The Manderscheid family was the most powerful family in the Eifel region of Germany for a considerable period of time in the 15th century. In 1457, Dietrich III von Manderscheid was made a Reichsgraf by the Emperor . When Dietrich died on 20 February 1498, he had appointed his sons Johann, Konrad and Wilhelm as new rulers — the family property had been distributed in 1488. Each of the sons founded a powerful lineage: Johann started the Manderscheid-Blankenheim-Gerolstein line, William the Manderscheid-Kail line, and Konrad the Manderscheid-Schleiden line. Augusta von Manderscheid-Blankenheim was the last countess. She was married to a member of the Bohemian nobility, the count of Sternberg.
The ancestral seat was the former moated castle in Oberkail, and because of this, Oberkail gained and maintained considerable importance in the Eifel region for several centuries. The moated palace is no longer standing — the last count of Oberkail died without descendants in 1762, the moated castle was destroyed and Oberkail returned to the status of a non-notable Eifel village.
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