The Castle's History
Stettenfels Castle, Untergruppenbach

Situated high over the town of Untergruppenbach, grand and mighty Stettenfels Castle is visible from afar. Anyone heading north on the autobahn from Stuttgart or east from Heilbronn toward the mountains of Löwenstein is unable to overlook this castle.

Built in the 11th century, this was probably a Frankish castle. In later years, possession alternated between the many counts of the surrounding villages.

From 1356, Stettenfels Castle and the lordship were in the hands of the knight Sir Burkhard von Sturmfeder. More private lordships followed until 1504 when Duke Ulrich von Württemberg seized castle and lordship Stettenfels, giving it to Konrad Thumb von Neuburg as a fiefdom in 1507.

In 1527, the heirs of Konrad Thumb sold the property to Philipp von Hirnheim, who conducted the reformation here in 1536. The nephew of Jacob the Rich, Count Anton Fugger, acquired Stettenfels Castle in 1551. In 1575, his son Hans remodeled the castle into a renaissance palace at considerable cost. This is the source of today’s double title of Stettenfels Castle Palace.

Stettenfels remained in the possession of the Fugger family until its sale to Duke Karl von Württemberg in 1747. In 1829, the town of Untergruppenbach purchased the property. Possession changed in the following years: the tanner Friedrich Korn from Calw in 1852, Anton Meyer, a businessman from Hamburg in 1858, the landowner Friedrich Bürkle in 1881 and, in 1888, the farmer Christian Hildt from Weinsberg.

In 1901, Colonel Dr. Walter Putsch from Cologne took over possession of the property and renovated in turn-of-the-century style. The castle became the residence of the Haldenwang family in 1918. In 1925, shoe manufacturer Siegfried Levi from Kornwestheim acquired the castle and property, founding a widely recognized stud farm. Because he was Jewish, the Nazi regime forced him to sell the property under duress and he fled to South Africa in 1934. Chief architect of the Reich, Albert Speer now wanted to establish a so-called order castle, or Ordensburg, for training Nazi elite, and had plans to transform Untergruppenbach into a showplace. Before any significant construction could get underway, the war broke out.

Ravaged by the chaos of war, Stettenfels came under American occupation in 1945. In 1946, the post-war Protestant social service institution (Evangelische Hilfswerk) leased the castle, setting up a recreation, guild and senior center.

In 1951, Stettenfels was returned to Siegfried Levi’s widow during the reparations process. In 1957, she sold the property to Dr. Friedrich Spieser-Hünenburg, who owned the castle for 37 years. The property was ultimately sold by his heirs to Roland Weimar, an architect from Flein. Since that time, Mr. Weimar has attended to crucial renovations, bringing Stettenfels Castle piece by piece toward a new future.


Siegfried Levi – Lord of the Castle

Roland Weimar
Spieser community of heirs
Friedrich Spieser Hünenburg
Property is returned to Siegfried Levi’s widow
Social services of the Protestant church
American occupation
National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP)
Siegfried Levi
von Haldenwand (widow of the regimental commander)
Walther Putsch
Christian Hildt
Friedrich Bückle
Anton Mayer
Rotgerber Friedrich Korn
Town of Gruppenbach
County Seat Besigheim
County Seat Heilbronn
County Seat Beilstein
Sigmund Fugger sells Stettenfels lordship to Württemberg for 207,500 gold florin
Fugger family
Swedish secretary Nicodemus von Ahausen
Anton Fugger and the sons of his deceased brother Raimund Fugger
Hans Walther von Hirnheim
Hans Konrad Thumb von Neuburg sells Stettenfels lordship to Wolff Philipp von Hirnheim for 14,000 guilder
Hans Konrad Thumb von Neuburg
Conrad Tumb von Neuburg
Götz von Adelsheim, Zeysolf von Adelsheim
Friedrich Sturmfeder sells the castle to Raben von Helmstatt for 5,020 guilder
Pledged by Schwigger Sturmfeder to Württemberg
Sir Burkhard Sturmfeder
Engelhard von Hirschhorn acquired parts of Stettenfels Castle to Württemberg; Hans Wigmar, Haintz Wigmar and Peter Fuer, respected patrician family, also possessed parts of Stettenfels Castle
Contract between Engelhard the Elder and Konrad the Younger of Weinsberg and Ludwig, Count Palatine of the Rhine
Calw-Löwenstein Counts owned Gruppenbach lordship