(active 13th century in Baden-Württemberg)

General view

13th century
Horb am Neckar, Baden-Württemberg

The Hohenbergers, along with the Counts Palatine of Tübingen, were one of the dominant ruling families of southwest Germany in the 12th and 13th centuries, owning considerable estates in the Upper Neckar Valley. Besides their principal seat of Hohenburg, they also acquired castles in Rottenburg, Horb, and elsewhere. It was in Horb, a town built on a hill overlooking the Neckar, that their vision of a fitting residence full of towers reaching to the sky came closest to being fulfilled.

The previous owner of Horb, Count Palatine Rudolf II of Tübingen, had planned, but not lived to complete, a huge castle project on a rocky outcrop above the marketplace. In the late 13th century, ownership of Horb passed by marriage to the Hohenbergers, who then completed construction work, uniting the castle area with the town proper to include the town church (completed 1260-80), the collegiate church of the Holy Cross, and the church now dedicated to the Virgin.

In Horb, town and castle grew together in a unique fashion. This was almost certainly the first German town to acquire a town-based seat of power (a Residenz). This involved the increasing concentration of the counts' accommodation in the town itself, a development that greatly enhanced the court's function as a social institution.

The photo shows a view of the town. On the left beside the parish church is the "Rogue's Tower."

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.