. 511.)
  • ↑ Vgl. Goerz, Adam/Hardt, Albert Band 3, Nr. 333 und Knipping, Richard u.a. (Hrsg.): Regesten der Erzbischöfe von Köln im Mittelalter, Bonn 1909 – 1913, Band 2 Nr1078.
  • ↑ Goerz, Asdam/Hardt, Albert: Mittelrheinische Regesten, 5 Bände, Coblenz 1876/86. Band 4, Nr. 1236
  • Hammes, Michael: Die Burgruine Waldeck im Hunsrück. In: Abenteuer Archäologie, Jahreszeitschrift 5, Jahrgang 2003, 12 - 15. ISSN 1615-7125 (mit weiterführender Literatur)
  • Hammes, Michael: Burg Waldeck im Hunsrück (Arbeitstitel): In ??? (unveröffentlichtes Manuskript in Druck)
  • Köpfchen: Ausblicke, Einblicke, Rückblicke. Mitteilungsblatt der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Burg Waldeck. Arbeitsgemeinschaft Burg Waldeck, Dommershausen ab 1989
  • Kurt Hoppstädter, Fritz Langenberg: Burg und Schloss Waldeck im Hunsrück. Ein geschichtlicher Rückblick. Ottweiler Druckerei, Ottweiler 1957
  • Nerohm: Die letzten Wandervögel: Burg Waldeck und die Nerother. Geschichte einer Jugendbewegung. Deutscher Spurbuchverlag, Baunach 22002. ISBN 3-88778-197-X
  • Hotte Schneider (Hrsg.): Die Waldeck. Lieder, Fahrten, Abenteuer. Die Geschichte der Burg Waldeck von 1911 bis heute. Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 2005. ISBN 3-935035-71-3
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Burg Waldeck 1, 56290 Dommershausen, Germany

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