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Ingelheim am Rhein

In Ingelheim Charlemagne built a palace as an important temporary seat of residence and government to kings and emperors mainly of the early Carolingian and Ottonian dynasties. After the recent excavations, a selection of features was preserved in situ, allowing visitors to appreciate them in their historic context.

  • AD 1050 – Modern Era

AD 1050 – Modern Era

Development of the site

Only eight visits to the Pfalz are documented during the Salian dynasty.48 At the turn of the years 1105/1106, Ingelheim became one last time the setting for an event of historical importance as Henry IV (1050–1106) was forced to renounce the throne by his son Henry V (1081/1086–1125).49 Fig. 33

Fig. 33: The abdication of Henry IV in favour of Henry V from the Chronicle of Ekkehard von Aura, ca 1106. Credit: Creators of Chronicle of Ekkehard von Aura [PD‐Art (PD‐old default), PD‐Art (PD‐old)], via Wikimedia Commons

Fig. 33: The abdication of Henry IV in favour of Henry V from the Chronicle of Ekkehard von Aura, ca 1106. Credit: Creators of Chronicle of Ekkehard von Aura [PD‐Art (PD‐old default), PD‐Art (PD‐old)], via Wikimedia Commons

The emperors of the House of Hohenstaufen only visited the Pfalz at Ingelheim four times, despite the fact that Ingelheim became to be known as the birthplace of Charlemagne during the 12th century.50 The ‘Gesta Friderici’ describes the condition of the Pfalz complex as “dilapidated due to neglect and age” as well as the restoration under Frederick I (Barbarossa, ca 1122–1190).51 A meeting with the Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) in 1163 is the only hint for his presence at Ingelheim.52 Fig. 34 Archaeological evidence confirms the building of a fortified outer bailey and alterations to the church during the time of the Hohenstaufens.53 Fig. 23

Fig. 34: Illumination from the ‘Liber Scivias’ showing Hildegard of Bingen receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe and secretary. Credit: Creators of the Rupertsberger Codex of Liber Scivias [Public domain, CC‐PD‐Mark], via Wikimedia Commons

Fig. 34: Illumination from the ‘Liber Scivias’ showing Hildegard of Bingen receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe and secretary. Credit: Creators of the Rupertsberger Codex of Liber Scivias [Public domain, CC‐PD‐Mark], via Wikimedia Commons

Ingelheim lost its function as imperial residence during the late Medieval period. Charles IV (1316–1378) was the last regent to visit Ingelheim in 1354. He founded a monastery of the Canons Regular, Karlsmünster.54 The royal possessions were pawned to different money lenders in the 14th century, like the Count Palatine in 1375. This pawn was never redeemed.55

The knowledge about the Pfalz was never lost, even though it went out of use and was even built over. The scholar Sebastian Münster (1488–1552), born in Ingelheim mentions in his famous Cosmographia “a castle, which was the palace of Charlemagne 800 years ago” 56 to be situated in his birth town.57 Fig. 31 The older Pfalz buildings were partly integrated into newer buildings, which is why some parts have been preserved comparatively well. It is also still possible to see some of the structures within the modern townscape and innovative monument protection measures have helped to increase the visibility of these features.58 Fig. 35

Fig. 35: Aerial photo of the Pfalz area today. Credit: Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim, photo Alfons Rath

Fig. 35: Aerial photo of the Pfalz area today. Credit: Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim, photo Alfons Rath

References

48 For statistics of royal stays:
Grewe, Holger, ‘Visualisierung von Herrschaft in der Architektur. Die Pfalz Ingelheim als Bedeutungsträger im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert’, in Burkhardt, Stefan, Metz, Thomas, Schneidmüller, Bernd and Weinfurter, Stefan (eds), Staufisches Kaisertum im 12. Jahrhundert. Konzepte – Netzwerke – Politische Praxis, Regensburg, 2010, pp. 398f.
‘Herrscheraufenthalte in der Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim zwischen 774 und 1190. Archäologie. Pfalz der Staufer. Geschichte’, http://www.kaiserpfalz-ingelheim.de/archaeologie_pfalz_der_staufer_01.php, accessed 22 April 2013

49 For the renunciation in 1105 / 1106 AD:
Classen, Peter, ‘Die Geschichte der Königspfalz Ingelheim bis zur Verpfändung an Kurpfalz 1375′, in Autenrieth, Johanne (ed.), Ingelheim am Rhein, Ingelheim, Stuttgart, 1964, p. 124
Kohtz, Harald, ‘Ingelheim als Schauplatz historischen Geschehens. Aus Annalen, Chroniken, Biographien, Briefen und Geschichtsdarstellungen’, in Lachenal, François and Weise, Harald T. (eds), Ingelheim am Rhein 774-1974. Geschichte und Gegenwart, Ingelheim am Rhein, 1974, pp. 246-253

50 For Ingelheim as the birthplace of Charlemagne:
Kohtz, Harald, ‘Ingelheim in der Sage, in Geschichten und Anekdoten’, in Lachenal, François and Weise, Harald T. (eds), Ingelheim am Rhein 774-1974. Geschichte und Gegenwart, Ingelheim am Rhein, 1974, p. 129
Geißler, Hartmut, ‘Die Entstehung der Legende, Karl der Große sei in Ingelheim geboren’, http://www.ingelheimer-geschichte.de/index.php?id=136, accessed 24 May 2013

51 Cf. Rahewin Capitulum LXXXVI: Otto of Freising (and Ragewin) Gesta Friderici imperatoris Liber IV http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/ottofreising/4.html, accessed 23 May 2013: “Palatia siquidem a Karolo Magno quondam pulcherrima fabricata et regias clarissimo opere decoratas aput Noviomagum et iuxta villam Inglinheim, opera quidem fortissima, sed iam tam neglectu quam vetustate fessa, decentissime reparavit et in eis maximam innatam sibi animi magnitudinem demonstravit”. – Although the author monk Rahewin sees the restoration as evidence for the generosity of Frederick I, modern historical research interprets these actions as safeguarding his political power by implementing the territorial interests of the Hohenstaufens.

52 For Hildegard of Bingen meeting with Frederick I:
Classen, Peter, ‘Die Geschichte der Königspfalz Ingelheim bis zur Verpfändung an Kurpfalz 1375′, in Autenrieth, Johanne (ed.), Ingelheim am Rhein, Ingelheim, Stuttgart, 1964, pp. 125f.
Kohtz, Harald, ‘Ingelheim als Schauplatz historischen Geschehens. Aus Annalen, Chroniken, Biographien, Briefen und Geschichtsdarstellungen’, in Lachenal, François and Weise, Harald T. (eds), Ingelheim am Rhein 774-1974. Geschichte und Gegenwart, Ingelheim am Rhein, 1974, pp. 254-256
Geißler, Hartmut, ‘Traf sich Friedrich Barbarossa mit Hildegard von Bingen in Ingelheim?’, http://www.ingelheimer-geschichte.de/index.php?id=129, accessed 24 May 2013.

53 For the Pfalz during the reign of the Hohenstaufens:
Hotz, Walter, Pfalzen und Burgen der Stauferzeit. Geschichte und Gestalt, Darmstadt, 1981, pp. 6, 42
Grewe, Holger, ‘Ingelheim’, in Beck, Heinrich, Geuenich, Dieter and Steuer, Heiko (eds), Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde, vol. 15, Berlin, New York, 2000, p. 423
Grewe, Holger, Historical Tour through the Kaiserpfalz area, Ingelheim, 2012, pp. 6f.

54 For the foundation of the monastery:
Classen, Peter, ‘Die Geschichte der Königspfalz Ingelheim bis zur Verpfändung an Kurpfalz 1375′, in Autenrieth, Johanne (ed.), Ingelheim am Rhein, Ingelheim, Stuttgart, 1964, pp. 138-140
Grewe, Holger, Historical Tour through the Kaiserpfalz area, Ingelheim, 2012, p. 7
Geißler, Hartmut, ‘Ingelheim zur Zeit Karls IV. Verpachtungen und Augustiner-Chorherrenstift’, http://www.ingelheimer-geschichte.de/index.php?id=139, accessed 21 April 2013
Geißler, Hartmut, ‘Das Augustiner-Chorherrenstift (‘Karlsmünster’) in Ingelheim’, http://www.ingelheimer-geschichte.de/index.php?id=140, accessed 21 April 2013

55 For the pledge:
Petry, Ludwig, ‘Der Ingelheimer Grund vom Ausgang des 14. bis zur Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts’, in Autenrieth, Johanne (ed.), Ingelheim am Rhein, Ingelheim – Stuttgart, 1964, pp. 201-238
Geißler, Hartmut, ‘Ingelheim zur Zeit Karls IV. Verpachtungen und Augustiner-Chorherrenstift’, http://www.ingelheimer-geschichte.de/index.php?id=139, accessed 21 April 2013
Geißler, Hartmut, ‘Die Verpfändungen der Ingelheimer Reichseinkünfte’, http://www.ingelheimer-geschichte.de/index.php?id=152, accessed 27 April 2013 – Finally, Ingelheim was confirmed as part of the Electoral Palatinate (‘Kurpfalz’) after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

56 Münster, Sebastian, Cosmographey oder beschreibung aller Länder, Herrschafften, fürnem[m]sten Stetten: geschichten, gebreuche[n], handtierungen etc, Basel, 1567, DCCIII http://dl.ub.uni-freiburg.de/diglit/muenster1567, accessed 23 May 2013: “ein schloß … das vor acht hundert jaren des grossen keyser Carles pallast gewesen ist”.

57 For Sebastian Münster:
Kohtz, Harald, ‘Auskunft über Ingelheim in Nachschlagewerken, Hand- und Sachbüchern, Statistiken etc.’, in Lachenal, François, Weise and Harald T. (eds), Ingelheim am Rhein 774-1974. Geschichte und Gegenwart, Ingelheim am Rhein, 1974, pp. 151-156
Grewe, Holger, ‘Palast – Ruine – Denkmal. Konzeptionelle Grundsätze für das Erforschen, Bewahren und erschließen der Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim’, in Müller, Martin, Otten, Thomas and Wulf-Rheidt, Ulrike (eds), Schutzbauten und Rekonstruktionen in der Archäologie. Von der Ausgrabung zur Präsentation. Xanten, 21.-23. Oktober 2009, Xantener Berichte, vol. 19, Mainz am Rhein, 2011, p. 306
Geißler, Hartmut, ‘Sebastian Münster – der größte Sohn Ingelheims’, http://www.ingelheimer-geschichte.de/index.php?id=92, accessed 21 April 2013

58 Grewe, Holger, ‘Palast – Ruine – Denkmal. Konzeptionelle Grundsätze für das Erforschen, Bewahren und erschließen der Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim’, in Müller, Martin, Otten, Thomas and Wulf-Rheidt, Ulrike (eds), Schutzbauten und Rekonstruktionen in der Archäologie. Von der Ausgrabung zur Präsentation. Xanten, 21.-23. Oktober 2009, Xantener Berichte, vol. 19, Mainz am Rhein, 2011, pp. 305-327
Ferch, Katharina, ‘Denkmal Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim: Unsichtbares sichtbar machen’, Archäologie in Deutschland, 5, 2009, pp. 66f.
Ferch, Katharina and Peisker, Katharina, ‘1200 Jahre alte Geschichte wieder sichtbar – Die Kaiserpfalz in Ingelheim’, Restauro, 115/7, 2009, pp. 427f.

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