Heldburg Fortress is a high medieval hilltop castle in the 16th Century was rebuilt into a renaissance castle. It rises on a former volcanic region to 'Heldburger Gangschar' counted, 405-metre-high volcanic cone, 113 metres above the town of Heldburg in the Heldburger Land, the southern tip of the district Hildburghausen in Thuringia. The Veste Heldburg , once a secondary residence and hunting lodge of the Dukes of Coburg, dominates the little town of Heldburg on the Thuringian border with Bavaria. From it can be seen across the Thuringian border the sister-castle Veste Coburg, , once the residence of the Dukes of Coburg, now located in Bavaria.
At the beginning of the 14th Century the hilltop castle was owned by the Counts of Henneberg-Schleusingen and served as the administrative and judicial seat after the regional power center on Struphe castle was abandoned. In 1374 the Veste Heldburg came into the possession of the Wettin family. Johann Friedrich the Middle had it reconstructed in 1560 by his court architect Nikolaus Gromann in the style of the Renaissance and removed the ducal residence. Gromann's important Renaissance buildings include in addition to the aforementioned “Französischer Bau”, the “Französisches Schloss” in Weimar and the City Hall of Altenburg..
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