The place name 'Gundolfsheim' was first mentioned in 767 AD and probably derived from a person's name. In about 1250 Konrad of Horneck and his sons joined the Teutonic Knights and donated the fortress as a pious foundation. From then it was devoted to the Teutonic Order for hundreds of years. In 1438 the fortress became the seat of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. The town that developed below the fort, Gundelsheim, received its town and market charters in the 14th century. After the destruction.... [More about Gundelsheim]
The mighty Palace Horneck reigns over Gundelsheim, the City of the Teutonic Order. After Heidelberg, it is the second largest palace along the Neckar river. It became important and famous when the German Master made it his residence in 1420 and, thus, in addition to Riga and Marienburg became the third main seat of the Teutonic Order. Today the palace complex serves as the "Heimathaus" and as the meeting place of the Transylvanian Saxons. It accommodates the Transylvanian Museum as well as the Transylvanian Library, which are both open to the public.
The original castle was presumably built at the beginning of the 13th century. In 1250 Konrad von Horneck joined the German Knights and donated, among other things, his property in Gundelsheim, to which Castle Horneck belonged. In 1420 Horneck became the residence of the German Master. During the Peasant War in 1525, Horneck was completely destroyed, probably at the behest of the Knight Götz von Berlichingen who lived nearby in Castle Hornberg. After that, the Knights of Order relocated their residence to Bad Mergentheim, solely the commandery remained in Gundelsheim.
In the course of the reconstruction a Renaissance building was created until 1533 that was rebuilt into today's Baroque Palace by architect Franz Keller from 1720 until 1724. By the secularization in 1805 it became the property of Württemberg Kingdom and was used as a barrack. In 1824 it was sold privately and was used for various purposes, among other things as a brewery. From 1891 until 1939 Palace Horneck accommodated a famous sanatorium under the medical management of Prof. Dr. Roemheld. Shortly after the Second World War it served as an American hospital. From 1946 it was converted to a lungs sanatorium, which moved to Löwenstein in 1960.
In the same year the palace passed into the possession of the benefit society "Johannes Honterus" of the Transylvanian Saxons. Today it is owned by the Transylvanian Culture Center "Palace Hornberg" e.V.
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