History

Zscheiplitz began its life as a small Slavonic settlement on top of the hill overlooking the river valley – some time in the 7-9th century AD.

Subjugated by the Frankish military might, it became a residence of the Imperial palatine count Friedrich of Saxony. In 1041 he built his Weissenburg residence here.

In 1085 Friedrich’s widow Adelheid donated the estate to the church. In 1089 Zscheiplitz became the Benedictine monastery. Saint Martin of Tour was its patron saint; the church, dedicated to him was erected soon thereafter and is the oldest one in the region of Unstrut valley.

After the Reformation and subsequent dissolution of the monastery in the mid 16th century the estate passed to the hands of private owners. Fields and forests, churches, vineyards and mills – all together the property formed a unique socio-economic universum, preserved despite political turbulence and wars.

Napoleon was an unwelcome guest here in October 1813, turning Zscheiplitz into a fortified artillery position in support of his retreating armies.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to the village since the times of marauding Magyars in the 10th century was the neglect and disrepair of the Communist times. Deprived of any sort of repair over the period of more than fifty years it became almost totally ruined, with hollowed roofs, crumbling plaster and declining population. With virtually no one willing to take the responsibility for its future the castle was in danger of disappearing from the map of cultural and architectural heritage altogether.

 

 

10,000 B.C. — 900 A.D.

Archeological data shows, that the first human settlement appeared here in late Neolith, some 10 thousand years ago.

In early 9th century the first wave of the Frankish colonisation has reached Unstrut – by then a Slavonic land, inhabited by peoples  with cultural, ethnic and genetic identity similar to that of today’s Sorbs and Czechs.

 

920 A.D. — 1085 A.D.

Zscheiplitz was destined to become a central point of Frankish expansion in the area East of Thuringia. Sometime in early 10th century it became a place of permanent residence of the family, which ruled the area on behalf of German Kings and Holy Roman Emperors of the Ottoman dynasty – the counts of Goseck, Counts Palatine of Saxony, a cadet branch of the Wettin dynasty.

 

1085 A.D. — 1560 A.D.

Named Weissenburg – White Fortress – the residence remained in the hands of the Goseck family until the death of Friedrich III. According to the Reinhardsbrunn Chronicle he was murdered by the orders of his rival for power, wealth and influence – count Ludwig of Thuringia. After his brief imprisonment Ludwig has wed Friedrich’s wife Adelheid, who, in atonement of her sins, donated the residence and the land around it to the order of St. Bernard.

 

1560 A.D. — 1945 A.D.

The Nunnery of Zscheiplitz was dissolved in 1540-s, with the death of its last inhabitant. The village and the estate became a property of prince Moritz of Saxony who created Zscheiplitz Manor to be owned exclusively by the nobility of the land (RITTERGUT).

Only slightly affected by the retreat of Napoleon of France, who positioned his artillery on Zscheiplitz hill to cover his retreat from Leipzig on October 20 1813, the village was almost untouched by the 20-s century two world wars.

 

1945 A.D. — 2008 A.D.

Before the land reform of 1949 the manor was owned by the Bila family, then, collectively, by 12 refugee families from the eastern parts of Germany

By early 2000s the manor was on the brink catastrophe having lost two of its five roofs, all of its facade-and interior decorations,  ovens and fire places, with dilapidated electric cabling, broken water pipes, rotten floors, broken windows and doors.

 

2008 A.D.

The ruins of the manor was acquired by the von Hahn family, direct descendants of count Burchard I von Goseck through maternal line and thus related to both Count Palatine Friedrich III and count Ludwig of Thuringia.

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