Cultural Trail of the Vögte | Vogtland, Saxony, Bavaria, Thuringia, Bohemia

"Vogtland" - what an unusual name! Who were the Vögte? Why this special name? Come with us on an exciting journey of discovery!

Let's set off! To explore the historical sites in the "Land of the Vögte". There we will learn about the historical background and recognise the connections, for example between "the Vögte" and "the Prussians".

Formative events from early times lie partly in the darkness of history. Imperial ministerials (= servants) who originally settled in the north of Thuringia were appointed by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in the 12th century in the area on both sides of the White Elster. This served to expand the imperial territory. The lords entrusted with this task called themselves Vögte of Weida in their new location. "Vogt" apparently stands for the place of origin. In honour of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Henry VI, all male descendants henceforth bore the name Henry.

The settlement forced by the Vögte was accompanied by considerable land seizure. As early as 1200, Henry II, "the Rich", largely ruled a territory that stretched from Gera/Ronneburg via Greiz and Plauen, the towns on the Upper Saale to the Regnitzland around Hof and the Egerland with Asch, Selb and Adorf. The term "terre advocatorum", first mentioned in a document in 1343, did not refer to a defined area, but to the property of the Vögte: "der vogte lant".

Later weakened by the division of the inheritance, the Vögte dynasty soon had to defend itself against the powerful: The market counts of Meissen and the kings of Bohemia coveted the estates. From the middle of the 14th century, the estates were lost: Voigtsberg, Mylau, Wiesenburg, Schönfels-Werdau, Weida ... Hof and the Regnitzland were sold to the Burgraves of Nuremberg in 1373. In 1485, the Vogtland, previously taken over by the Bohemian king as a hereditary fief, came to the Ernestine line of the Wettins (Electorate of Saxony). Only the estates around Greiz, Schleiz and Lobenstein remained in the possession of the counts, later princes, of Reuss, who were descended from the Vögten. The other parts of the land formed the Vogtland district in the Kingdom of Saxony from 1602.

The Vögte with their origins in Veitsberg/Weida and then their Prussian descendants characterised the region for around 800 years. And to this day, the region on the upper reaches of the Weiße Elster river bears the name Vogtland. The former lords, the Vögte, are therefore still decisive - for the very special identification of land and people here. Witnesses to Vogtland's history are not only the coats of arms of many towns founded at that time, often with the "Vogtland lion" in black and yellow, but also a large number of castles and sacred buildings that can be traced back to the ruling family of the Vögte of Weida: The town of Weida with the Osterburg castle, its churches and monasteries. The neighbouring village of Mildenfurth, house monastery of the Vögte. Greiz with the Upper Castle built by the Vögte around 1188 and the Lower Castle from the Reußen period. Plauen with the castle complex, the imposing St John's Church and the Komturhof of the Teutonic Order. The ruins of Neuberg Castle near Asch. Frederick Barbarossa's imperial palace in Eger. These and many others bear witness to this period and the shared history of the region.

They all deserve a larger audience than they have had up to now. The Vogtland Cultural Trail aims to connect the historic Vogtland region from Weida to Bohemia in a new way - with a tourist offer for all those interested in the culture and history of the region, especially the people in the three-country corner of Bohemia, Saxony/Thuringia and Bavaria, especially the home-loving "Vogtlanders".




Information portal

Further information on the " Cultural Trail of the Vögte" can be found in the information portal.

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Tourism portal

Plan your trip in the footsteps of the Vögte and take a look at the tourism portal.

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Info PDFs

In our Google Drive you will find all information PDFs about the Vögte' Cultural Trail. (link deactivated)