Burg Jägerhof is the headquarters of the Sedelmeier Development Corporation. We are located in Washington State. The primary business of our company is to develop construction plans for medieval castles and then construct these castles on suitable sites. We build these castles from our own engineering drawings that we developed from photographs, existing medieval German castle construction records, and detailed measurements taken from existing medieval European castles. Of particular interest for this purpose are the 12th and 13th century medieval German, Austrian, and Swiss castles. We strive to recreate typical medieval castles which were built during this period by the German speaking peoples, although not any particular medieval German, Austrian, or Swiss castle is recreated. These medieval German castles of this period where chosen for their unique characteristics, structural design and adaptability for our purposes.
OUR SELECTED CASTLE STYLES
From all of the castle styles we have chosen the castles referred to or called Burg as our primary concern. This is because most Burgs were used primarily as a fortified private dwelling and there are hundreds of good examples to examine. And as our castles will be used primarilyas private homes or perhaps businesses, it is an excellent match. Several Schloss designs are being examined also and some of the Norman castles will be carefully examined also.
We are in the process of locating existing medieval German, Austrian, Swiss or perhaps a Norman castle to restore to their former splendor. Carefully chosen medieval German castle ruins may also be considered for restoration also. At the present time our search for restorable castles is focused in the German and Austrian mountains regions.
Some of our castles, either those purchased and restored or constructed new will be offered for sale. One or two will remain with in the Corporation.
A BRIEF BURG HISTORY
Since early times a safe home was needed to protect oneself and family from the many dangers of the times. Although the fortified city and walled towns with watch towers can be traced back to more than several centuries B. C. and to many different cultures, it is a certain type of early fortification development that we are primarily concerned. This type of fortification differed from the walled city or the military outposts. In western medieval Europe during the ninth century in the Frankish Empire a type of building called a Burg was developing. These building were designed and built with a combination of military and domestic architecture features. They were usually designed and built for the residence of a nobleman, or other person of social prominence, and his family, workers of many skills, and friends. His primary work was also carried out from this fortified building. In the German language the term burg refers to the English word for castle. These early Burg or castle structures were built primarily with timber and soil on a location that could be defended. These building sites were carefully chosen and the castle built where the castle defenders had a greater defensive advantage than the castle attackers. This usually meant that the castles were built on a high or relatively inaccessible site. These sites provided an excellent place to watch out for visitors. And these sites usually prevented tunneling under the walls and made bringing large siege weapons within effective range very difficult.
But, lacking these types of sites the castle builders sometimes used a water filled ditch called a moat. This moat was built around the castle outside of the outer curtain walls.
In time natural and hewn stone or fired clay bricks replaced timber as the primary building material of choice. The main advantage with a stone or brick castle was that it was harder to destroy and once built these castles required much less repair and maintenance. One disadvantage however, is that a stone or brick castle takes longer to construct and costs more to build.
But, stone or brick was a good choice for us also, because those castles built with stone or brick are still there where they were built for us to examine.
The castles called Burg are primarily located in the German speaking and former German speaking areas of Europe. Many of these castles which were built during the Middle Ages (500 to 1500 AD) and survive today. The Middle Ages was a long time in European history of great social unrest and a constant battling for control of people and land. This unrest required a safe place to live and work. And a fortified place called a castle that was developed and refined over the years was just this relatively safe place.
In fact the word castle is derived from the Latin castellum: fortress, a diminutive of castrum: a fortified place. These fortified places provided a great degree of safety.
Strong castles relied primarily upon a passive means of defense to defend themselves when danger threaten. These defensive measures were to severely restrict or prevent unwanted access to the inside of the castle by unwanted visitors. This was primarily accomplished by the strategic placement, design and construction of the castle. However, when necessary, an active means of defense was readily used as well. Then active defensive measures included plenty of hand weapons, such as the long bow and plenty of arrows, crossbows and bolts, battle axes, spears, Greeks fire, knights and other warriors, men-at-arms, peasant conscripts, commoners, and many fist-sized rocks. In addition siege weapons such as the bolt-firing Ballista and the rock-hurling Catapult were sometimes utilized as defensive weapons during an attack or a siege.
And somewhere in the scheme of things the castle defenders would have had to plan for possibility of a starvation siege or a blockade. This is because some castles could not be overtaken by any other means. And several well designed, strongly built and properly defended castles have never been defeated in battle.
As mentioned before, the Burg castle is essentially a fortified home with military and domestic architectural features. These fortified homes have high thick sturdy stone walls surrounding the primary house, keep, and all the other important parts of the medieval castle. These parts includes the guest house, armory, horse stables, blacksmith and other workshops, storehouse, water well, and court yards. In addition, several guard and watch towers, battlements, sturdy heavily built wooden gates, garrison halls and sometimes gatehouses with portcullis and sometimes double gates, and strong drawbridges, would complete the basic castle.
These castles were usually built on a steep hill top, a mountain crag or another easily defended and somewhat inaccessible site. However, some fine Bergs were built on flat land with a protective water moat. This is because where they had to be constructed the land was nearly level and water was abundant.
SOME OUTSTANDING BURG EXAMPLES
While it is somewhat difficult to choose a single good example of an outstanding Burg, Burg Marksburg above Braubach on the Rhine river would be good choice.
Another, Burg Hochosterwitz nearby Launsdorf, in the Austrian Alps is also an outstanding example of a Burg, and it has never been captured by enemy forces. This Burg, which really is a fortress or a Festung (Citadel), has everything that a good Burg should and many have to qualify. We were very much impressed with the design and construction of this Burg during our recent visit. The defensive measures designed and built into this fortress are quite impressive.
However, our castles aren't quite this large or prominent as either of these castles. But, the design and placement of the defensive capabilities and the general construction of these two outstanding Burgen was well noted.
However, as European society evolved, the need for a strongly fortified home became less of a necessity and the schloss became the dominate type of castle. The schloss was a private home characterized by the elegance, distinctive style and beauty of the structure. These castles were sometimes a demonstration of the wealth and prestige of it's owner. The emphasis was no longer on a defensible and fortified home, but on the structural beauty and livability of the schloss. And usually the estate grounds had formal and beautiful gardens and forests surrounding the schloss. The estate grounds, which were usually large, were used for social events and the fields and forests provided hunting pursuits.
During this time many elegant and beautiful castles where constructed through out Europe. Schloss Neuschwanstein in the Bavarian Alps is an outstanding example of a schloss.
Some schloss did retain some fortification in their design however. Generally those schloss which did retain fortification and defense capabilities where the earlier constructed castles of this period. Their construction usually signaled the end of the medieval period or at least the urgent need for security. Although not all areas of Europe experienced this castle development at the same time.
We build either type of castle, Burg or Schloss, depending on the site selected and the required building codes of the selected county or country. Those counties with a height restriction such as a 35 foot height limitation will probably dictate a schloss castle rather than a Burg. Castles of the Burg construction had much higher towers and outer periphery walls and may not be allowed to be built in those counties in the United States where the 35 foot height limitation is required and a variance isnot allowed. This height restriction applies usually only to homes and non-commercialstructures. However even commercial structures are height limited, but code variances generally allow taller structures to be built if wind shear and foundation stability requirements can be met.
Our new castles are designed to meet or exceed all the required building codes for large masonry structures, including wind sheer and seismic concerns. The construction materials utilized are modern concrete, cement, block, brick, natural and hewn stone, roofing slate, iron, steel, bronze, copper sheeting, timber, glass, and other modern materials. However, these materials are used in such a way as to preserve the medieval look, style, and feel to our finished castles. And our castles are built to last for generations, to be lived in, and to be enjoyed.
Our castles which we design and build are intended as safe and fortified private homes. But, one castle is planned to be designed and built as a hotel and convention center. Office and specialty item shop space will also be included.
While true for some, castles were not always the cold drafty stone "caves" that some books and older movies show them to be. Most of the cold drafty castles were military castles staffed with garrisons and with a special job to do. The invention and better distribution of cheaper window glass helped somewhat to solve this drafty problem. In fact castles were the best money could buy during the time that they were built and they were built with living quarters that were quite adequate for the time. And while they may seem inadequate to most of us today, most medieval castles that were designed and built primarily as a fortified home were quite comfortable and provided the necessary amenities and protection for their owners.
Even today existing medieval castles can and are being remodeled or rebuilt to suit the requirements of their present day owners.
Castles were expensive to build, even for the Kaiser, King, Elector, Bishop, Knight, or Baron. If the prospective castle owner did not have sovereignty or at least control over the land chosen for the castle, he had to receive permission to build a castle from whoever had. Depending upon jurisdiction, permission may have been granted by issuing a license to crenate. Of course not everyone had to get permission to build a castle because he had sovereignty over the land, the people and everything on it. But, where required, when permission was obtained and all the required permits, licenses, or grants of land from the sovereign were obtained, the construction of the castle could begin.
However, whomever the castle owner was to be the construction concerns were the same. He would have had to hire and direct the castle designer and the required professional workers, recruit a work force from his own subjects, locate, quarry, and shape the building stone, and locate the proper clay and make bricks if bricks were required. In addition to cutting, collecting, and shaping the required timbers for timberframing and other structural timbers. He would need to produce the iron and other building materials, or purchase these items if his land could not produce enough for his project. And the castle construction costs would have to remain within a certain cost limit, or budget. And the castle must still be built within the allotted construction time frame. Even for a King. So we castle builders today face some of the same problems and frustrations that our ancient predecessors had to deal with.
Castles today can be built, restored, or updated to please their owners. Some of our new castles, while medieval in structural design and appearance, have floor plans, interior design and decor on par with or exceeding that of many elegant modern mansions. Fine stonework, beautiful timberframing, ironwork and woodwork is required in all of our castles. This requirement is for castles either newly designed or built, ever for a restored Burg, Schloss, or Norman style castle. And all castles will have some or all of these very latest technologies incorporated into the design of their internal systems. These systems will include the most advanced securities systems, world wide communications, the latest environmental and temperature control, and advanced recreational and entertainment equipment.
While this web page now serves as an advance introduction to our castles, watch this web site for castle and medieval subject information. As time allows, castle floor plans and some castle designs and construction details will be published on this site.
Check out our hot links which we believe will be interesting, instructive, and useful to you, our valued visitor.
For a view of Burg J鋑erhof Click Here .
This site will list our castles for sale and perhaps selected castle sites for sale. At the present time we do not have castles for sale in North America.
We have no plans, at the present time, to write contracts to construct, repair, rebuild, or restore, any castles for prospective clients.
However, we will consider these types of contracts in the future.
Remember to Bookmark this page so that you can easily find it again.
STONE MASONRY & TIMBERFRAMING LINKS
These links are for our masonry and timberframing construction websites. They offer masonry, timber, and timberframing construction tools, equipment and books.
Visit our Old Castle Shop .
Our stone mason, timberframing, and blacksmithing work shop.
Learn how to make lime mortar, from limestone. Learn about medieval castles.
Visit our Pacific Mountain Masonry.
Our stone mason and construction contractor's supply.
Also, visit pictures of our stone masonry project, building a dry stone bridge.
LÜBECK HAUS STORE LINKS
Visit Lübeck Haus Store.
L黚eck Haus Store is our online merchandise store and is a important separate enterprise.
One feature of L黚eck Haus Store is L黚eck Haus Bookstore. L黚eck Haus Bookstore has an excellent selection of books for sale. Our huge inventory means that most books are in stock and are shipped very quickly.
Lübeck Haus Bookstore offers an extensive selection of books, DVD & VHS movies, and music CDs titles for sale.
Book title categories include stone and timber construction books, timber framing proceedures, stone masonry construction, castle design, construction and history, knights and weapons, blacksmithing, professional and educational books, business law, investment books, personal finance, gardening and livestock, small scale farming and homesteading, horticulture, tree pathology, forestry research, big game hunting, firearms, fishing, canoes and boats, science, mathematics, magnetism, microwave and radio technology, electronic theory and experiments, digital computers use, electronic equipment repair, electronic engineering, computer science, mathematics, science, German language tutorials, genealogy books, German, Austrian, Swiss & Prussian history, European history, web development, kindle books, dictionaries, reference books, and much more.
Most titles are discounted, some up to 30%.
The Lübeck Haus Store offers home and office electronic equipment, kindle readers, professional and educational software, computer and games software, digital computers, video games, cellular phones, research laboratory supplies, construction tools and equipment, construction contractor's equipment, power and hand tools, work clothing, masonry tools, timber framing tools, logging tools and equipment, hunting equipment, gun safes, fishing equipment, kayaks, canoes, camping equipment and tents, gardening tools and equipment, hardware, jewelry, watches, chess sets, toys and games for sale.
In our Grocery Store we offer a good selection of breads and baking supplies, breakfast foods, meat, poultry, seafood, jams, jellies, and much more.
We offer convenient, quick, safe and easy online ordering and safe shipment.
To visit L黚eck Haus Store and L黚eck Haus Bookstore Click Here .
LÜBECK HAUS LINKS
Visit our German information website German Ways .
Going to Germany, Austria, or Switzerland on business, visit family or friends, or for a vacation?This website may be of interest to you.
Here are some Falconry Information links.
Here are some Medieval subjects links.
Here are some Medieval weaponry links.
For former crew members of the USS Canberra CAG2 that were aboard during our 1960 world cruise,
please visit our USS Canberra CAG2 page.
Remember this, we are on the cutting edge of these ancient technologies and we are proud of our work.
If you have questions, comments or suggestions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org