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posted 03-27-2001 06:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonglitter   Click Here to Email Moonglitter     Edit/Delete Message
Greetings all! I hope that someone can help me. I am looking for information on the Castle Wildenstein that was located in Bubendorf, Basel-Land, Switzerland. My great....grandfather worked there until in burned in 1634. I would be very interested in any information. Thanks!

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posted 03-27-2001 11:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Merlin   Click Here to Email Merlin     Edit/Delete Message
I didn't know that castle Wildenstein burned in 1634. Where do you have that information from? Wildenstein is one of the very few 'Höhenburgen' (hill-castles) near Basel that survived the terrible earthquake of 1356 and was inhabited until recently. Some infos about it's history:

Wildenstein was founded by the noble family of Eptingen on real estate of the chapter of Bubendorf (which belonged to the chapter of Basel) to which they had to pay an annual tribute. The first nobleman of Eptingen who named himself after the new castle in 1293 was Heinrich. His son Gottfrid tried to get more important in the area and therefore soon was in conflict with the cities of Bern and Solothurn. Their soldiers took castle Wildenstein in 1334 and must have damaged it, as did the earthquake 22 years later. Gottfrids son Hermann sold the castle to the noble family of Baden, but they gave it as a gift to the order of german knights in 1384. The order sold Wildenstein 1388 to Petermann Sevogel, citizen of Basel. The Sevogel-family owned the castle and its estates until the end of the 15th century, when the Bär-family could buy it and open it for the city of Solothurn. Basel, which was constantly in conflict with Solothurn in that time because both cities tried to control the Jura-mountains between them, didn't like that. In 1500, another citizen of Basel made a succesfull attempt to buy Wildenstein again and it stayed under control of that city, although the owner changed very often:
1500 - Georg Schönkind
1511 - Margarita Lantzmann
1522 - Balthasar Hiltbrand
1530 - Johann Marx
1572 - Bernhart Brand
1634 - Balthasar Graf
1657 - Gustav Müller
1664 - Johann Schorendorf
1684 - Meinrad von Planta
1710 - Niklaus Langhagen
1717 - Peter Werthemann-De Bary
1747 - Johann Werthemann-De Bary
1769 - Peter Werthemann-Burckhardt
1792 - Peter Vischer-Sarasin
1824 - Peter Vischer-Passavant
1851 - Maria Burckhardt-Vischer
1871 - Karl Vischer-Merian
1900(?) - Karl Vischer-Von der Mühll
1922 - Peter Vischer-Burckhardt
1947 - Peter Vischer-Milner-Gibson

Since 1995, the Kanton Basel-Land is the owner of castle Wildenstein and made several restaurations of the old buildings. The castle has changed its appearance several times since the 13th century, the oldest part beeing its mighty tower that can be visited during the summer.

More information, picture-tour and a more detailed history of the castle and its buildings (all in german) at:



posted 03-28-2001 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonglitter   Click Here to Email Moonglitter     Edit/Delete Message
Thank you, Merlin! I got the information about the castle burning out of a church register from Bubendorf. As I read a few pages further, though, the castle is mentioned again, but this time it is called Widenstem. The book states that Michael Leupin lived in Bubendorf, "...until 1634 when Widenstem Castle of the Basel family in Diensten burned." Is there a Widenstem Castle? I'm also curious as to what kind of job a person would have at a castle that would put them in a position to receive a coat of arms, and to have the Lord of the castle serve as godfather to one's children.

Fox Atreides
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posted 03-29-2001 04:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fox Atreides   Click Here to Email Fox Atreides     Edit/Delete Message
Well, from my opinion, the job shall not be that important, (a simple servant wouldn't get a coat of armes of course) but more important is what the person has done, for example: when you save the life of your lord, you will be in great favor of him.
But, for the jobs, he could be the master house keeper, an army chief, a weaponsmith maybe, or a very satisfactionary personal servant who did a perfect job or something specail, but in all cases I suppose, it also depends on the lord, a nice one will grant promotion far earlier then a very cold-blooded and irritating guy.

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posted 03-30-2001 01:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Merlin   Click Here to Email Merlin     Edit/Delete Message
Is it possible that the words in that book are a bit confusing? Because in 1634, the family named "Brand" sold castle Wildenstein, and "Brand" is the german word for a burning - and it realy would be a rare coincidence if the castle burned at the very same moment the family Brand sold it to Balthasar Graf...
To your other questions: There's certainly no castle named "Wildenstem" in that area. There are other castles named Wildenstein in Switzerland, but if in Bubendorf only the one we mentioned can be meant.
The members of the Brand-family sure were no knights in shining armour - in the 17th century, these times were long gone. I think they were rich citizens of Basel, maybe nobelmen – but in that time no large estates and almost no feudal rights were left to to castle Wildenstein. From the few words you gave of your source I understand that Michael Leupin lived in Bubendorf near the castle and was a servant (= "in Diensten") of the family Brand, until they sold Wildenstein in 1634. That a member of the Brand-family was godfather to his children would be most normal, because this meant that if he died, the family had to care for them. But why did Leupin need a coat of arms? I don't know - maybe he was also a soldier of the city of Basel...


posted 03-30-2001 06:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonglitter   Click Here to Email Moonglitter     Edit/Delete Message
I was actually reading an English translation of the book, so I'll bet that's it, Merlin! It all makes sense. Thank you all so much, you've been a great help!

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