The ruins of the former castle - "Castle" say the Melchinger - is located southeast of the village on the "heap" in about 820 m altitude. Today you can no longer see them from the place, it is hidden, but also protected from the forest.The ruin is one of the largest castles in the area of "Sonnenalb". The castle was mentioned for the first time in 1344, when the counts of Württemberg gave their share to a Burkhard von Melchingen to fief. After that, the castle was never completely in one hand, until the Werdenbergern succeeds a hundred years later to bring them completely in possession. Whether and when the castle was destroyed or whether it was simply abandoned to decay, no one knows today. In 1580 it is already called "Burgstall", a term used to refer to dilapidated castles at the time. In 1592 it is marked in a map as a ruin. The 1 m 20 cm thick enclosure wall is about 240 m long, but was removed in many places to the ground.Due to the location directly at the transition from the mountain plateau to the steep slope, the castle area is divided into a lower and a larger upper courtyard, which is about 6 - 7 m higher.The castle today
Today the castle is entered through the ring ditch from behind. The main access, however, was earlier at the western end of the north wall into the lower courtyard, which is separated from the upper courtyard by a wall, which was probably once pulled through to the main building. This, the "Palas", referred to in old documents as "front house", has a pentagonal floor plan and rises even today to the lower part of the 4th floor. The foundations here are 1.70 m thick. Between the Palas and the southern outer wall, the path leads up to the upper courtyard, much of which is occupied by the "First Rock". To the north, a smaller building adjoins the outer wall alongside. A third building pushes on the northeast corner cultivation over the area of the actual ring wall. Even today, the walls here are sometimes 5 to 6 meters high. The narrow side is open against the courtyard. Presumably, this building is the "back floor" mentioned in a document.Fountain
The "fountain", a cistern built of tuff stones with a diameter of about 1 m, is located in the eastern corner. In 1911 it was uncovered and cleared out to a depth of about 7 m.moat
The moat, which secures the castle on the east, southeast and south sides, is about 10 m wide and in places still 3 to 4 m deep. In the "Schnakenloch" at the easternmost point of the ditch is, so one suspects in Melchingen, the entrance to a secret passage. He is to lead down to the cellar of the former inn "Adler", and the legend says that a goose has already covered this subterranean path. All reconnaissance trips undertaken by each generation did not go too far.
January 28, 2017
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