The Hohen – Neuffen

Neuffen Hohen – 2008

This is an entry from “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,” The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah.

“The castle ruins of Hohen-Neuffen are the largest in the Schwabian Alps and some of the most attractive.

“The approach to Hohen-Neuffen was still difficult up to 100 years ago, but this did not discourage romantic young people of the surrounding villages nor students from Teubingen from visiting the ruins.  In the 1860’s and 1870’s the authorities provided easier access to it.

“Because former residents of the villages had been carting away the stones in their oxcarts for cheap building material, the entire area is now protected as a memorial.

“The mighty corner towers of Hohen-Neuffen originated either under Duke Ulrich, who spent 10,700 guilder on the fortress between 1543 – 1550 or more probably were built by Duke Christoph who put 16,386 guilder into the project up to the year 1562.

“The towers served as protective towers flanking the outer walls and ramparts.

“At the foot of the hill are the villages of Neuffen, Linsenhofen and Frickenhausen.  In the distance is Nuertingen on the Neckar.  On a clear day the Katzenbuchel (200 ft mtn) is visible in the Odenwald (Oden forest), as are other landmarks.  From the bastion is a panorama of the surrounding scenes – Neuffen with the Martinskirche (St. Martins Church) and the quarry of the Nuertingen cement works.

Overlooking Neuffen

“Returning to the courtyard of the castle, next to the cistern on the east into which flowed the rain water from the roofs, is an embossed picture of Eduart Paulus who is credited with much of the research and preservation of the Hohen-Neuffen.  According to him, the Hohen-Neuffen was the residence of Theodorick the Great, but this is merely his opinion and has no basis in fact according to Dr. Weinland in his treatise about the area.

“It is known that Duke Ludwig (1568 – 1593) built the Ludwig’s bastion.

“Although it was besieged many times, it was never conquered.

“Earliest findings in the castle and surrounding areas include stone ax, skull and skeletal remains, shards, etc. of the stone age; and bronzes of swords, etc. of the bronze age.

“The first citadel or stronghold of the mountain above Neuffen was probably there about 1100.  The first authentic occupant or owner was Count Manegolt of Sulmetingen, County Biberach.  Presumably by the purchase from his father-in-law, Count Egino von Erach, he was able to acquire the surrounding villages of Balzholz, Beuren, Grossbettlingen and Linsenhofen.

“The first recorded mention of the Hohen-Neuffen is in 1198 in which the free nobles of Neuffen were named as occupants.  (There are detailed descriptions of their coats of arms.

“As lower adherents to the Kaiser of the house of Hohenstaufen, the Lords Neuffen played important political roles in the empire.  Heinrich I of Neuffen accompanied the 16 year old King Friederich II from Italy to Swabia.  Berthold II was the king’s councilor from 1212 to 1216 and from 1217 to 1224 he was Bishop von Brixon.  The brothers Heinrich and Albert von Neuffen took part in the crusade of Friederich II.

“The 13th century was an especially high point.  Gottfried von Neuffen was a noted Minnesinger (Minstrel) from 1230 – 1250.  The Neuffens were on the side of the younger King Heinrich IV on his revolt against his father Kaiser Friedrich II.  As his troops were first besieged in 1235, Heinrich von Neuffen and his son Gootfried the minnesinger were among the captives.

“By the end of the 13th century the entire domain had gone to the lords von Weinsburg through marriage and purchase.  In 1301 Konrad von Weinsberg, husband of Luitgard von Neuffen, (the last Neuffen heiress) sold it to Count Eberhard I of Wurttemberg for 8,500 marks.

“From 1361 to 1363 and from 1365 to 1366 Hohen-Neuffen was the home of Count Ulrich IV von Wurttemberg.  He named Sir Hans Spaeth von Salzburg as first commandant of Hohen-Neuffen.  In 1512 he attacked Abbon Georg Fischer von Zweifalten over a dispute.

“Because of his quarrel with the Confederation of Schwabia, Ulrich had to flee.  His wife Sabina, who had left him, received the Hohen-Neuffen for herself and her children Anna and Christoph, and through war debts of the Confederation the fortress because an Austrian possession.

“After a 15 year exile, Count Ulrich again succeeded in acquiring the Hohen-Neuffen which was the last stronghold to open its door to him.

“When in 1546 the Duke Alba, at the behest of the Kaiser, came to Wurttemberg, Count Ulrich once again had to flee, but he regained his property in 1547.  It met with disaster in 1549 when lightning struck the powder magazine and was again repaired.  His successor was Count Fredrich I.

“At the beginning of the 30 Years War in 1618 the business of reinforcing, provisioning and manning the fortress became vital.  After the defeat of Noerdlingen in 1634, Wurttemberg was overrun by the Kaiser’s troops.  Hohen-Neuffen was the last stronghold.  After some trickery, the fortress was given back in 1639 to Lord Eberhard III.  A salvo of cannons from the castle announced the close of the terrible war in 1648.  Repairs after the war were very slow.

“In 1730 King Friederich I of Prussia with his son the crown-prince visited the Hohen-Neuffen.  In 1733 Count Karl Alexander wanted to modernize it after the fashion of the French fortresses, with the help of engineering specialists.  After his death the work continued for a time, but was soon discontinued. The unfinished portions deteriorated rapidly because no one seemed to be concerned.  After Karl Alexander’s death his financier, the hated Jew Suess Oppenheimer, was apprehended.

Hohen-Neuffen

“Karl Alexander’s successor, Count Karl Eugen, showed some interest in rebuilding, but the work did not continue for long.  By 1741 the chapel fell in and was allowed to remain so, since the estimated cost of repairs of 2,374 guilder was not available.

“A number of political prisoners had been quartered in Hohen-Neuffen during Karl Eugen’s reign.  His successor, County Ludwig Eugen, received a report from his commandant in 1793 stating that nothing noteworthy had occurred in Hohen-Neuffen.  The county replied that he was happy to hear that nothing else had fallen in.

Neuffen with the Hohen on the hill

“Napoleon’s troops paid the fortress little attention.  In 1796 it was decided by the legislative assembly that because of more urgent need of funds, none was to be used for the maintenance of the Hohen-Neuffen.  The French congress ordered it to be demolished.  The villagers began to take away stones and tile with which entire houses were said to have been built.

“World War II saw the ruins used as an observation post by the air force and it was bombarded by American troops at their entry in 1945 and they in turn were fired upon by the town of Neuffen.  However, the hall and knights chamber were reconditioned.

“In 1948 at a meeting of the cabinet of South Baden, Wurttemberg-Baden, and Wurttemberg-Hoenzollern, the Hohen-Neuffen was declared to be a ruin.  Since 1957 American archaeologists have been interested in the Hohen-Neuffen.

Hohen-Neuffen from a vineyard below

“NOTE: The above is edited from a translation of “DER HOHEN-NEUFFEN Rundgang Durch Die Ruine Die Geschichte De Festung”

“There are many stories and legends about the Hohen-Neuffen most of which are untrue.  The above is probably the most authentic abridgement of the available written history.

“There are persistent stories of our ancestors, the Neuffers, occupying the castle, most of them arising from the fact that several occupants had the name or title of van Neuffen.  However, it should be noted that while von is a German title its derivation comes from its literal meaning “from”.  Therefore, von Neuffen is not necessarily a name but merely means “from Neuffen”.  It is possible that some of the occupants were related to us.  However, there is no direct evidence of this fact.

Hohen-Neuffen and Paul Ross in 2008

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Mozarteum

Mozarteum Doors

I once took some private lessons with a man by the name of Terry McCombs (1945-2007).  He studied for a time at Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.  He showed me a number of photos and told me of his experiences there.  I felt and relived many of the experiences he had there.  While I was on my mission, he helped prepare an application for me and even had a friend of his come do an interview with me in Manchester, England.  In the end, the costs and personal inadequacies lead me to make decisions that took me in other directions away from music altogether.  At any rate, when I was in Salzburg, I made a point to stop and visit the Mozarteum.  I have thought about the Mozarteum some over the past few weeks and have those “what might have been” thoughts.  I don’t know they would have accepted me, and I certainly know it would have been a battle to learn German as well as music.  The thought still scares me.  But here are the doors which could have been an entirely other world.

Our garden

After spending a day working in our yard, I thought about how little I felt like I really accomplished.  I mowed the lawn last night and today sprayed weeds, picked some dandelions, and turned over some soil for Amanda.  She planted flowers in the flower beds, jalapenos, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, and squash.

As I puttered around the yard, I thought of how the British call their yard a garden.  Our garden is where we grow food, their garden is where they grow flowers, grass, and hedges.  Then I thought about how there are people and that is all they do for a living, maintain gardens/yards.  In honour of the season, I found some photos of gardens we have been to that seem to be more than just flowerbeds.  Sorry, no photo of our yard is included!

Here is a picture of one of the gardens at Lyme Park in Disley, England.

Garden at Lyme Park in Cheshire County, England

Garden at Lyme Park in Disley

A shot of the gardens at Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, Austria.

Some of the gardens at Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, Austria

Some of the gardens at Mirabell Palace in Salzburg

Some of the gardens at Hampton Court Palace in Richmond Upon Thames, England.

The garden of Hampton Court Palace, former home of Kings and Queens of England

The garden of Hampton Court Palace, former home of Kings and Queens, in Richmond upon Thames

Lastly, a view of one of the less ornate gardens at Maymont in Richmond, Virginia.

Part of the gardens at Maymont in Richmond, Virginia.

Part of the gardens at Maymont in Richmond

Venice, Italy

I sent this one zesterdaz, but it did not go through for some reason.  Sorrz.

Just a quick update.  Internet here costs us roughly $10 an hour, so we are using as little time as possible.

We are in Venice.  Right on the Mediterranean, we are feeling the heat and humidity.  I am loving it, Amanda not so much so.  Last night, I had real Italian pizza and Amanda had real Italian pasta.  We are living the life of luxury.  We are in a nice little flat right off a campo (miniature piazza) and the place buzzes at all times of the day.  We arrived safely here from Salzburg.

Salzburg to Venice

There is not a whole lot to share I think manz would be familiar with.

We did get a ride up to the Hohensalzburg, see the big main churches here in Salzburg, and visit the birthplace and home of Mozart.  Those were definitelz interesting.  This is definitelz the citz of little finds though.  From the antique shops to the other little sights, it has been verz interesting.  The best part is that our hotel was so close to everzthing and none of the daz was lost to travel.

Sadlz, we are headed for an 8 hour train ride to Venice todaz.

Well, somebodz is waiting for the computer.  Time to head out.

Salzburg, Austria

A quick update.  We are back to the shortened e-mail times.

We are writing todaz from Salzburg, Austria.  We arrived last night about midnight.

Zesterdaz was spent traveling to familz historz sites for mz Wanner and Nuffer familz near Stuttgart.  We visited Holzgerlingen and Neuffen, the towns where thez lived in for several centuries.  Neuffen was well worth the trip.  Holzgerlingen turned out to be a bit of a dissapointment as there wasn’t much of anzthing old left.

On Sundaz we went in to Munich and visited the little village of Dachau.  There we spent a good portion of the daz in the Dachau Concentration Camp.  It was interesting to finallz visit one.  Dachau had built the ovens and gas showers for mass use, but fortunatelz thez were never used on a mass scale.  Thez were used, but in a limited sense.  It was interesting.

We maz have a chance to upload photos tonight.  Depending on what this computer will allow us to have access to (meaning, will we be able to find the camera or jump drive in order to upload).