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Plesse Castle

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Source: AxelHH

The castle was transferred in 1015 from the private estate of Meinwerk, bishop of Paderborn to the city of Paderborn. Since 1150 it is the seat of the noble lords of Plesse, who named themselves for the castle. Holy Roman emperor Henry VI traded Plesse Castle in 1192 for Desenberg Castle close to Warburg in Westphalia, but the trade was already reverted in 1195. In 1447 the lords of Plesse transferred their possession of Plesse Castle to the Landgrave Ludwig of Hesse and in return received it as a fiefdom. The explanation for it lies in the fragmentation of the dukedom of Brunswick-Göttingen. The leading noble families could not avoid being drawn into the ensuing conflicts. They therefore sought protection from a powerful liege lord. They found this protection and backup with another ruler, who was Ludwig of Hesse.
In 1536 the protestant reformation was introduced to the dominion of Plesse, which also comprised the surrounding villages. The house of Plesse became extinct with the death of Dietrich IV of Plesse in 1571. Landgrave William IV of Hesse-Kassel then took possession of the dominion of Plesse, as this was his right as liege lord. Moritz of Hesse-Kassel converted the people of the Plesse dominion to the reformed creed in 1614. Between 1623 and 1624 he and his family took refuge in the castle various times. After a siege in 1627 during the Thirty Years' War the castle and the dominion of Plesse were ceded temporarily to the landgrave George II of Hesse-Darmstadt. In 1660 the castle was abandoned finally and afterwards served as a quarry for the residents of the surrounding villages.


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