Burg Trutzeltz, Balduineltz, Baldeneltz, Neueltz
|Condition||Ruins, tower remains, foundation walls|
The ruins of Trutzeltz Castle (German : Burg Trutzeltz), also known as Balduineltz, Baldeneltz or Neueltz, are the remains of a hill castle in the valley of the Elz in the parish of Wierschem near the town of Münstermaifeld. It was built as a counter-castle during the medieval Eltz Feud in the Moselle region.
Trutzeltz stands just 230 metres north of Eltz Castle and 40 metres higher at an elevation of on the rising hillslopes. The very small castle site measures just 30 × 25 metres. The ruins consist mainly of the still over 10 metre-high remains of the tower house and other foundation walls.
The castle was built by the Archbishop of Trier, Baldwin during the Eltz Feud (1331-1336/1337) as a siege castle to invest Eltz Castle. The Eltz Feud arose in connexion with Baldwin's territorial policy. During his reign, Baldwin sought to extend the influence of Trier along the Moselle. He repeatedly came up against resistance from knights who had refused to recognise their vassal (tenant) status, and 21 of them - the lords of Eltz, Waldeck, Schoneck and Ehrenberg - agreed a formal defensive alliance. Baldwin attempted a direct assault on Eltz which failed. In response, he had the siege castle of Trutzeltz built, probably in 1331. The castle was also referred to as Baldeneltz, probably after the archbishop. The following year he also erected the Rauschenburg as a counter castle to the three other castles allied with Eltz. That Baldeneltz was probably built in a very short time to put the lords of Eltz under pressure, can be seen inter alia from the building material used: mostly small pieces of broken stone from the vicinity of the siege castle itself.It was held together with a strong clay mortar, which however cannot withstand a Central European climate in the long run. For a siege castle this was not important, but it is remarkable in that light that the continued existence of the castle was contractually assured in a subsequent peace treaty.
Eltz Castle was bombarded from the siege castle with rock catapults (trebuchets), but was not able to be captured. In the course of the fighting, Baldwin also used an early form of cannon, the pot-de-fer, which has been determined from archaeological finds at Eltz.
The Lord of Eltz and the other warring knights finally had to agree to end hostilities in 1333. The feud was not officially ended, however, until 1336 by an "atonement" treaty (a Sühne). A certain John of Eltz continued the conflict. He had previously fought against Baldwin even before the Eltz Feud in the Kempenich Feud.and was therefore not ready to enter into a peace treaty. Baldwin now displayed his negotiation skills and magnanimity in drawing his opponent onto his side: after Trutzeltz had been effectively "legitimised" by the peace treaty with the other knights and its survival secured by them, he transferred it in 1337 to John of von Eltz as a fief and made him a hereditary burgrave.
On 9 January 1354 King Charles IV enfeoffed Archbishop Baldwin of Trier with Eltz Castle for his loyal service against Emperor Henry VII.
Trutzeltz Castle soon lost its significance, was no longer maintained and was recorded in 1453 as derelict. In a 1453 deed, Trutzeltz Castle is described as "currently unoccupied and as a result deserted and run down ".
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