M: This man is considered the founder of the Schramberg domain: Hans von Rechberg. A proper daredevil, he was, and notorious with it.
F: A man of the sword.
M: A robber baron.
F: And always up for a good feud.
In 1450, Hans instigated such a feud with the Swabian League of Cities. The conflict went on for seven years. The whole affair culminated in the abduction of two respectable citizens of Ulm. They were held at Ramstein Castle for a ransom of 4,500 guilders. The League of Cities paid up, but then decided not to let the matter lie. Someone had to put a stop to the robber baron’s game.
M: With more than a thousand foot soldiers and two hundred horsemen, the League of Cities went on campaign against Hans von Rechberg and razed his castle of Ramstein. Even the then Emperor, Frederick the Third, intervened in the dispute. Following arbitration proceedings, the cities were ordered to pay fourteen thousand guilders. So what did Hans von Rechberg do with the money?
F: He used it to build Hohenschramberg Castle. On a mountain spur of the same name that towers almost twenty-one hundred feet above the Schiltach valley. Like all castle hills, Schramberg was largely without tree cover at the time, allowing a clear view of the surrounding countryside. The hill was visibly scarred, which is probably why it was called Schramberg – the word means “scar mountain” or “scar hill”.
M: Over the years, the castle changed hands several times before it was destroyed in 1689 during the Palatinate War of Succession. Then, from 1957 onwards, a committed group of Schramberg residents set about exploring and preserving the ruins. The finds amassed by the group, dubbed the "castle pioneers", now form the town museum’s archaeological collection. We’ll be showing you some of those objects as part of our permanent exhibition.
F: Take a look at the castle model. That’s what the complex may have looked like in the mid-16th century – during what you might call its architectural heyday. If you look at the various parts of the building, you can tell that the castle was one of the first fortresses built as the Middle Ages gave way to the Early Modern Period.
M: The inner bailey, the oldest part of the complex, is very obviously a defensive structure. It was protected by a curtain wall that was up to 23 feet. However, the rear part of the complex was built in the Renaissance style, with an imposing administrative building and residence, called the "New House". There was also a new defensive ring to the north. Hohenschramberg Castle also featured a "Great Garden", where fruit and vegetables were grown for the castle residents on a substantial plot of land.
Foto: © Stadtmuseum Schramberg