HISTORICAL INFORMATION ABOUT WOLFSBURG
On this page you will find further information on the Wolfsburg from the Bonn-Rechtsrheinisch e.V. Monument and History Society.
Location and owner
The former moated castle, located in the Beuel district of Bonn on the right bank of the Rhine, in the former district of Vilich-Rheindorf (today Schwarzrheindorf/Vilich-Rheindorf), about 600 m south of the well-known double church, is named after the knightly dynasty of Wolff von Rheindorf. The family founded its ancestral seat here in the 13th century. In 1334, the knight Godart von Rheindorf is mentioned for the first time in a document as the owner.
In the 14th century, the castle came into the possession of Johannes von Buschfeld through marriage and fell to Arnold von Gymnich in 1477 through the marriage of his daughter Margarethe. An iron weather vane with a dragon, the heraldic animal of the von Gymnichs, and the year 1597 still adorns the tower of the Wolfsburg, which has also been called Gymnicher Haus since that time. With the extinction of the noble family and the marriage of the widow of the last Gymnich to the Baron von Mirbach, the castle passed into the possession of the Mirbach family, who lived in it until the 18th century and leased it out from 1807.
The castle complex
The former knights' and moated castle was originally a multi-winged complex with an outer castle. The central almost square residential tower of the Wolfsburg from the 13th century forms the oldest part of the complex. The fortified manor house was surrounded by a moat about 9.50 metres wide. The original masonry made of Drachenfels rock (trachyte) is visible on the west, south and east façades. This stone material, which expressed monumentality in the Middle Ages, made the castle stand out from the wooden buildings of the peasants. Other building materials were columnar basalt and tuff.
After its destruction in 1583 during the Truchsessian War (a conflict fought primarily between Electorate of Cologne and Bavarian troops from 1583 to 1588), the main castle was rebuilt in a simplified form (the outer castle remained destroyed). An L-shaped extension was added to the formerly free-standing tower in the 17th century. Further additions and conversions in the second half of the 19th century and in 1932, partly on old foundations, completed the complex in the following centuries, so that today the former castle presents itself as a complex ensemble of different parts of buildings from different eras in a small space.
The former moats, over which a bridge on the north side led to the area of the castle, were not drained until the construction of the flood dike in 1924. Before that, the castle probably stood in a large lake every time there was a flood. Wolfsburg Castle has an unusually extensive and well-preserved medieval building fabric. According to archaeological experience in the investigation of similar objects, a predecessor building is suspected. However, since a motte mound (a typical relic of early medieval castles) is missing in the immediate vicinity, its relics are likely to be underground at best and then presumably preserved in relatively undestroyed condition. Between 1998 and 2000, the large pastures bordering the castle to the south and east were built up relatively close to the castle with residential houses, which severely affected the visual appearance of the entire listed complex.
The wolf castle stands for a typical castle complex of the lower nobility, as they were often built from the 11th to the 14th century to secure the territories they had gained, among other things by guarding the roads. Mostly located in the lowlands, they have the typical features of a moated castle, but are often no more than fortified houses. Castles of this type were centres of smaller lordships (the Wolfsburg belonged to the Vilich Abbey, which was part of the Vilich Sub-Lordship in the Electorate of Bonn), which were given by the sovereigns to their vassals. The knights were obliged to serve in the army and at court, e.g. of the archbishop.
Monument / Note
The "Wolfsburg" object in Bonn-Schwarzrheindorf/Vilich-Rheindorf is a registered monument (list of monuments of the city of Bonn, no. A 1642) and an archaeological monument (list of monuments of the city of Bonn, no. B 21) as well as a significant feature of the historical cultural landscape area Rheinaue bei Schwarzrheindorf, Siegmündung (cultural landscape area Regional Plan Cologne 438).