Schönburg Castle was first mentioned in history between
the years 911 and 1166. Until the 17th century the
castle had a very changeable and martial history with many
tribe and family fights.
From the 12th century, the Dukes of Schönburg
ruled over the town of Oberwesel and had also the right
to levy customs on the Rhine river.
The Schönburg was one of the very few castles in
which after a dukes death, all of the sons became heirs
to the castle and not only the oldest one which usually
was the rule.
Therefore it happened that at the height
of its power in the 14th century the Schönburg
accomodated up to 250 persons of 24 different families
at the same time.
The most famous of all of the Schönburgs is Friedrich
von Schönburg - a much-feared man known
as “Marshall Schomberg” - who in the 17th century
served as a colonel and as a general under His Majesty
the King of France and Navarra in France and Portugal and
who later also fought for the Prussians and for William
Prince of Orange in England.
The Schönburg main lineage became extinct with the
death of their last heir,
the son of Friedrich of Schönburg.
The castle was burned down in 1689 by French soldiers
during the Palatinate heritage war. Schönburg
castle remained destroyed and in ruins for 2 centuries
until an American of German ancestry, Mr. Rhinelander,
bought the castle from the town of Oberwesel in the late
19th century and invested two million Gold Marks into the
restoration until 1914.
The town council of Oberwesel acquired the castle back
from Rhinelander’s son in 1950.
Since 1957 the Hüttl family live at the castle on
a long-term lease (emphyteusi)
and established a hotel and restaurant in it, now already
in the second generation.