Count von Falkenstein

Count von Falkenstein

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A noble title from the Middle Ages with the right to bear arms - look forward to a chivalrous name. Even the name of the family evokes associations with a fortress high on a mountain. Therefore the name was quite popular in the Middle Ages. The dynasty of the Falkensteiner meant here resided on the castle Falkenstein at the Donnersberg in the Palatinate.

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Falkenstein Donnersberg Castle in the Palatinate was built by 1135 and was first besieged and then captured by the French in 1647. The outer walls were blown up. 1794: the dynasty of the Falkenstein castle owners was already extinct at this time. The property passed through various hands until it was finally acquired by the municipality of Donnersberg and has been partially rebuilt since 1979.

The first documented mention of the castle in 1135 mentions a Siegebold von Falkenstein as lord of the castle. The next 40 years lie historically in the dark. After 1170, the family of Bolanden appears in the annals as lords of the castle. But it is not until 1233 that Philipp IV of Bolanden is officially named as Philipp I of Falkenstein. Philipp had two sons, Philipp II and Werner, with whom the Falkenstein dynasty divided into two lines - a Butzbach line and a Lich line.

However, the history of the Falkenstein dynasty by no means took place only in the Palatinate. Due to the extinction of the noble family of Hagen-Münzenberg, to whom they were related, they came to own extensive estates in the Rhine-Main area, including Offenbach, and built Neufalkenstein Castle in the Taunus Mountains near Königstein.

The Butzbach branch produced, among others, Kuno II of Falkenstein, who was Elector and Archbishop of Trier from 1362 to 1388. This was one of the most influential positions in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation at the time. After his death, his great-nephew Werner III von Falkenstein from the Licher line took over this important office. As the city lord of Offenbach, he was in conflict with the powerful free city of Frankfurt, among others. After his death, the male line of the Falkenstein family died out.

The inheritance was taken over by the influential Lords of Eppstein and the Counts of Solms. The Eppstein dynasty also died out in the 16th century, while the line of the Counts of Solms still exists today. The last female survivor of the Falkensteins is remembered as Werner III's sister, Anna. She founded a hospital in Dreieichenhain, a village that belonged to her family's estates, which was moved to Offenbach in 1750. As the founder of the convent, this is said to have affected her so much that she found no peace in her grave and continued to haunt it as a ghost until the mid-19th century.


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