Fürstenberg Castle (German: Burg Fürstenberg), also called the Electoral Cologne State Castle (kurkölnische Landesburg), is a ruined castle near the former site of the village Höingen, in the municipality of Ense, Soest in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Built on a high point above the Ruhr as a castle for the Archbishop of Cologne, who was among the prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, the site was called the Prince’s Hill (Fürstenberg), lending its name to the House of Fürstenberg (Westphalia) that started with the Imperial Knight Hermann, the Lehnsmann who held the castle for the prince when it was first built, c. 1295.
Location of Fürstenberg Castle
The ruins of this hill castle lie on the hill of Fürstenberg above the former village of Höingen and the Ruhr.
It was part of the Duchy of Westphalia and was strategically important on the border with the County of Arnsberg.
The inner bailey was on an eminence known as Richters Köpfchen, the outer bailey further away on the site of the present Chapel on the Fürstenberg.
History of Fürstenberg Castle
The castle is first mentioned in 1295. At that time, its first castellan (Burgmann), Hermann of Fürstenberg is cited, the first record of the now flourishing family of the barons of Fürstenberg.
This Herman came from the family of Binolen (Hönnetal), but later named itself after their administrative seat of Fürstenberg.
Site of Fürstenberg Castle
Even today, the ring-shaped, medieval ramparts of the castle may be seen in the woods on the Fürstenberg.
They are a protected site.
Fortifications can be divided into two types:
a) Oldenburg, a large rampart system in which the castle chapel is located,
b) Richters Köpfchen, lower down, a small medieval stone castle.
Individual remains of the stone castle on “Richters Köpfchen” may still be seen.
The Chapel on the Fürstenberg, on the tip of the hill, has been recorded since 1429.