Hohenstaufen, Wäscherschloss Castle (Burg Wäscherschloss) and Lorch Monastery (Kloster Lorch) are key historical locations for the Staufer – representing the birthplace of the dynasty, the official family seat, and its initial burial site.

Hohenstaufen – the family seat

Hohenstaufen hill probably gets its name from the medieval German word Stauf – meaning a bell-shaped goblet. Around 1070, Friedrich I of Schwaben, who later became a Staufer duke, commissioned the construction of Hohenstaufen Castle in this strategically favourable location. There is evidence that Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa stayed here in 1181. In 1208, Philipp of Swabia’s widow Queen Irene died at the castle. German Medieval lyric poet Walther von der Vogelweide famously hailed Irene as “a rose without thorns.”

Only the foundation walls remain of what was once an important castle on the Hohenstaufen hill.

Right into the late Middle Ages, the castle was a focal point of political power until it was destroyed by rebellious farmers in the Peasants’ War of 1525. Today, only a few remnants of the original fortress remain. But the hill is still closely associated with the myths and legends surrounding this illustrious noble family.

The information centre at the foot of Hohenstaufen provides details on the Staufer line, including their origin and homeland, and the portrayal of this powerful dynasty.

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