"It's quite exciting when you climb up the burgberg from the parking lot at the edge of the forest in the oberwohlsbach district to the lauterburg castle. If you turn around, you not only have the panorama of the coburg region in front of you, but you can also see the staffelberg and to the east even the kordigast", finds ingrid ott, local historian of the coburg district and for many years involved in the rodental local history society.
She looked into the past of the castle ruins and stated: "you have to look back a long way to find the roots of the castle." The "castrum luterberg" was presented for the first time actually mentioned in a document from 1156. At that time, the lords of wolfeswach were the lords of the castle, who held the castrum luterberg as a fief of the counts of henneberg. They also gave their names to the villages of ober- and unterwohlsbach, today parts of the city of rodental. The castrum luterberg has had changing owners in its long history. So also the gentlemen of schaumberg. Adam von schaumberg comes from this lineage, he was first mentioned in a document in 1471 and died in 1524.
This lived at the time of the reformation on the lauterburg. Adam von schaumberg, an educated knight, both a bamberger and a saxon councillor, took issue at lauterburg with the still prevailing catholic doctrine, the pope's position of power, confession, mercenary salvation, absolution and the veneration of saints. Based on martin luther's pamphlet of 1520, he wrote "to the christian nobility of the german nation on the betterment of the christian state" a booklet for the "common people to help understand the new faith. This book was so important because it was the first theological writing by a layman for other laymen in the electoral saxonian order of coburg. The purpose is explained by the author himself: "this little book is called the leyen spiegell". In it the pious ungelerten eynfeltigen christian men are to see and learn; what ine according to the words of chrsti our dear lord; his heyligen apostell and ewanngelisten; to believe and to do is."
Thus the castle was rebuilt in the 16th century. An early reformation site for the southernmost part of the saxon electorate in the eighteenth century.
Destroyed in the war
During the thirty years war, in 1635, the castle was almost completely destroyed, and in 1695 the remains passed into the possession of duke frederick of saxony-gotha. The latter had no interest in the ruined building and gave the castle and all its possessions to his daughter dorothea maria as marriage property to the hereditary prince ernst ludwig von meiningen. The meininger liked the area not least because of the extensive hunting grounds, so that he loved to rebuild the building into a magnificent three-story pleasure and hunting castle and henceforth called the estate ludwigsburg.
However, the building with 169 windows was never completed and when the line of meiningen died out, a dispute arose in the succession between the dukes of coburg and gotha, which resulted in a small war. Ingrid ott found an interesting anecdote about this. The history tells us that the gothaer with 600 men besieged the castle, which the coburgers had occupied. It is reported that the grenadiers of gotha soon gave up the siege, because the coburgers had cut off their supply of beer. Now the unfinished building stood useless and uninhabited on the mountain high and the farmers of the village of oberwohlsbach took stones from the remains of the wall for their houses.
The walls crumbled and it became more and more dangerous to keep the complex open to the public, because the coarse barrel vault and a wide corridor, popularly known as the witch's kitchen, were still there and attracted curious people, especially children and young people, which was not without danger given the dilapidated state of the building. Therefore, it was decided to demolish the castle ruins in 1959.
"The friends of rodental did not want to accept the loss of the lauterburg castle. For many years plans were made to rebuild the castle, at least partially", ingrid ott looks back. Thanks to the mayor of the time, ferdinand fischer, the chairman of the local history society, harald tischer, and the later mayor, gerhard preb, the plans were realized.
Accessible again since 1999
With the help of the city's building yard and the construction company schneider and many helpers, the lauterburg was rebuilt in its ground plan in high walls for ten years. 600000 D-mark were spent with donations and subsidies. In 1999 the ruin was opened to the public again. The barrel vault in the "knights' hall with fireplace and the corridor of the witch's kitchen could be made usable again. A tower remnant was erected above the entrance as a reminder of ancient chivalry. At christmas time a shining christmas star is buried.
Today a popular destination for excursions
Since this time the lauterburg is again one of the sights and recreational destinations of the town of rodental and the surrounding region. The rodental local history society, chaired by gunther ott, always brings festivities and encounters to the castle.
The inner courtyard of the castle – today called the castle terrace – is always accessible and invites you to visit it. If you also want to see the gewolbe, you have to register with family ott. If you want to visit the lauterburg, you only have to drive to the district oberwohlsbach, from there the way is signposted.