How did Rizpah Adala die this week



Contributions to the history of Wasselnheim

From Philipp Wirth

Realschule director in Worms


Editor's note:

We wondered for a long time whether we should work

"Contributions to the history of Wasselnheim"

by Worms Realschool Director Philipp Wirth - published in Worms in 1879 (first part) and 1880 (second part) - revised and shortened accordingly. But we have decided to make the original edition - adapted to the new spelling - available to a wider public. Because it not only bears witness to the language of the late 19th century, it encompasses knowledge that should be of interest to every local historian and anyone interested in local history in the Dahner Felsenland.




Preliminary remark

For those readers who either do not know Wasselnheim or know only by name, we note that it is located in a north-westerly direction 25 kilometers from Strasbourg and has a little over 4000 inhabitants.

1. Prehistory

Unfortunately, nothing more is known about the origins of Wasselnheim, especially when it was founded. The name is mentioned for the first time in a document from the year 754 AD; However, there is no doubt that the Romans had already established a settlement on the spot where Wasselnheim stands today, or in the immediate vicinity. This is supported by numerous remains of ancient masonry, some of which still show the old mortar plaster and even the red color of the room walls, as well as a fairly large number of graves, pieces of bricks, pottery shards, jewelry and the like, most of which were uncovered when the station was laid out and afterwards in the judgment of one of the most distinguished experts in the field of Roman antiquity research are certainly of Roman origin. (This refers to Dr. Hettner from Trier. Editor's note).

According to the findings so far, the settlement seems to have been of a bourgeois nature. Close to the freight shed of the station there was apparently a Roman country house of enormous size, which was probably destroyed by fire (Roman bricks, which were found at this point and are kept in the museum in Zabern, are covered with a greenish-brown glaze, which can only come from a conflagration.) and the numerous graves that were uncovered in the vicinity, prove that this was not the only complex of this type in the place. It has not yet been possible to determine how far the entire colony extended.

There is also a lack of sufficient clues to determine the time when the establishment was established. Perhaps it already flourished under Emperor Augustus (30 BC to 14 AD). At least nothing speaks against this assumption; it is rather confirmed by the fact that a Roman silver coin from that time was found in one of the graves. We do not want to go unmentioned, however, that it is rather heavily worn on the edge and must have been in circulation for a long time before it was given to the deceased on the last journey.

Close to the place where the above-mentioned country house stood, there are also remains of a Roman road that stretched across the present-day train station in a north-east to south-west direction. It is believed that it was a Roman military road that branched off from one of the Roman roads at Küttolsheim, which directly connected the two cities of Strasbourg and Zabern, and led through the Golbuch via Brechlingen (and Goßweiler?) To Dagsburg. (Here Wirth is referring to “Morlet, Notice sur les voies romaines du dép. You Bas-Rhin)

The graves mentioned above have been found on both sides of this road. One of these, a so-called box grave, made from roughly hewn sandstone slabs, is still half preserved (behind the goods shed, to the right of the field path leading to Wangen).

So it cannot be doubted that there was a Roman settlement here, but the further question arises as to whether the Romans were the first to set up the local hearth here, or whether they perhaps found older residences and were neighbors settled them? The latter does indeed seem to have been the case; for, in the opinion of the researchers, the name Wasselnheim, with the exception of the final syllable, which the Germans added later, is of Celtic origin and older than the Roman occupation on this side of the Rhine. The name is already in the year 754, when we find it recorded for the first time, almost exactly as it is today, namely "Wazzeleneheim" (currently in Old High German = ß, thus Waßelenheim) and thus already had the German final syllable at that time. However, this in no way proves that it was originally connected with it; Examples of other Alsatian place names, which only adopted the final syllable 'heim' in the Middle Ages and partly retained it, partly lost it, rather speak for the opposite. French scholars explain the name as a compound of ais or as = Hill and lon or lan = Place of protection, residence. The same would therefore mean something like "Hochheim", high place of residence in German. On the other hand, however, it can be objected that the first beginnings of Wasselnheim (as well as the Roman settlement), demonstrably did not lie on the existing hill, but at its foot; also that the initial W is not considered to be present in this ethnology. (Wirth: If the ethnology were correct, the same thing would have to be explained as a Celtic Digamma.)

A German researcher is therefore of the opinion that the syllable What (for which there is no root in Celtic) at the time when Germans and Celts began to mix, from the German penetrated and called nothing else than "water". Waslon, or as the name is still today in dialect, Wasle (le is in Celtic Welsh like lon in Celtic-Irish synonymous with the German "heim") would therefore mean "water home" and designate a place located on a larger waterfront.

This explanation seems all the more acceptable to us as the nature of the surroundings of Wasselnheim suggests that there was once a lake here that only received an outflow through the formation of the Kronthals (which is now flowed through by the Mossig). Accordingly, Wasselnheim was founded on the last remnants of this lake, which was more like a swamp than a lake or pond.

Let us briefly summarize the result of our investigation into the prehistory of Wasselnheim: Wasselnheim is of Celtic origin and was originally called Waslon or Waslan. It was drawn into the network of roads by the Roman conquerors, and a Roman colony flourished next to it for a long time. This succumbed to the onslaught of the Germanic peoples or the Germans, while the actual place was preserved in order to play a not entirely insignificant role under its current name in Alsatian history, as we shall see.

2. Wasselnheim under the Frankish kings

As already mentioned, we find the name Wasselnheim recorded in writing for the first time in a document from the year 754 and written in the barbaric Latin of that time, through which Countess Adala, the daughter of Count Bodalus, inherited hers from her father Gave a share in Wasselnheim and the village of "Esphenwilere" to the Hornbach monastery near Zweibrücken. Since the file is not only indicative of the direction of that time, but is also fundamental for the later development of Wasselnheim, we will allow it to follow in the most literal translation possible. The same is:

“As long as the frailty of the human race fills us with constant fear of death, no one should be found unprepared because of the danger of sudden addiction, so that he does not leave this temporality without the consolation of some good work, but as long as it is in his Power and violence stand, prepare the way of salvation, on which he can reach eternal bliss. For this reason I give Adala, the daughter of Bodalus, after I have consecrated myself to God, for my eternal bliss and the forgiveness of my sins to the Samund monastery, which is built in honor of Saint Peter and the other saints, and where Bishop James is with leads his godly life according to the rule to his monks who live there, so I donate to this holy place - and I want the donation to be valid for all time - the after-named villages in the Alsatian Gaue, which are called Wazzeleneheim and Esphenwilere, with the Land and half of the tithe, with the houses, farm buildings and serfs, the vineyards, forests, huts, sheds, fields, meadows and pastures, waters and rivers, with the possessions of both sexes of mature and underage age and all movable and immovable accessories . As much as my above-mentioned father left me in those brands at his death, we hand over my entire share and transfer it to unlimited ownership from today in this holy place, so that the monastery and its brotherhood, which there day and night without ceasing serve, from this day on, have, kept and own the above-mentioned goods and, with the grace of Christ, leave them to their followers, or whatever they want to do with it from now on, in God's name should have the free and fullest power over everything. If anyone, me or my heirs or any other person, should contest this donation made by me or want to provoke any legal dispute, which I hope will not happen, then you, our legal successors, should twice as much, when this donation was fraudulent. And moreover he is to pay ten pounds of gold or twenty in silver to the most holy public treasure and his claim to restitution is not to have any validity, but the present donation is to remain unharmed at all times on the basis of the agreement made. Given in the village of Bergas on August 18th in the third year of the reign of our Lord King Pippin. Signed. Adala has signed etc. (The names of the witnesses and the notary follow).

The Bodalus mentioned in this document came from Duke Attich, the father of those who were glorified by legend

Exit Odilia. He is called Count of Alsace, but only seems to have had the title, not the office and dignity of such. He had two children, a son Egerhard and a daughter Adala (Attala). The former died before his father, the latter renounced the world and, as stated in our document, went to a monastery.

In addition to other properties, Adala had inherited half of Wasselnheim from her father. The deed of donation shows that she did not own the entire village; because she says in it that she is giving away her "whole share" (porcionem meam totam), and that the same, apart from certain lands, homesteads and servants, includes the "tithe of half the (church) community (cum ... decimecione dimidie ecclesie) .

It is true that nowhere is it said to whom the other part of the village belonged; but we will not go wrong if we suppose that it was the direct property of the Frankish kings. In later times there was repeated mention of the existence of a “royal court” in Wasselnheim, about the origin of which nothing is known. Like most of the other royal courts, this one too was laid out by the Frankish kings at an early date, which is all the more likely since the nearby Kirchheim or Marlenheim was known to have been a favorite residence of the Austrasian kings for a long time.

Since the properties donated to the Hornbach Abbey were undoubtedly also managed from a manor, so at the time of the Frankish rule Wasselnheim consisted of two manors on which the Meier lived and the associated farms, the owners of which were probably all serfs. The royal court is called the "lower Dinghof" in later documents. According to Helmer (historical notes on the area around Wasselnheim and Molsheim, p.65), the same is said to have been at the Ratbache. The monastery, which was also called the "Upper Dinghof" or "Court of St. Pirmin", was presumably located on today's market square, where the so-called "Stube" was later built.


3. Wasselnheim under the German emperors

From the end of the 9th to the beginning of the 14th century


For several centuries there was no record of Wasselnheim.

In contrast, in 1135 we find the first mention of Brechlingen, which is now a community with Wasselnheim. In a bull issued in Pisa on June 13, 1135, Pope Innocent II confirmed the abbot to the abbot of the Hugshoven monastery. sold by Austria to the Andlau Abbey, but is still mentioned in the "Epitome geographiae von Cluver" in 1733) and must therefore still have existed at that time) and his legally elected successors owned various goods acquired by donation, including one in " Brachalfingen ".

Since this designation does not refer to any other Alsatian place than Brechlingen, it is rightly assumed that the latter is to be understood by it. - In the course of the centuries it has, of course, changed its name significantly; but such phenomena are not exactly rare in Alsatian history. In the year 1378 the village is called "Ueberechlingen" in a sales deed, at the beginning of the 16th century, however, Brechlingen, as it is called today.

We know nothing about the previous fate of Brechling. According to legend, it would once have been much more important than Wasselnheim, which is very unlikely, at least since the 12th century Wasselnheim has been the more important place. Only the name "Brachalfingen" gives us some hints about the past of the village. It is also said to be of Celtic origin and denote a cattle market with agriculture and cattle breeding. According to this, the beginnings of Brechlingen go back to antiquity and are closely connected with the development and expansion of Waffelnheim itself.

When the inhabitants of this latter increased in such a way that parts of the undeveloped field marrow used for pasture had to be reclaimed, individual freelancers or servants were presumably settled at the location of the cattle market near the new arable fields, and the same process took place in the course of the Repeatedly over the centuries, a village gradually emerged at that point. The same thing was always connected with Wasselnheim. A part of it later belonged to the Dinghofe of the Hornbach Abbey. The place also had its own chapel, which, according to reports from people still alive, was only demolished at the beginning of our century.

Although the documents, as noted, have been silent about Wasselnheim itself for several centuries, it is not entirely impossible for us to take a look at the development of the village during that time.

Through the Treaty of Mersen (870), Alsace, which until then had belonged to the Lorraine empire, came to Germany and was administered as an immediate empire by counts. Since all the rights of the previous rulers had passed to the German king at the same time as the land, the part of Wasselnheim that belonged to the royal court must also have become the direct property of the king, who presumably had it administered by his servants (ministerials).Whether this relationship continued after the Alsace was united with the Duchy of Alemanien or Swabia in 925 cannot be determined in view of the lack of all written records. There is much to suggest that it was so. So it says in the wisdom of the upper Dinghof from the year 1405 and 1529: “We speak and recognize how come from old and what is right, that Wasselnheim and Brechlingen compel and ban free villages of the Holy Roman Empire and a fiefdom from a Roman king and the be holy kingdoms.

This is also supported by the fact that, according to the same wisdom, there was no ban water, no ban mill and no ban furnace in Wasselnheim.


(The word “ban” in these compositions denotes a command on the one hand, and a ban under threat of punishment on the other hand. A ban water was a water the use of which was forbidden by the owner to all unauthorized persons or only permitted against a certain fee; ban mills and ban ovens were mills and ovens, the use of which the people belonging to a court, a lordship, etc., were required to use under threats of punishment.-When the original equality of property was replaced by ever greater inequality, as individuals succeeded in inheriting, donating, buying or even forcibly appropriating them In order to increase their possessions to an extraordinary extent, those favored by fate, where their goods formed large, closed masses, usually also tried to free themselves from the obligations and burdens resting on the entire field or forest marrow by using their possessions (w at least by fencing it in) separated from the total mark. As a result, the separated district became inaccessible to all who did not live in it or who belonged to it

And made unusable (often with simultaneous threats of penalties): he was banned. So first the ban forests were created, then also ban water, ban willows, etc. On the other hand, in these areas the abovementioned ban mills, ovens, smiths, etc. were created, which the good-natured people were forced to use and which therefore generally left the owners alone secure source of income. In accordance with the nature of the matter, these excommunication righteousnesses were found far less often in the imperial immediate areas than in those of the secular and spiritual greats, and their absence may in our case be regarded as evidence of the imperial immediacy of Wasselnheim.)


This is finally supported by the fact that the German emperors, since the end of the twelfth century, have been demanding - and getting back - Wasselnheim, which had temporarily fallen into other hands, with a strange determination as an imperial village for the empire.

It is possible, even very likely, that the village was given to the Swabian dukes as an imperial fiefdom; this did not destroy its imperial immediacy. When the Swabian ducal dynasty of Hohenstaufen finally ascended the imperial throne (1138), that fief ceased to exist and Wasselnheim was a free village of the empire.

Favored by these circumstances, the village had gradually grown into a sizable community; the servants, and indeed, it seems, all of the royal estate and the monastery courtyard, had succeeded in the course of time in freeing themselves from personal bondage and limited servitude to certain services and taxes. (For various reasons, the discussion of which would lead us too far here, the serfs in the immediate imperial and spiritual territories were able to shed the yoke of serfdom far more easily than in the territories of the secular greats.) In none of the documents relating to Wasselnheim have been published since the end In the 12th century, more serfs or serfs in the real sense (mancipia or servi) are listed and the above-mentioned wisdom expressly states: "A banlord should not have his own man either, he is then released from the gallows."

But Wasselnheim, too, had to experience the influence of the deplorable conditions brought about by the wrong policies of the German emperors. While these chased after the delusion of a German-Roman world empire and wasted their strength on repeated Roman expeditions, they forfeited at home what they tried in vain to gain abroad; The power and prestige of the crown declined from century to century, and secular and spiritual greats seized the possessions of the empire. Especially for the latter, the spiritual great, the striving for an expansion of power was made easier by various other favorable circumstances. The reputation of the Church had risen significantly as a result of the Crusades, and thousands of believers were driven, by concern for their souls, to hand over some or all of their belongings to the monasteries or dioceses. But if an abbot or bishop had once established a firm foothold somewhere in this way, it was easy for him to expand and round off his property through further donations or purchases, to oust the previous officials of the community or cooperative through his servants or for himself to take into service and so finally to extend and permanently strengthen his rule over the entire area.

Wasselnheim experienced a similar fate towards the end of the 12th or beginning of the 13th century, when the diocese of Strasbourg managed in one way or another to bring the place under its rule. At first the diocese probably only owned a farm or just a part of one that had been donated to it, but it was able to expand this property so significantly over time that it ultimately even owned its own Dinghof or one of the existing ones Dinghöfe claimed his property, according to a document from 1223. Namely, in the enumeration of what belongs to the diocese as property, primarily a curia, that is a rulership, is mentioned and distinguished from the rest of the village (villa). Where this courtyard - if it was a newly laid out one - was located is unknown; perhaps the later castle emerged from it. It seems even more likely, however, that the curia is to be understood as the royal court that the diocese coveted for itself or actually took possession of after it had succeeded in seizing public authority.

That it owned the latter in Wasselnheim is also confirmed by several documents from that time.

According to the information provided by the same, the bishop exercised the right of patronage there, collected the tithes and other taxes for himself, appointed the Meier “at his convenience”, challenged the residents to his court and claimed the bailiwick as his right. Since we find the diocese in possession of these powers at the beginning of the 13th century, we can assume that it exercised them unhindered for a number of years. Because the times were extremely favorable for the greats striving for an expansion of power, as bloody civil wars raged in the empire and none of the existing emperors (first Philip of Swabia and Otto IV, since 1215 Friedrich II) had enough power to counter the arrogance of the great vassals to kick. However, as soon as more calm conditions returned, the Strasbourg monastery became a powerful adversary in the emperor Frederick II. It is not clear which individual rights he demanded back in the name of the empire, probably all those which the bishops had appropriated without a letter and seal about it to own. His demands related to a number of Alsatian ones

Localities, in the first place

But line to Wasselnheim and Muhlhausen, which had also come into the possession of the diocese.

Although the bishop initially rejected any thought of diminishing his power, he finally (1221) agreed to have the dispute settled by an arbitration tribunal. The office of judge was provided by the abbots of Murbach and Neuburg and the landgrave Siegebert von Werden; Bishop Heinrich von Behringen himself was also present. In accordance with the predominantly spiritual character of the court, the verdict was entirely in favor of the bishop, as it was awarded "Wasselnheim with all accessories without any exception" and expressly stipulated that the residents of the village who belonged to the monastery were only allowed to seek their rights in the episcopal courts .

The emperor was not satisfied with this decision, and therefore a new agreement was reached between his plenipotentiaries and the bishop in the course of the two following years, which turned out to be somewhat more favorable to him, inasmuch as the bailiwick and half of the bailiwicks connected with it Income was granted, while the bishop was supposed to keep "the rulership of Wasselnheim with the village" and all other rights.

Frederick did not approve this agreement either, and since he had been in Italy since 1220, he entrusted the organization of the matter to the Archbishop of Cologne and the famous Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Herrmann von Salza, who was one of his most loyal followers in the empire. But this time, too, he was hardly better advised than before, because both plenipotentiaries again commissioned the papal legate, Cardinal Konrad von Urach, to conclude a settlement, which in fact was in 1224 between the latter and Bishop Berthold von Teck, the successor of Heinrich von Behringen was signed at Haguenau. The new bishop declared that he was ready to transfer the Wasselnheim manor and all accessories, with the exception of the patronage, to the emperor as a fief in addition to the bailiwick, which had already been granted; so that the diocese should therefore retain the right of ownership.

Friedrich alone was far from being satisfied with these concessions; he apparently claimed the whole village without any restrictions, but it seems he postponed the final settlement of the matter until his return to Germany. In the month of March of the year 1236 he finally appeared himself in Strasbourg with a brilliant retinue of clerical and secular greats and concluded a treaty with Bishop Berthold by which all points of dispute were settled. The diocese had to agree to return Wasselnheim and all rights, with the only exception of patronage rights and the feudal estates of the episcopal vassals, to the emperor and empire and received the bailiwick in Bischofsheim.

So the long-standing quarrel was settled and Wasselnheim returned to the direct rule of the empire.

The negotiations between the emperor and the diocese, as well as the final result, are interesting in two respects. On the one hand, they show us the tenacity with which the greats of the empire hold on to their actual possessions, however they have acquired them, and how the common interest even drives the emperor's confidants to benefit less from the head of the empire than from his opponents in disputes Keep an eye on. On the other hand, however, the fact that in the present case the diocese is willing to make ever greater concessions that it cedes first the bailiwick, then the bailiwick and the manor and finally the whole village to the emperor, can be seen as sure proof that that the emperor's claims were legally well founded. This view is confirmed by the fact that Frederick II contented himself with lesser concessions in all the other places mentioned and only firmly adhered to the assignment of Wasselnheim. (With Mulhouse, Neuchâtel and a few other places he let himself be enfeoffed, with Mosheim and Mutzig he contented himself with the bailiwick.)

In addition to his good rights, the emperor may also have been prompted to do so by the fact that a strong imperial castle, the Kronenburg, was built close to Wasselnheim. It was to the left of the Mossig at the entrance of the Kronthals on the so-called rock, where some remains of its foundation walls can still be seen today. The Kronthal as well as the Kronenburger Straße and the suburb of Strasbourg received the name from her.

The legend reports that King Dagobert II, who is said to have done pretty much everything in Alsace, also built the Kronenburg; in reality, however, its builder was a brave German knight of the 13th century named Wolfel or Wölfelin. Coming from an unknown family, his reliability and ability had enabled him to win the favor of Emperor Frederick II to such an extent that the latter appointed him first Vogt of Hagenau and later Governor of Alsace. On behalf of his royal lord, he fortified a number of immediate imperial places in Alsace, such as Schlettstadt, Kaiserberg and others, and presumably also built the Kronenburg in order to be able to protect the rights of the empire more easily against the arrogance of the great. The year of its founding is unknown; Its construction probably falls in the second decade of the 13th century and was prompted by the emperor's quarrel with the diocese of Strasbourg.

Further settlements do not seem to have existed in Krontal at that time, only a few centuries later such are mentioned. They formed their own village, which was subsequently united with Marlenheim to form a community. The Kronthalmühle, however, always belonged to Wasselnheim and was an imperial fiefdom, which was sold to the Bishop of Strasbourg in 1510 with the consent of Emperor Maximilian I.


Through the above-mentioned treaty of 1236, the diocese of Strasbourg had renounced its rule over Wasselnheim, but had retained certain goods with which it had enfeoffed some of its servants. Likewise, that treaty had not changed the ownership rights of Hornbach Abbey, whose Dinghof included almost half of the villages of Wasselnheim and Brechlingen together with their field marrow. In addition, Andlau Abbey had been wealthy in Wasselnheim for a long time; Already in 1156 an Erbo von Wasselnheim appears as a servant of this monastery. The same, however, seems to have later ceded its possessions to the poor hospital and monastery in Steige, which he had founded; for in a bull from the year 1289, through which Pope Nicholas IV confirmed the possession of his goods to this monastery, we find Wasselnheim listed among the numerous villages in which the same owned land and income, while the Andlau Abbey disappears from the history of Wasselnheim.

Neither Andlau nor Steige had obtained special rights in Wasselnheim, but this was the case with Hornbach Abbey. The same had undoubtedly held the right of patronage in earlier times and actually exercised it in 1208, because in that year Pope Innocent III confirmed a pastor at Wasselnheim whom the Abbot von Hornbach had appointed in his position as patronage. If, in spite of this, the bishops of Strasbourg always demand patronage for themselves in their dispute with the emperor and are recognized in the relevant documents as patronage without objection, this can only be explained by the fact that they, as spiritual overlords of the district, have that right for took up. For their part, the abbots of Hornbach did not renounce the same and did not cease to fight the claims of the diocese. So finally in 1296 a contract came into being by which it was determined that from now on the right to occupy the pastor's position should switch between the two parts.

In addition to this right, the Hornbach Abbey had lower jurisdiction over the people who were dependent on it, that is, the right to punish all offenses committed by people who were obedient to the court against the statutes applicable to the Dinghof.We will come back to the peculiar legal usages that developed for this Dinghof in the course of time.

The public administration of justice, including the ban on blood (jurisdiction over life and death) for the entire village and its judicial district, on the other hand, was in the hands of a bailiff who had exercised it again in the name of the emperor from 1236 and at the same time had to uphold all other imperial rights.

Wasselnheim already had a Vogt before the last year, and the office had been hereditary for a long time in the same family that had the royal court as a fiefdom from the German emperors. She called herself "von Wasselnheim" after her place of residence and is probably the oldest noble family that was based in Wasselnheim. The first noble of this name who is mentioned is that Erbo von Wasselnheim, whom we got to know above as a servant of the Andlau monastery. In the 13th and 14th centuries, members of the family are often mentioned and called Vögte von Wasselnheim. In the 13th century Dietrich von Wasselnheim appeared as such, who fought on the side of Bishop Walther von Geroldseck against Strasbourg, and Dietrich, Hesso, Anselm and Gozo, who took part in a war between the Duke of Lorraine and the city of Strasbourg. In the 14th century two noble von Wasselnheim named Hesso and Anselm owned the village of Bischofsheim as a sub-fief of the diocese of Strasbourg. - At the same time, however, we find other members of the family in the service of worldly greats and the city of Strasbourg. In 1332, 'one of Wasselnheim' was killed in a street fight between the Strasbourg patrician families of Müllnheim and Zorn. In 1346 we find a Wegelin from Wasselnheim in the service of the city of Strasbourg. The last lord of Wasselnheim mentioned is Hans von Wasselnheim, who also owned the bailiwick in Wasselnheim and with his death the family died out in the 15th century. (Probably 1434)


By the treaty of 1236 the dispute over the possession of Wasselnheim was settled, but not eliminated forever; on the contrary, it immediately revived when the mighty struggle between the emperor and the pope began, which ended with the fall of the brilliant ruling family of the Hohenstaufen. Pope Innocent IV, who as a cardinal was the emperor's friend and confidante but became his mortal enemy as the pope, pronounced the ban on Friedrich II in 1245 and in 1246 brought about the election of the opposing emperor Heinrich Raspe of Thuringia. While Friedrich himself was fighting in Italy, his son Konrad tried to hold down the opponents in Germany, but was unable to prevent the apostasy of numerous greats. The bishop of Strasbourg Heinrich von Stahleck also took the side of the opposing emperor and conquered the imperial cities and castles in Alsace. So he moved in front of the Kronenburg, won it after a short siege and had its walls broken (1246) The chronicler says: 'he founded the sleyffete', but since the castle is mentioned in later documents, its destruction does not seem to be complete but to have mainly extended to the walls and towers. It is only said to have been completely removed in 1369. In the previous century the moat could still be seen, while today only a few sparse, barely recognizable remains of the foundation walls remain.

That the bishop also took the opportunity to extend the rule of the diocese again over Wasselnheim is not only very likely from the outset, but is also raised to an irrefutable certainty by various facts.

We find one of these facts in the fact that in the war between Bishop Walther von Geroldseck and the city of Strasbourg (1260-1263), Vogt Dietrich von Wasselnheim fought on the side of the bishop and on September 7, 1262 he fought with several other knights for guaranteed the keeping of the armistice concluded between the hostile parties for the purpose of harvesting the grapes. Dietrich appeared here as the bishop's servant, which rightly suggests that the latter was already in control of Wasselnheim again. - Another, downright convincing proof of the correctness of this assumption is provided by the contract which Emperor Rudolf von Habsburg concluded in 1274 with the Strasbourg bishop Konrad von Lichtenberg and in which the latter ceded half of the village of Wasselnheim to the emperor for life. This treaty could certainly not have been concluded if the provisions made in 1236 were still in force, i.e. Wasselnheim had been under the Reich and not again under the diocese.

During the interregnum, Wasselnheim had returned to the state it had at the beginning of the century, and the village had once again been alienated from the rich. Something similar had happened in all parts of the empire, since in those terrible times only the law of the strong prevailed and brute force everywhere was decisive. Rudolf von Habsburg, who ascended the powerless imperial throne in 1273, tried to regain what had been lost from the rich man, but met with such stubborn resistance that his efforts were only in the rarest cases crowned with success. With regard to Wasselnheim, too, he was unable to achieve the same thing as Friedrich II in his time, because while the latter had returned the place to the empire with all rights without any time restrictions, Rudolf had to be content with lifelong possession of it and thereby recognize the diocese's superior property rights. However, the "half of the village" given to the emperor by the bishop is not to be understood as if the diocese ceded one part of the village but kept the other for itself; rather, the “half” is to be understood as the whole part of the village that did not belong to the Hornbach Abbey. The correctness of this view results from a document dated 1293, which we will deal with in detail below.

From the reign of Emperor Rudolf it is still to be reported that in the year 1280 he felt compelled to pledge part of his income to the knight Hartung von Wangen due to an evil that recurred very frequently in the history of his house, namely lack of money, since he had promised him 70 silver marks a year for the hat of Oberehnheim Castle, but was unable to pay it. In 1284 the Lords of Wasselnheim (the bailiff with three brothers or sons) took part in a war between Duke Friedrich von Lothringen against Bishop Konrad von Lichtenberg and the city of Strasbourg and fought as opponents of the diocese on the side of Lorraine. What induced them to do so is unknown. The Strasbourgers, who conquered and destroyed Ochsenstein Castle in this war, seem to have done badly and, in particular, to have caused great damage to Wasselnheimern. They therefore had to fear the revenge of Duke Friedrich and entered into negotiations with him in order to avert it. The result of this was that the Duke, in a document dated from the day before Ascension Day 1285, granted the Strasbourgers forgiveness “for all damage and insults inflicted on the bailiffs of Wasselnheim Dietrich, Hesso, Anselm and Gotzo up to that day”.

In 1291 Rudolf von Habsburg died and with his death the above-mentioned contract of 1274, through which Wasselnheim had been assigned to him for life, also expired. Rudolf's successor Adolf von Nassau had to make a new agreement with the diocese, which came about in 1293 with some difficulties. Even Adolf did not get more than Rudolf in his time, because he too was allowed to freely and undisturbed possession of "half of the village of Wasselnheim near the Kronenburg Fortress" for life only. But that this half of Wasselnheim was the same that Rudolf von Habsburg had received in 1274 and had already owned by the earlier emperors, but not another part of Wasselnheim, which the diocese had reserved for itself until then and only now added to the one that had been ceded earlier, this is clear from the words of the document: “That we should own half of the village .... with the same rights and in the same way as the emperors and kings, our predecessors, had half of the village before us. “Each time (1274 and 1293) the diocese of Strasbourg ceded all of its sovereign rights over Wasselnheim and not just part of them to the emperor. - The fact that only half of the village has been mentioned in the documents since the interregnum is probably due to the fact that the Hornbach Abbey had also gained greater power and decidedly refused to recognize the sovereignty of the bishop for its possessions.

It can be assumed that Adolf von Nassau was not even able to assert the rights over Wasselnheim that had been assigned to him until his death, because Bishop Konrad von Lichtenberg, who had reluctantly consented to the treaty, soon joined the emperor in open enmity opposite and tried in every way to promote the plans of his powerful opponent Albrecht of Austria. He finally ascended the throne in 1298 and does not seem to have made any claims to Wasselnheim in gratitude for the services he had provided. At least there is no hint of it.

However, his successor Heinrich VII was not bound by such considerations, and immediately after his election at the Reichstag in Frankfurt (in 1308) he took the necessary steps to settle once and for all the dispute, which had been resurgent for a century. In the presence of the most important imperial princes and with the prior consent of the electors, he decided on November 28th of that year - on the one hand to reward Bishop Johannes (von Dirpheim) of Strasbourg for his loyal service and his devotion ", on the other hand" for every object of the To remove controversy "- that the Strasbourg diocese should receive several, partly on this side, partly on the other side of the Rhine, villages, spots and castles with all the rights previously granted to the empire, but to receive Mulhouse and" half of the village of Wasselnheim near Kronenburg "as well to cede all rights with the exception of the right of patronage to the Reich.

With this extremely favorable decision, which was confirmed by Frederick the Fair in 1315, the diocese seems to have been completely satisfied, because since then it has not intervened in the fate of Wasselnheim in any way.


4. Wasselnheim in the 14th and 15th centuries

It seems to us that the changes in the history of Wasselnheim discussed last are of particular interest insofar as they show that the successors of Frederick II on the imperial throne also attached great importance to the possession of Wasselnheim and preferred a number of other places than this give up a village. Unfortunately, they have not given us an account of their reasons, so we have to rely on guesswork in this regard.

Their good rights, which certainly also came into play, can hardly have been alone that made the emperors, almost without exception, so eager to demand the place back; for we have seen that under certain circumstances they were content with the mere lifelong possession of it. Likewise, the proximity of the Kronenburg can no longer have given the village any importance; for it had been in ruins since the middle of the century.

Apparently Wasselnheim was important to the emperors because of its size. Although it is always called a “village” (villa) and never a place or a “city” (oppidum, civitas, urbs) because it had no curtain wall, it was certainly larger and more important with crumblings than some of the others Place named for the cities, and its possession was eagerly sought because of the income connected with it. In addition, it was the seat of an originally imperial bailiff and the capital of an important judicial district. The latter included not only Wasselnheim and Brechlingen, but also half of the two villages Friedolsheim and Ittelnheim, which had already been divided equally between Emperor Friedrich II and the diocese of Strasbourg in 1236. The importance of the place was further increased by the fact that there were two dinghouses here, and one, the royal court, was the property of the head of the empire by age and by law.

Finally, the castle, if it already existed, must have been enough to make Wasselnheim appear in the eyes of the emperors as one of the most desirable places in Alsace; because the chronicles tell of him that it was looking for strength of its peers and was almost impregnable: "des schlosz glychen was not seen in diezem land." ((Strassb.Archiv-Chronik, p. 180, Code hist. Et dipl. de la vd St. vol. II). It had five mighty large and twenty-two smaller towers and was surrounded by a deep moat (it is very unlikely that the moat was always filled with water, as Fischer states in the history of the Wasselnheim office , since there is no watercourse nearby that could have been used for filling. In particular, the water of the Kotbach could not be used for this purpose, since the bed of the creek is significantly deeper than the castle moat and is also quite far away from it the legend that the castle was connected to the Kronenburg by an underground passage is not based on anything factual.) But we have to go sogle I add that for various reasons it is doubtful whether the castle was even built at that time. In no document of the ^ 13. In the 19th century, the presence of the same is mentioned or even only hinted at, which, given the strength and importance of the structure described, would be almost incomprehensible if it were built in that century. Nor do the numerous Alsatian chronicles name the castle before the beginning of the 15th century. Although there was no lack of reason to do so. The failure to mention such a powerful fortress seems all the more striking, since the less important Kronenburg, even after its destruction, is mentioned repeatedly in the documents and chronicles to precisely describe the location of Wasselnheim. Finally, even this latter would not have been necessary if the place itself had already had such an outstanding importance back then due to the castle that would later become so famous. All of these reasons force us to assume that the castle was probably not built before the beginning of the 14th century. Unfortunately, it is not possible to determine the year of construction, as the necessary documents are missing.

The eager striving of the emperors to own Wasselnheim proves under all circumstances that the place had grown into an important community over time. Some of its residents had also achieved prominent positions. We have already mentioned the nobles of Wasselnheim above. Since the beginning of the 14th century, another noble family has appeared next to them, called Haffner von Wasselnheim and serving the diocese of Strasbourg. From it a number of respected knights and high-ranking clergy emerged. The first, whose existence is guaranteed by documents, was Hans Haffner, servant of the Strasbourg church at the beginning of the 14th century. In the year 1358 a Wilhelm Haffner is mentioned and called 'strenguus miles' (brave knight). Bechthold Haffner accompanied Emperor Rupprecht from the Palatinate to Italy in 1401 and fell there before Pisa. A Wilhelm Haffner was abbot of the Murbach monastery from 1393 to 1428 and as such belonged to the rank of imperial princes. Other Haffner co-owners of Freudeneck Castle until Wolfgang Haffner sold his share to the von Bock family in 1540.

So Wasselnheim was important to the emperors because of its size and because of the royal estate that lay here; it was important as the capital of an extensive judicial district and as the seat of respected noble families.

However, the part of Wasselnheim, which had been repurchased from the empire with such great effort and which was the subject of the dispute between the emperor and the diocese, was not long under the direct rule of the empire, but was given, at least in part, as a fief to respected greats. When and why this happened we cannot say with certainty, since there is no more detailed information about it. The first to receive the fiefdom seem to have been the von Finstingen dynasts, because on the Sunday Latars of the year 1360 Hugo and Heinrich von Finstingen signed a document by which they gave Wasselnheim as a fiefdom to their two cousins ​​by right Burkhart and Ulrich von Finstingen handed over. From whom the fief came to them is not stated in the source, presumably their father or another Herr von Finstingen had owned it until then, to whom it was of course given by the emperor in his day. It is, however, not at all improbable that the dynasts of Finstingen were enfeoffed with part of Wasselnheim by the Strasbourg monastery even before the year 1208; because they were among the most important vassals of the diocese and documents from the first half of the 14th century report that they, among other things, several fiefdoms between the Eckenbach and the Zorn, as well as half of the village Wolheim and Dahlenheim owned by the diocese.

If our conjecture is, as we believe, well founded, it can be explained in the simplest way why we later find the Finstingers in possession of a part of Wasselnheim; When the place passed to the empire, they received confirmation of their rights and possessions there from the emperor, and as a result turned from episcopal to imperial vassals.

Burkhart and Ulrich zu Finstingen or their successors transferred their share from Wasselnheim in turn as sub-fiefs of the noble von Wasselnheim, who since 1308 have again administered the place as imperial bailiffs. However, this Finstingian property did not include the entire imperial half of the village, but only part of it. This results from a document from 1409, in which Dietrich von Wasselnheim declares that Finstingsche Unterlehen extends over Elbersweiler, Wasselnheim, Brechlingen and half of the court, while the other half of the court and the royal court along with its pensions and inclines Immediate imperial fief and the upper Dinghof belongs to the Hornbach Abbey.

So in the 14th century the bailiffs of Wasselnheim owned the half of the place to which the empire was entitled, partly as a Finstingisches Unterlehen, but partly as a direct imperial fief. This relationship lasted until the second quarter of the 15th century, when the lords of Wasselnheim became extinct in the male line. The last male offspring of the family mentioned is Johannes von Wasselnheim. He probably died in 1434, leaving behind a daughter who was married to Friedrich von Thann. The latter belonged to an old noble family, which took its name from the castle Dhan or Dhann at the source of the Lauter near today's village of Dahn in the Rhine Palatinate. He was the son of Walther von Thann, who in 1410 had been appointed governor of Alsace by Count Palatine Ludwig.

After the death of the last named noble von Wasselnheim, his son-in-law, Friedrich von Thann, was enfeoffed with Wasselnheim by Emperor Sigismund in 1434 in Basel. He received the mayor's office (formerly Vogtei) of Wasselnheim along with various associated inclines, the lower Dinghof or royal court and half of the court in the villages of Friedolsheim and Ittelnheim, i.e. the same rights and possessions, which in 1409 are referred to as direct imperial fiefs. It is clear from this that the Finstingian fiefdom was not included in the feudal mortgage granted by Sigismund. If the latter had been the case, the entrant would have to have received not half but the whole of the judgment; nor could the Alsatian chronicles of that time repeatedly mention Wasselnheim as a fiefdom of the Lords of Finstingen. Apparently the Finstingische Unterlehen had reverted to the dynasts of Finstingen in 1434, but was transferred by them to Friedrich von Thann and after his death to his successors, so that the old relationship continued even after the extinction of the Lords of Wasselnheim. This also explains most naturally the later close connection between the dynast Johann von Finstingen and the Lords von Thann, which, as we shall soon see, was to be most fatal for the latter.

In 1442, after Friedrich von Thann died, his two sons Walther and Gottfried were enfeoffed by Emperor Friedrich III with the same rights and possessions in Wasselnheim that their father had held as an imperial fief. As we have just shown, they also received the Finstingische Unterlehen from the then dynast Johann von Finstingen, but were soon tempted by the same to take part in a war against Strasbourg, which resulted in the capture and destruction of the Wasselnheim Castle by their opponents .

This event, known as "the Wasselnheim War" and detailed in the chronicles, was mainly brought about by the fact that Johann von Finstingen, like many other aristocrats, offered the Armagnaks a helpful hand in their invasion of Alsace (1444-1445). As early as 1439 he had led 6,000 so-called Englishmen (French adventurers who had fought against the English but were then taken into service by the Duke of Lorraine) over the Zaberner Steige into Alsace. They had devastated the country for several weeks and then withdrew to Lorraine. He committed a similar offense five years later when the actual Armagnaks invaded. On September 21, 1444 he led 4,000 of them under their captain Matteko or Metelle down the Windenberger Steige into the country and occupied the villages of Marlenheim, Ballbronn, Scharrachbergheim and Bergbieten with them. He apparently spared Wasselnheim on purpose, because it would have been easier to occupy than some of the places mentioned, with the exception of the castle, since it was not protected by any walls. This fact also suggests that part of Wasselnheim was still a Finsting fief at that time. - We want to note right away that Wasselnheim is not mentioned in the chronicles either, where there is talk of the terrible devastation of the Armagnaks; but one would go too far to assume that it would have been spared entirely. It must have suffered a lot, as it was on a busy, important road and was open to adventurers with no walls or gates. Walther von Thann is reported to have made various fortunate attacks against the enemy from the castle; but in relation to the great superiority they had little meaning.

After Johann von Finstingen had accommodated his bad guests in the villages mentioned, he went to the Dauphin Ludwig and increased the amount of his guilt by spying on him. By this behavior he aroused the wrath of all patriotic friends, and no sooner had the band of robbers left the country than the cities united with the national nobility in order to retaliate against him and all the rest of them who had supported the enemy in any way to practice. The Strasbourgers, whom Johann von Finstingen had previously given cause for dissatisfaction, first turned their weapons against him by falling into his territory together with the Count of Lützelburg and the governor and burning him nine villages.

In order to take revenge for this, Johann, who bears all the signs of a robber baron of the worst kind, allied himself with his feudal bearers Walther and Gottfried von Thann and caused great damage to the city of Strasbourg (and the cathedral chapter) by now in turn their territory devastated, drove away the cattle and burned the villages. He was supported by the Strasbourg bishop Ruprecht von der Pfalz, who partly out of dislike for the city and the cathedral chapter, partly out of preference for Gottfried von Thann, whose guardian he was, allowed the three allied free entry and exit in his castles . The following incidents show the arrogance with which the opponents of the city and the chapter behaved. In the autumn of 1447 Johann von Finstingen invaded Wanzenau, stole the cattle from the pasture and drove them to Diemeringen, but had Walther von Thann tell the Strasbourgers that he was ready to return everything that belonged to the citizens. However, when servants were sent to him, he not only did not deliver the cattle to them, but also sent the messengers home with mockery and scorn. Another act of defensively terrifying audacity and rawness was committed at about the same time or soon after by a Haffner von Wasselnheim, who, as the bishop's vassal, also stood on the side of the Finstinger. Accompanied by a servant, he came to Strasbourg towards evening and penetrated the drinking room of the bakers' guild, where he found a guild journeyman lying with his head on the table and sleeping. Without any cause he drew his sword and cut off the poor man's head with one blow, then threw himself on his horse and escaped before the town even knew what had happened.

In Strasbourg it was decided to put an end to this nonsense in every way, but first to try again an amicable remedy before resorting to armed violence. For this purpose, the Ammeister Jakob von Wurmser arranged for a conversation with Walther von Thann, who was Johann von Finstingen's worst “helper”, and presented him with what was inappropriate about his behavior. Walther promised better behavior in general terms for the future, but the Ammeister, who demanded a certain commitment, asked: "Quando?" (In German: When?) At this word Walther jumped back, apparently terrified, and began to work trembling and shouting: “God forbid me!” while at the same time running back and forth in the room, as if looking for a hiding place or a way out. The Ammeister, at first disconcerted himself, finally asked him the reason for his strange behavior, to which Walther replied that he had always heard that when the peasants began to speak Latin they were either stupid or crazy. Angry at this new abuse, Wurmser returned to Strasbourg and the war was decided. This happened at the beginning of 1448.

Since the guilds, and especially the bakers' guild, insisted that the resolution be carried out soon, they went out for the first time on the Friday before Palm Sunday in full armor, with wagons and siege equipment, but returned on the same day without having seen Wasselnheim there the mercenary vanguard had suffered a defeat and this was seen as a bad premonition for the success of the company. A second move that was made on the Friday before Pentecost was no happier. One of the Strasbourg captains, Heinrich von Müllnheim, who had been at Marlenheim for some time with mercenaries and footmen to prevent the Wasselnheimers from further incursions into the Strasbourg area, asked for 200 riflemen to be reinforced because he feared the enemy would storm Marlenheim . But the city sent 1,500 men. When they came to Osthofen, they were told that they were not needed and wanted to send them home again. However, this annoyed the belligerent citizens so that 600 of them broke their obedience to their superiors and declared that they wanted to undertake an attack on Wasselnheim on their own. The uproar, which lasted for several days, could only be dampened with difficulty and the people moved to return.

For the third time, on the Tuesday before St. Urban Day (May 21), they went out again with full armor and this time not only got as far as Wasselnheim, but the siege of the castle began immediately on the following day. "Shooting and Throwing" was used in such a way that the five large towers were laid down in a short time. But the defenders of the castle did not lack brave resistance, and since further unfavorable circumstances soon arose, the goal could not be fully achieved this time either. After the siege had lasted for seventeen days, the news arrived that Johann von Finstingen, in association with Bishop Rupprecht, had recruited over 3000 horsemen and intended to cut off the Strasbourgers from the city. It was therefore decided to lift the siege and return home (June 7th). Four days after the Strasbourg departure, Johann von Finstingen actually arrived with 1,500 horses; but since he could no longer find the enemy, he placed his troops in the nearest episcopal villages, where they lived in Eillkür. The inhabitants complained bitterly to the bishop, who gave the order to close the gates of the castles and villages and to prevent unwelcome guests from entering. The latter became so angry that when they left they plundered and burned several villages.

The two brothers Walther and Gottfried von Thann were of the opinion that the Strasbourgers would not make any new attempts at conquest, and released most of the crew. So it happened that Gottfried; who stayed behind in the castle, had only nine sticks and 40 peasants at his disposal, when the enemy reappeared in front of the castle on June 24th to finish the work he had begun. The small crew defended themselves bravely, but could not withstand the overwhelming force for long. After Master Graseck, the city foreman, had put "189 litter with chains and stones" into the castle and the besiegers had also succeeded in undermining the curtain wall in two places, the defenders had to hand over the castle on the fourth day, but received it permission to freely withdraw with their belongings. According to legend, the Strasbourgers accelerated the handover by filling bins with so-called “Ulmer Grün” (rubbish) and hurling them into the castle, making it almost impossible to stay there.

Gottfried von Thann had to undertake by a notarial act and a physical oath never to make a claim to the city of Strasbourg because of the castle, and then rode out of the gate crying, “Dan” says the chronicler, “the castle opens the day 30,000 guilders worth something. ”Now the walls and towers were completely demolished and razed and since more than 600 men worked on it, the work was done in a few days. The victors then triumphantly retreated to the city, but did not forget to take three large bells with them, which they did not return until 1455. The bakers' guild glorified the campaign with a rhyme in their drinking room that could still be seen in the previous century.

Walther and Gottfried von Tann had caused the loss of their rich inheritance through their own fault, because the conquest of the castle made the Strasbourgers masters of the village of Wasselnheim itself.

Walther entered the service of the Bishop of Strasbourg and became a bailiff (that is, mayor or bailiff) of Markolsheim (southeast of Schlettstadt) but did not let his private life in this position either, as he, for example, a young rich bride in 1454, who traveled with numerous and splendid escorts from Breisach to Colmar, attacked and captured the whole procession, robbed everyone of their money and valuables and then brought them to the Hohekönigsburg (near Schlettstadt), where it was only after a long time through the united citizens were liberated from Strasbourg, Colmar and Schlettstadt. We are not told what Gottfried von Thann began after conquering the Wasselnheim Castle.

Both brothers, however, found, as earlier in luck, now also in misfortune, a strong protector in Bishop Rupprecht of Strasbourg. Soon after the conquest of Wasselnheim he reconciled himself with the city and the cathedral chapter by opening all of the diocese's castles for free entry and exit at any time for compensation of 8,000 guilders and undertaking not to accept any opponents of the city into them . Then he began to negotiate about the return of Wasselnheim, and finally concluded a contract by which the two brothers were reinstated in their property. This must have happened before 1456, because we are told that in this year a truce was concluded between Walther von Thann and Johann von Wangen at Wangenburg, which could not have happened if the former had not been in possession again Wasselnheims would have found.

It was probably the same Bishop Rupprecht who gave the Lords of Thann two ban mills near Wasselnheim, one near the “lower bridge” and the other in the “Entenpfuhl”, as fiefdoms.

It has not been possible to determine which mills are meant by this. They apparently belonged to those fiefdoms, of which it was determined as early as 1236 that they should remain with the diocese when Wasselnheim was returned to the empire. When the last noble von Thann died in 1483, they came to the Lords of Rathsamhausen zum Stein, to whom they stayed until the family died out.

Soon the Wasselnheim Castle was also rebuilt, and indeed, as the pictures still show, in a circular shape. In the middle of the castle courtyard stood a tall, square tower, to the left of it (as seen from the entrance) the residential building, the front gable of which was protected by a round tower. On the right side of the castle courtyard, along the wall, stood the stables, barns and other farm buildings. The whole courtyard was surrounded by a triple wall, between the middle and outermost wall there was a wide and deep ditch, and just such a ditch ran around the whole complex outside the outermost wall. The middle wall was provided with one high and mighty round and three less high semicircular towers, the outermost wall with eight equally semicircular towers, while the innermost wall had no towers. Finally there were two round towers on both sides of the entrance, almost the same height as the semicircular ones, so that the castle had a total of 16 towers with a triple ring wall and had to make a huge impression.

Of the two brothers Walther and Gottfried von Thann, the younger (Gottfried) seems to have outlived the older and to have left the castle and the other possessions to his son Friedrich, the last of his line. We know nothing more about him (Friedrich) than that, in addition to the imperial fiefdom of Wasselnheim, he also owned several small fiefs from the diocese of Strasbourg and the rule of Geroldseck am Wasichen and died in 1483.

He left no sons, but probably no daughters either. After his death we find Wasselnheim in the possession of the Unterlandvogtes Götz von Adolsheim (Adelsheim). The same belonged to an aristocratic family from the Electoral Palatinate, whose ancestral seat was originally in the village of Adelsheim (near Mosbach), which today belongs to Baden. In 1458 he was appointed underland bailiff in Hagenau by the elector Friedrich the Victorious of the Palatinate, who was clad with the Alsatian bailiwick, and in 1483 he was enfeoffed with Wasselnheim by the emperor. Given the unconditional rule of inheritance law over fiefs, we can safely assume that Götz was the closest beneficiary to the possession of Wasselnheim as a result of family relationships, and thus apparently had a noble von Thann as his wife. But the same cannot very well have been a daughter of Friedrich von Thann, since he apparently died at a fairly young age, but Götz - since 1458 Unterlandvogt - was already an elderly man when Friedrich died. So he was probably married to Friedrich von Thann's eldest sister. A relative of hers, perhaps a younger sister, Margaretha von Thann, was married to Heinrich von Lützelburg, governor of Saarburg, and her husband had, among other things, the castle seat (housing law) with housing and stables in the castle in Wasselnheim along with a garden outside the castle as well as various income (fruit tithes and several loads of wine). A dispute that broke out between the two families because of this entitlement was settled by stewards in 1489.

After becoming the owner of Wasselnheim, Götz von Adolsheim or Adelsheim does not appear to have lived in the castle himself, but to have given it to his three sons Zeisolf, Georg and Stephan; because in the just mentioned dispute with Heinrich von Lützelburg, Zeisolf appears, the eldest son of the family and acts on behalf of his brothers.

After Götz's death in 1494, his three sons were enfeoffed by Emperor Maximilian with Wasselnheim and all accessories. They did not, however, have it for long; because just two years later they sold the entire property to the city of Strasbourg for 7,000 guilders, namely the Wasselnheim Castle and the villages of Wasselnheim and Brechlingen as well as half of the villages of Friedolsheim and Ittelnheim with the exception of the possessions and rights to which the Abbot of Hornbach was entitled and the above-mentioned Castle fiefdom owned by Heinrich von Lützelburg there. Permission for this sale had been requested from the emperor in 1495 and granted by him on the double condition, first that the gentlemen of Adelsheim had to use 2,000 guilders of the purchase price within three months of the sale to purchase other goods that they and their descendants would have should be transferred as a new imperial fief by the emperor; Second, that the Wasselnheim rule will remain an imperial fief in the future, and that the city of Strasbourg will delegate “a noble, knightly born man” who, as its fiefdomer, will hold Wasselnheim Castle with the associated villages, guilds and rights from the hand of the emperor as a fief receive and take the oath of fief in place of the city. According to this latter condition, the city of Strasbourg appointed the knight Friedrich Bock as its fiefdom bearer after the conclusion of the purchase contract, while the emperor instructed the cathedral scholast or “school master” Count Heinrich von Hennenberg to take the fiefdom of the city on his behalf. This happened in 1496 and Wasselnheim passed to the city of Strasbourg. The same appointed Georg Max von Eckwersheim, who came from an old Strasbourg patrician family, as bailiff of Wasselnheim, who from now on headed the administration and administration of justice for the newly acquired rule in place of the previous bailiffs.

In the course of the following decade, the city succeeded in replacing those authorizations that individual families were still entitled to in Wasselnheim Castle or the village. In 1500, the knight Matthias Pfaffenlapp von Still (near Mutzig), who was in her service, joined her with his goods and rights that he owned there. And which his ancestors had probably once received from the diocese of Strasbourg and in 1506 Heinrich von Lützelburg also sold all of the above-mentioned possessions and rights to the city for the sum of 1100 guilders, so that from now on it appears as the sole owner of the Wasselnheim rule, apart, of course, from the goods and rights that the Hornbach Abbey had owned there for centuries.

So we see a new order of things beginning for Wasselnheim, too, on the threshold of a new century, which is moved by great ideas and shaken by violent struggles, which marks a new period in world history, which in this community in many ways contrasts with the conditions of the All things rich for a long number of years rest and continuity of the liberal development, as well as security and peace both internally and externally, and therefore can be called a beneficial one from different angles.


Municipal constitution of Wasselnheim in the Middle Ages

In our investigation into the history of Wasselnheim in the Middle Ages, we have provided evidence that Wasselnheim, including Brechlingen, was always a village directly under the Empire, that although it was temporarily (at the beginning of the 13th century) estranged from the rich by the Strasbourg bishopric, it was soon alienated from the rich had to be returned again without any restrictions (for the first time in 1236, for the second time permanently and permanently in 1308) We have also seen that Wasselnheim came into the possession of various noble families as an imperial fiefdom and finally in 1496 from the nobles of Adelsheim to the city of Strasbourg has been assigned. Before we pursue the fate of the place any further, we must now take a look at the so far only fleetingly touched inner states of the same during the Middle Ages.

a) Municipal constitution before Charlemagne

The Roman settlement founded near Wasselnheim was destroyed by the storms of the Great Migration, and Germanic tribes (Alemanni, later perhaps also individual Franks) have been lords in the conquered village since then. The remaining Gallo novels built the part of the Felsmark left to him as bondage farmers or even as unfree servants (serfs?) Of their conquerors. But even of these latter few were able to retain full freedom in the period that followed; As elsewhere, most of the free peasant sections were gradually forced into the state of bondage by the development of the political conditions of the entire Frankish empire, partly by deliberately exerted, intolerable pressure on the part of powerful greats, because they were forced to do theirs until then to transfer goods owned as free property to a worldly or spiritual great and to recognize them as landlords and patrons.

A part of the goods united in this way in the hands of a single person was usually combined into a large, closed court property, the Fron- or Herrenhof, the other part, however, returned to the previous owners as feudal goods or interest goods and to the Fronhof in the proportion of dependencies, that is, from legally associated parts. In the first case, the farmers either kept their apartment (but without property: casati, Kossaten, Kötter), or they had to give it up and move to the Fronhof; otherwise they would remain in possession of both the apartment and the property, but had to commit themselves to certain annual taxes (usually in kind, less often in money) and services. In both cases, they lost the rights of the fully free and became "subordinate (court and land-owners) behind the landlord in question.

Similar conditions occurred in Wasselnheim over the centuries; because around the middle of the 8th century, as we have seen, almost half of the village at that time, along with the goods belonging to it, was in the possession of Countess Adala and was given away by her in 754 to the Hornbach monastery. The peasants who were given away seem to have been mostly unfree (serfs), because only such farmers are mentioned in the deed of donation. - The greater part of the other half of the village belonged to the royal court, and since its people were also subservient or unfree, it follows that the number of free peasants can only have been very small. At least some of them seem to have asserted themselves alongside the two manor or fron yards. For forest and pasture, with the exception of a few meadows, remained, as is evident from the existing wisdom, continually undivided in the possession of the entire population, and each part of the latter was responsible for fulfilling special, reciprocal duties with regard to the entire village until the late Middle Ages. This would probably not have been possible if the class of the free peasants had completely disappeared and thus every middle link between the two manors had disappeared. Perhaps from these few free farmers who were able to survive the urge of the times, the noble families emerged that we will find settled here in later times.

Around the middle of the 8th century, Wasselnheim consisted of the two mansions mentioned and a moderate number of farms, most of which were occupied by servants of the two farms and only very few were free property of their owners. The royal court was in the lower, the monastery courtyard in the upper village. (On the basis of further research we have to correct the earlier (Part IS6) made assumption regarding the location of the monastery courtyard. Everything indicates that the same is not in today's market place (instead of the "parlor") but in place of today existing "Zehnthof" and was identical to it (the location of the royal court has not yet been determined more precisely.)

The farms (subservient and free) were located on both sides of the Kotbach and long since the left bank of the Mossig, partly on the right side of the Mossig, in today's Brechlingen. Most of today's “Obern Fleckens” was, as it was in the later Middle Ages, undeveloped and covered with forest.

The condition of the farms as well as the manor houses was of the most simple kind compared with our present day facilities. Each farm consisted of a one-story dwelling house, a low barn and the necessary stalls for the large and small cattle. A fence ran around the entire courtyard, which was probably the same size for most courtyards, separating the courtyard from the neighboring farms. All the buildings were made of wood and covered with straw or shingles. The house probably only contained one room, which served as a living room, bedroom and kitchen. In winter, the smaller domestic animals were probably also taken in, in order to await the arrival of the better season in peaceful communion with the human inhabitants. Since there was no chimney, the smoke from the hearth fire had to find its way through the doorway and through the small, square holes in the walls, they served as windows (without glass) and closed in winter with straw, plants, etc. were. Instead of the lamp or candle commonly used today, the residents of the Kienspan shone on the winter evenings. - Anyone who wanted to conclude from what has been said that the inhabitants of Wasselnheim at that time must have been barbarians, should know that conditions such as we have just described can still be found in Europe today, not only in the Far East, but even in the civilized west (e.g. in remote mountainous areas), where one would nevertheless reject the accusation of barbarism with indignation.

The manor houses differed from the farms mainly in the larger size of the courtyard and in the more extensive and numerous residential and farm buildings, but resembled them in other respects. They too were fenced in and had buildings made of wood.In addition to the estate manager's house (des Meiers or Schultheißen), there were also separate residential buildings for the serfs and serfs who lived and were employed on the estate itself. - There were probably no special houses for the manors in the two local courtyards, as the Franconian kings owned a magnificent palace in the nearby Marlenheim or Kirchheim and the owners of the monastery courtyard rarely stayed here. (Adala's father, Count Bodalus, who previously owned this farm, was, as various documents show, one of the largest landowners in Alsace and does not seem to have had his residence in Wasselnheim.)

There are no special records of the administration and other conditions of the two manorial estates; But the corpses of that time, especially since they were not the domicile of the landlords, were all alike and very precise information is available about many of them, it is not difficult to get a fairly correct picture of the facilities here .



At the head of each court stood the head of the house or administrator, called Meier or Schultheiss (major, villicus). His main business consisted in the administration and management of the property belonging to the manor house, both those built by the court itself and those which, as already mentioned, were given to subordinate and unfree backers for more independent management. - His office was a laborious and extensive one, because the taxes that he had to collect, the field work and other compulsory services that he had to lead were not only very numerous and varied, but also had to be distributed among the courtly people in varying degrees because in this respect there was a great difference between the serfs and the unfree. For just as the lowest and hardest work was assigned to the unfree on the Fronhof, so outside of it the heaviest burdens rested on the members of this class. From the yield of their fields and gardens, from the litter of their domestic animals, from the food they had prepared themselves, they usually had only as much left as was sufficient for the poorest livelihood; everything else flowed into the manor. In addition, depending on the season of the year, they usually had to do a wide variety of work in the service of the court lord half the week, and even the women were not entirely free from such services and burdens, but at least on certain days had linen and woolen material or to deliver all kinds of household appliances. The taxes and services of the serfs were of the same kind, but far fewer in number and scope, and, since they were mostly fixed, could not easily be increased arbitrarily. - So the Meier or mayor had to supervise the whole thing: he had to watch that plowing and sowing, harvesting and felling were carried out at the right time, that the houses and farm buildings, the gardens, fences and paths were kept in good condition , the duties delivered on the specified dates, the homework in the yard and field, etc. As a reward for his services, he was usually given certain lands for use and mostly also part of the taxes (in kind and money) to be delivered by the rear inmates.