Emperor Barbarossa’s knights

Luftbild von Posterstein Anfang der 1990er Jahre (Museum Burg Posterstein)

Posterstein from above in the beginning of the 1990s (picture: Museum Burg Posterstein)

The today’s Altenburger Land had been Slavic since the early Middle Ages. Sorbian tribes lived on farming and cattle breeding here. That changed in the middle of the 12thcentury when the Swabian Staufer expanded their influence to these areas. Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa safeguarded his gained rule by knighting previous serves, the ministerial officials. They should lead new settlements, force back existing Slavic influences, effect German law, collect taxes and protect the land against enemies. So a network of small reinforcements resulted. Posterstein Castle is one of them.

First mentioning of Posterstein Castle

The first mentioning of the fortress known itself until the 16th century as ‘Stein’(rock), can be documented for the year 1191 when the ministerial official Gerhardus de Nubodicz and his mother ‘Mechthilde de Steinne’
were mentioned in a Naumburg document.

Grabstein des Tham Pflugk, heute in der Burgkirche Posterstein

The gravestone of the former owner Tham Pflugk is still conserved in Posterstein church

The owners of Posterstein
1191: Gerhardus de Nubodicz (von Nöbdenitz), his mother Mechthilde de Steinne and their descendants
Up to around 1306: The knights Gerhard der Mittlere, Gerhard named von Löwenberg, Gerhard der Jüngere, Conrad Heidenreich, Eberhard von Stein (de Lapide)
Before 1442: Family Stöntztcz (Stöncz)
1442-1505: the Puster family
1505-1528: Nickel von Ende
1528-1718: the Pflugk family
1718-1721: the brothers von dem Werder
1721-1833: Reichsgrafen Flemming
1833-1945 (1946): Hermann family
Seit 1952: Museum Posterstein Castle

Posterstein between the Reußen and the Wettiner

Since the beginning of the 14th century, the by that time very strong dynasty of the Reußen which had expanded its holdings all the way through the Pleißenland, is documented a feudal lord over Posterstein and until the 17th century, the Wettiner dynasty and the Reußen fought over Posterstein.

Burg Posterstein im 17. Jahrhundert (Museum Burg Posterstein)

Posterstein castle in 17th century (picture: Museum Burg Posterstein)

Only with its diminishing importance in the 18th century did this end. In 1305, at the time when the dynasty of the Reußen split into the older Reuß line (in Plauen) and the younger Reuß line (in Greiz), Posterstein remained under the domain of the younger line.

The ‘Postern zum Steine’ in military service

In 1442 Heinrich, Nickel und Ulrich Stöncz and their mother sold Posterstein with all the equipment to the Puster family. Duke Ernst, elector of Saxony asked Jan Puster together with all the other rulers to do military service. He called him according to the language usage of the time ‘Postern zum Steine’ – indicating how the village Posterstein got its name in the 16th century.

Wappen der Familie Pflugk (Museum Burg Posterstein)

The family crest of the Pflugk family (picture: Museum Burg Posterstein)

A bishop joints the possession of Posterstein

In 1528 Nickel von Ende sold (Poster)stein to his cousins Julius, Haubold, Tham, Andreas and Christoph von Pflugk.. Julius (1499-1564) worked in Christian churches (later bishop in Naumburg). Haubold Pflugk (1502-1563) managed to secure and expand the property rights. In 1575 Tham Pflugk got Posterstein. After quarrels with the Church of Nöbdenitz he was forced to have his own church in Posterstein built.

Posterstein’s most important Lords

Between 1600 an 1621 the Saxon chamberlain Georg von Pflugk d.Ä. was able to stabilize the manor .Later the fortress was remodelled and the adjacent chapel was adorned with baroque carvings. Not only left the Pflugk familiy their coat of arms in the carvings of the church but a small town with tradesmen and the right to hold markets had also developed below the fortress.

A hidden escape route?

A staircase hidden by a cupboard in the courtroom led to the top floor, the kitchen, the yard, the lower hall and from there to the cellar. It was possibly an escape route in those days.

Der Gerichtsraum der Burg verfügt über einen durch einen Schrank verdeckten Zugang (Museum Burg Posterstein)

The courtroom of Posterstein castle has a hidden staircase (picture: Museum Burg Posterstein)

A close friend of August the Strong

In 1724 the Royal Saxon Field Marshall and Count Jakob Heinrich von Flemming,who was in highest Saxon Civil Service, bought the property. During his legation in Warsaw he did his bit to the vote of the elector to the Polish King. The Flemmings carried out considerable investments.

Hans Fallada as ‘Student’ on the Manor

After a few ownership changes, in 1833 the middle class Herrmann family acquired the knight’s castle Posterstein. Walter Herrmann(1871-1927) developed it into a unique seed breeding and
model farm in Thuringia. The later well-known writer Hans Fallada
studied on the manor in those days. (More information)

The end of the manorial rights

Rittergut Posterstein vor 1945 (Fotografie, Museum Burg Posterstein)

Posterstein manor before 1945 (Fotografie, Museum Burg Posterstein)

Posterstein was not destroyed during both World Wars. Nevertheless the Second World War ended with most serious changes up to now: The feudalistic structure stopped existing. At the beginning of the year 1946 with the implementation of the land reform in Thuringia the 192 hectars large manor was dispossessed, the base area split up and the utility buildings partly torn. The last landowner Kurt Herrmann (1905-1986) was deported and forced to live in West Germany. The family grave is still to be seen at the east side of the chapel.

The time after

After the end of the war refugees, who had lost all their possessions in the east, found accommodation in the castle and manor house. Later the manor house became a children’s home and the castle a museum.

The foundation of the museum Burg Posterstein

Burg Posterstein während der Restaurierung des Ostflügels um 1984 (Museum Burg Posterstein)

Posterstein castle during the restoration around 1984 (picture: Museum Burg Posterstein)

The museum of the district was founded in 1952. In the following decades the existing structures oft the castle could laboriously be protected without removing the defects. All rooms on the top floor gradually opened with exhibitions of regional topics. From 1982 to 1991 the protected facility could be thoroughly restored.

The restoration of the castle from 1984 to 1991
1981: installation of a steel construction on the top floor of the castle to bring back the cantilever, damaged roof construction in the top hall under control
1984: Complete restoration of the keep. Reconstruction of the staircase tower at the west
wing and the neighbouring part of the northern façade.
1985: Reconstruction of the east wing in the northern area up to the eastern wing building
1986-1987: Reconstruction of the east wing in the southern area, south façade up to the southern wing building with the clock tower. Beginning the reconstruction of the west wing to the connecting of the stair tower.
1988-1990: Ending the reconstruction of the west wing, roofing and painting works. Beginning the refinishing of the castle. Extension of the castle cellar.
1991: Ending the refinishing. Re-opening of the museum.

Views of the village Posterstein