Wildenberg Castle (Kirchzell)

Wildenburg Castle is a ruined fortress from the Hohenstaufen period  in the Odenwald.  It lies northeast-projecting spur, called the Schlossberg, at a height of 365 m above sea level above the Mud, three kilometres southeast of Kirchzell.

The castle was built by the lords of Dürn probably sometime between 1180 and around 1200. When the lords found themselves needing cash, the the Archbishopric of Mainz acquired the castle around 1271 who held onto it either directly, or indirectly via a fief until 1803.

It was expanded at various times although an earthquake is said to have seriously damaged the castle in 1356.  A lot of what can be seen today was built in the fifteenth century.

On 4 May 1525 during the German Peasants’ War, the castle was destroyed and has been a ruin every since.

An interesting story about the castle is related to the medieval writer Wolfram von Eschenbach and his poem about Parzival in which Wildenburg is specifically mentioned. In the poem, the hero Parzival goes on a search for the Holy Grail and in order to do so seeks contact with King Arthur.   It is possible that Wolfram von Eschenbach wrote part of the poem here at Wildenburg although it of course equally possible that he based his description on contemporary literature.