Castle Jagsthausen

Castle Jagsthausen, also known as ‘Götzenburg’, is situated in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg and is the traditional home of the lords of Berlichingen, including their most famous member, Götz von Berlichingen

Castle Jagsthausen
Castle Jagsthausen – p.schmelzle, CC BY-SA 2.5 , via Wikimedia Commons

Whilst the foundations go back to an early medieval stronghold, the castle has been changed and modified so many times hat accurate dating is difficult. It is clear that a fort was erected in the area during the 2nd century by Roman forces as part of the ‘Limes’ fortifications. Most of the modern footprint was developed during the 15th and 16th century and further changes were made during the 19th century. Today, Castle Jagsthausen serves as backdrop for an annual festival as well as hotel. A museum shows a variety of artefacts, including Götz’ prosthetic hand, which was crafted by a local blacksmith in 1504. 

Castle Jagsthausen around 1861
Castle Jagsthausen around 1861 – Carl G. Brühl, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Despite modern marketing, Götz von Berlichingen only lived at Jagsthausen for a few years during his childhood, being born there in 1480. The castle was inherited by one of his brothers. However, it is still in the possession of the family von Berlichingen, with Alexandra von Berlichingen being the current owner. Her late husband, Roman Herzog, the former German president, lived at Jagsthausen during his last years before his death. 

Until 2014 the castle housed commemorative memorials to the 17th Tank Devision, which had the honorific ‘Götz von Berlichingen’, as well as the 5th SS Tank Devision ‘Wiking’. After protests highlighting both devisions involvement in warcrimes and crimes against humanity during World War 2, these were removed.  

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