Dorf und Burg Wandersleben
Village and Castle Wandersleben

Wappen der Familie

1. Das thüringische Wandersleben

Wandersleben - wunderbar gelegen im Burgenland  der "Drei Gleichen" (Mühlburg, Wachsenburg und Burg Wandersleben) in der Mitte Deutschlands. Der Ort liegt  zwischen der Thüringischen Landeshauptstadt Erfurt im Osten und der Residenzstadt Gotha im Westen. 

Die Siedlung wird seit dem 9. Jahrhundert erwähnt und heißt in den alten Urkunden auch Wandisleibin, Wantesleiben oder Wandisleben. Erst um 1500 wurde der Name Wandersleben festgeschrieben. Heute gehört die Ortschaft Wandersleben  zum Landkreis Gotha und hatte im Jahre 2001 um die 1.770 Einwohner.

1. The Thuringian Wandersleben

Wandersleben is wonderfully situated in the region of the fortresses "Drei Gleichen" (Muehlburg, Wachsenburg, and Burg Wandersleben) in the center of Germany. The town is located between the state capital of Thuringia, Erfurt, to the east, and the royal residence city of Gotha to the west.
The settlement is mentioned since the 9th century and is referred to in old documents as Wandisleibin, Wantesleiben, or Wandisleben.   It wasn't until around 1500 that the name Wandersleben is first recorded.  Today the town of Wandersleben belongs to the district of Gotha, and had roughly 1770 residents in 2001.

2. Burg Wandersleben 

Anlage aus der zweiten Hälfte des 11. Jahrhunderts; kurmainzische Schutzburg; Renaissancebauten aus dem 13. und 16. Jahrhundert; Ruine seit 1842.

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Castle Ruin Gleichen at Wandersleben (District Gotha)

The original fortress dates back to the second half of the 11th century.  The Renaissance structures were built between the 13th and 16th centuries.  It has been a ruin since 1842.

"The "Drei Gleichen" ("Three Equals") arise, each on their own hill, from the land bordering the Thuringian Forest, and are visible from afar.  Although their collective name implies that they belong together, each fortress has its own origin and special history.

The northern-most of the three castles, and the one after which the group is named, is Castle Gleichen, which includes Muehlburg and Wachsenburg.  It is first documented in the year 1089, and during the time 1124-1137, it transferred ownership to the Archbishop of Mainz, who also controlled the most important trade route to Erfurt.  Soon after, the Archbishops of Mainz transferred the castle to the Earls of Tonna, who became governors of Erfurt at the same time and designated themselves as the Earls of Gleichen in 1162.  At the end of the 16th century, Earl Philipp Ernst of Gleichen planned to oversee the remodeling and reconstruction of the fortress as a Renaissance castle.  After the construction of the manor house, whose outer walls are still visible today, he abandoned his plans in favor of Ohrduft, to whose castle he transferred his royal residence.  One reason for this may have been the lack of a well, thereby necessitating the mule transport of drinking water to the castle.  The castle remained the administrative seat of the Earls of Gleichen until the end of their reign in 1631. After 1639, the castle was overseen by the brothers of Hatzfeld, who were also awarded the title of Earls of Gleichen, but the castle began to fall into disrepair.  By the beginning of the 18th century, the majority of the castle was already a ruin, save for the Renaissance building which remained inhabited until 1841.  In 1803, the castle along with the entire region of Erfurt, became part of Prussia.  It was partitioned off for sale in 1811 by the French authorities, but by decree of Napoleon was given to the University of Erfurt.  After the university was dissolved in 1816, ownership of the castle was returned to the city.  It continued to deteriorate during the 19th century until the Thueringer-Wald-Verein began restoration work in 1897.

Parts of the enclosure walls of the medieval structure are preserved, and the ruins of the Renaissance buildings, including the cistern and the massive 22 meter long vaults from the 13th century are open to the public.  A gate-house still stands at the north side, and a small museum is located at the south side.

The Castle Gleichen became known beyond the borders of Thuringia because of the legend of the double marriage of the Earl of Gleichen, as evidenced by the tombstone inscription in the Cathedral of Erfurt of the Earl and two woman.  According to the legend, the Earl was taken prisoner in the crusades of 1227, but was saved from execution by the sultan's daughter.  She returned with him to his home, and by special decree of the Pope, the Earl was allowed to take her as his second wife.

The castle ruin of Gleichen was turned over to the Stiftung Thueringer Schloesser und Gaerten on January 1, 1998 and is currently undergoing cleaning and restoration." 

(original german text from: Under this adress you can find more informations (in German).