Lichtenau Fortress (German: Festung Lichtenau) is a former
fortification built by the Nuremberg castellans in the market town of
Lichtenau in Middle Franconia.
3 External links
The fortress and the market town of Lichtenau (Matthäus Merian:
Topographia Franconiae, 1648)
The fortress of Lichtenau goes back to a medieval water castle. In
1406 Nuremberg purchased the village and the castle of Lichtenau from
Frederick II of Heideck. Because of the location of Lichtenau as a
tactical outpost of the
Imperial City of Nuremberg
Imperial City of Nuremberg within the
territory of the margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach there was frequently
tension and destruction as a result of warlike conflicts.
During the First
Margrave War in 1449 Albrecht Achilles invaded
Lichtenau, devastated the land and captured the castle. The castle was
not returned until 1453. In the course of the Second
Margrave War, in
1553, it was totally destroyed by Albrecht Alcibiades even though it
had been surrendered without a fight. The Imperial City of Nuremberg
had a completely new castle built (by Wolf Jacob Stromer), probably
based on older plans by the architect, Antonio Fazzuni) for
194,000 guilders. Due to the level of destruction, the rebuild
took until 1630 to complete. Barely a year later, the fortress was
besieged by imperial troops and Georg Scheurl handed over the
fortress, again without resisting, to the imperial commander, Tilly
who, however, did not damage it. The last major attack on the fortress
was in 1688, in a raid by troops of the French "sun king", Louis XIV.
The French demanded that the pfleger, John Frederick Haller of
Hallerstein surrender it. He, however, broke the tradition of handing
it over without a fight and fought back, whereupon the French gave up
storming the fortification.
In 1806 Lichtenau fell, like Nuremberg and the rest of Franconia, to
the Kingdom of Bavaria, whereupon the fortress was used as a gaol. In
this period, Lichtenau was governed inter alia by Ludwig von Redwitz
(1779–1848) as governor of the gaol; his son, later the well known
poet, Oskar von Redwitz, was born here in 1823.
Lichtenau Fortress is a splendid example of Renaissance architecture
even though from a military perspective it did not represent the state
of the art of fortifications at the time of its completion and was not
easy to defend against siege artillery due to its location in a
After thorough renovation, the fortress is used today by the Free
State of Bavaria as an satellite site for the Nuremberg State
Archives. The inner courtyard and the wall platforms are open during
the day for sightseeing. Once a year in July the local history society
organizes the castle festival. During this festival, which also
attracts young people from the wider region, the castle is open to the
public on two days.
Daniel Burger, Birgit Friedel: Burgen und Schlösser in Mittelfranken.
ars vivendi Verlag, Cadolzburg 2003, ISBN 3-89716-379-9,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lichtenau Fortress.
"Lichtenau Fortress: History of the coat-of-arms" (in German). Haus
der Bayerischen Geschichte.
Feste Lichtenau (von der Burgen-Straße)
49°16′43″N 10°41′13″E / 49.27861°N 10.68694°E /