The castle ruin Harzburg

The castle ruin Harzburg  
Restored tower-stump of the powder tower in the grounds of the castle ruins Harzburg.  
The construction of "Hartes castle" (Harzburg) on the Great Castle-Mountain near Bad Harzburg was carried out by King Heinrich IV presumably in the years 1065-1068. They officially served to the protection of the Empire Forest and the Imperial Palace in Goslar. In practice, one used the castle but to suppress the people of the tribe of the Saxons, which lived in this area. The Harzburg had a strategically very convenient location. She was one of the largest, most modern and most fortified castles of that era.

In addition to the royal residence-buildings were on the castle area also a collegiate church and a royal grave enclosure. To overall ensemble also but belonged an upstream bulwark on the Little Castle Hill. This fortress building is called as well as "Small Harzburg".

However, not much has utilized the Harzburg the king. In 1073, a riot broke out against Henry IV. This happened partly because the foreign garrison plundered the country. The king fled to the Harzburg. Subsequently these was besieged by Saxon troops. Heinrich IV. succeeded the escape together with the imperial insignia in the night from 9 to August 10, 1073. He fled through the castle-wellshaft and a secret passage. It was presumably the in the wellshaft leading Water supply line tunnel.

The Harz-castle itself was a few months still besieged. In March 1074 the demolition of the fortifications was carried out. Heinrich IV. and the rebellious Saxons had this agreed in the Treaty of Gerstungen. The Saxon peasants were doing the destruction of the castle very thorough. They left no stone of the hated building on the other. But potentially parts of the castle were built in the following years back.

In the 12th century began under Emperor Friedrich I (which also known as Barbarossa) the reconstruction of the Harzburg. The new fortress had a smaller size. It was built west of the previous castle. On the site of the old castle was created a vegetable garden.

Emperor Otto IV finished the new building. Under his rule, also the mighty powder tower was built. In 1218 Otto IV died on the Harzburg.

The Harzburg after that lost their status as imperial castle. She changed in the aftermath often the owner. Lords of the castle were, inter alia, the counts of Wohldenberg, the counts of Wernigerode and the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

Over time, the importance of the Harzburg was became less and less. She began slowly to decay. In the 16th century a planned reconstruction of the castle failed because of the high cost. In the mid-17th century, the still present remnants of the building of the Harzburg have been demolished on the orders of the Welfen-Duke August the Younger.

In 1877, was built on the site of the former castle, the 19 meter high "Canossa-pillar". Archaeological investigations of the in the ground remaining remnants of the Harzburg made in 1902 to 1904, in 1959 and from 1970 to 1975.

Several restored parts of the "Harzburg" can be visited today. This includes the "Powder Tower", the castle-wellshaft, parts of the gate system and the remains of the castle walls. Marked with stones moreover are the former locations of various buildings such for example the round tower and the Palas.


More information:
Bad Harzburg

In the vicinity there are:
The Devil's Path | The Cross of the German East | The Radau Waterfall


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