Burkheim am Kaiserstuhl
Burkheim at the Kaiserstuhl
City of Vogtsburg im Kaiserstuhl
|Residents:||920 (31 Dec. 2012)|
|Population Density:||161 inhabitants/km²|
Location of Burkheim in the town of Vogtsburg am Kaiserstuhl
Aerial view of Burkheim am Kaiserstuhl
Burkheim am Kaiserstuhl (formerly: Burkheim am Rhein) is a sub-municipality of the town of Vogtsburg im Kaiserstuhl and lies on the western edge of the Kaiserstuhl. Burkheim is best known for its historic old town and its wine. Until the municipal reform on 1 January 1975, Burkheim had its own town charter. This was transferred to the new municipality of Vogtsburg.
The old town of Burkheim as well as the castle are located on the Humberg a hill in the foothills of the Kaiserstuhl massif. The total area of Burkheim is 573 ha and is divided into 232 ha of orchards and fields, 184 ha of forests and 157 ha of vineyards. The Schlossberg in north-western direction and the Feuerberg in northern direction are mainly used for viticulture. Further vineyards are located in the flatter area to the east in the direction of Bischoffingen and Oberrotweil. The south of the town runs out into the Rhine plain in the direction of Breisach. These areas are used agriculturally by fruit and arable farming.
To the west of Burkheim is the Rheinwald forest. In front of it, a flood barrier extends all the way from Breisach to the Jechtingen district. Numerous oxbow lakes and Rhine floodplains run through the forest, where the Rappennestgießen nature reserve is also located. Furthermore, the sports facilities of the SV Burkheim, the sewage treatment plant of the city of Vogtsburg and a gravel plant with associated quarry pond are located there. A cultural weir divides the Rhine into the Altrhein and the navigable large Elsässer Rheinseitenkanal. Between Burkheim and Jechtingen is the 291 meter high Haberberg. The Burkheimer Baggersee at the Altrhein is with 182 m. ü. M. the lowest point of the whole district Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald.
The Burkheim district borders on those of Breisach, Jechtingen, Bischoffingen and Oberrotweil. On the Alsatian side, the municipalities of Baltzenheim and Kunheim border on it.
Early History and Middle Ages
The first settlement on the Burkheimer Schlossberg is dated to about 2000 BC. Numerous are the archaeological finds from the Urnfield period between 1200 and 800 BC, which were uncovered in 1984. Why and at what time this settlement was abandoned is not known.
In the 3rd century AD, as a result of the fall of the Limes, the areas on the right bank of the Rhine were conquered and occupied by the Alemanni, and the Rhine became the border of the Roman Empire. After the Franks had pushed the Alemanni behind the Lauter and Murg in the 4th century at the latest due to their victory in the Battle of Zülpich, numerous Frankish settlements arose on the Upper Rhine. The syllable “-heim” in the place name is of Frankish origin and refers to a Merovingian settlement which may have been established around 700. One motive for the settlement may have been the location on the Rhine and the existing connections to the old tribal area of the Franks. In addition, the village was protected from north and east winds due to its location on the mountain arc consisting of the Humberg, Mondhalde and Totenkopf.
On 13 March 762, the place was first mentioned in a document as Burchheim in a will of Bishop Heddo of Strasbourg, who gave an estate at the place to the monastery of Ettenheimmünster. Winegrowing was first mentioned in the Lorsch Codex on 24 June 778 on the occasion of the donation of a Heibo to the Lorsch Monastery. In the 9th century, a Petri church already existed in the village.
In 952, the village passed to the monastery of Einsiedeln (Switzerland) as part of the royal court of Riegel, after Otto I had deprived him of Guntram the Rich for high treason. The distant monastery had the possessions administered by patron bailiffs, among them Dietrich von Rimsingen, the first surviving Üsenberger. Around 1150, as a result of the division of the chamber property in Riegel, the property changed hands to the lords of Hachberg. Heinrich I of Hachberg bequeathed grants in castro Burcheim to the monastery of Tennenbach in 1231. Although his ancestors had extended the castle, it was still not designed for a longer stay. Also in the first half of the 12th century, a local nobility existed, which is mentioned several times until the beginning of the 15th century as von Burgheim or de Burchaim  and were active as ministerials of the Zähringers. Meanwhile, Heinrich IV temporarily pledged the town and castle to his father-in-law Burkhart III von Üsenberg in order to be able to pay his debts to a Breisach Jew.
The communities of Burkheim, Jechtingen, Ober- und Niederrotweil, Oberbergen and Vogtsburg were presumably united under the Hachbergs to form the Lordship of Burkheim. The granting of the town charter presumably took place at this time, which cannot be dated exactly due to the fact that the corresponding document cannot be found. However, it must have happened before 1348. This was justified by Burkheim’s role as one of 44 customs posts on the Rhine, which could already be controlled by the castle there for a long time.
In 1330, the Habsburg Duke Otto IV of Austria acquired the town of Burkheim from the Hachbergers Rudolf II and Otto I, together with the rest of their possessions in the western Kaiserstuhl. In the following period under Habsburg rule, Burkheim was lent several times to various pledge lords from Switzerland, Alsace and Breisgau. The landed property associated with the lordship was not particularly extensive and as late as 1548 consisted only of two Jauchert fields (today: castle garden), a meadow next to the Rhine as well as one in the Rotweiler Bann, the Herrenwald and a vineyard. This could explain why Berthold von Staufen, together with his fellow lords Hans and Lützelmann von Rathsamhausen around the year 1427 relieved a ship from Basel of 4.5 tons of herrings, when this ship was in Burkheim because of ice on the Rhine.
On Boxing Day 1347, Emperor Charles IV stayed overnight in Burkheim when it was under the pledge of Eppo of Hattstatt. In the following year, the emperor conferred some privileges on the town, including jurisdiction for the lord of the pledge, the right to operate a ferry (which, however, may have existed earlier), to levy a surcharge (50% was given to the lordship), and the right to have its own seal. The latter was used until the 16th century and had only three towers instead of the present five. Their gables and towers were crowned by balls, instead of today’s flags. In 1472 the town was granted market rights by Sigmund of Austria to hold a weekly market every Saturday. In 1479, under Frederick III, two annual markets were added: one on St. Ulrich (July 4) and one on St. Gallus (October 16) The above-mentioned rights were confirmed several times until the 17th century, but were no longer extended.
Before the formerly Habsburg Fribourg in Üechtland had fallen to the House of Savoy in 1452, Thüring II of Hallwyl had received Burkheim and “rights to the stream” as a fief by Frederick IV and Albrecht V. He had been very loyal to the Habsburgs and had lost his castle fief of Lenzburg when Bern took over western Aargau in 1415 as a result of the Council of Constance. After his death, Burkheim fell again to Austria.
In 1454, Albrecht VI borrowed 400 Rhenish florins from the town of Breisach as a pledge against Burkheim. In 1472, Breisach ceded the right of pledge to the Counts of Tübingen. The relationship between the town and the pledgee had been marked by several disputes for a long time, which were settled in 1504 by an agreement with Konrad von Tübingen (1482-1510) could be settled. The agreement contained, for example, regulations on the granting of citizenship, the inspection of various craftsmen and weights, the performance of services for the city and the lord of the manor, swearing and blasphemy, as well as the corresponding penalties for violations. In addition, the contract stipulated that Burkheim had to provide an ensign and captain for a troop of 24 men from the valley corridor in times of war.
Burkheim was smaller than the rest of the demesne and in 1475 had only 34 hearths.
According to Witt, neither the town nor the already dilapidated castle were significantly affected in the German Peasants’ War. Bernd Ottnad, on the other hand, is of the opinion that Burkheim was destroyed by Hans Ziler of Amoltern. In 1548 Christoph von Sternsee received Burkheim from Ferdinand I as a pledge in exchange for 10,000 gulden. During his reign, the Colmar poet Jörg Wickram (c. 1505-1562) was appointed Burkheim town clerk from 1554.
Heyday under Lazarus von Schwendi
The economic and political heyday of Burkheim began with the reign of Lazarus von Schwendi (1522-1583). Schwendi received the lordship of Burkheim and Talgang on 12 August 1560 from Emperor Ferdinand as a pledge for 11,000 gulden. As early as 1561, the lands were transferred to him for life, and Burkheim was even allowed to remain in his family for 100 years from 1580 onwards. Furthermore, he was granted the dominions of Triberg in the Black Forest (1563) and Kirchhofen (Breisgau) (1572) and became baron of Hohenlandsberg (Alsace) with the villages of Kientzheim, Kaysersberg and ten other villages. He had the destroyed castle rebuilt from 1561 to 1572 at a cost of 13,100 gulden from his fortune and had the costs credited to the pledge shilling only afterwards. He acquired the town mill with its gardens, the brickyard, the bathhouse and the mill pond. For the last he paid besides money with two silver cups. Schwendi decreed a more just order of the tribute and donated a fund for the foundation of a school. as well as a hospital with the premises. Schwendi also regulated the reorganization of the Burkheim guilds. The already existing fishermen’s guild received a new constitution in 1564, and in 1571 he allowed the craftsmen to unite in a guild, as well as the farmers and the winegrowers. The statutes of the guilds are still in force today. Schwendi improved the fortification of the town and also increased its defensive power by requiring every guild brother to possess weapons, ammunition and armour. By force of arms he ensured that there were no quarrels or attacks from the neighbouring castle of Sponeck.
It is said that Schwendi brought seedlings of the Tokay grape to the Kaiserstuhl and Alsace from his campaigns of conquest in Hungary. This cannot be scientifically proven, according to recent findings it is rather unlikely. Against it speaks that he owned a vineyard in Hungarian Neustadtl (today: Baia Mare, Rumania) and, in contrast to many fields and meadows, hardly acquired any vineyards for his estate. In the castle garden, Schwendi maintained an experimental garden where he cultivated new fruits from Italy and where cultivation methods were tested under the climatic conditions of the Kaiserstuhl.
The time after von Schwendi’s death until modern times
Some of Schwendi’s regulations had massively restricted the Burkheimers in their rights, but did not lead to any uprising against the powerful lord of the manor. Shortly after his death, however, complaints increased about the restrictive regulations in matters such as confiscation, the right to live in a parlor, the delivery of tax wine, fishing and timber rights, hunting, the use of the town ditches, and conjugal visits. Another complaint was von Schwendi’s exemption from taxation for his many estates and the resulting reduction in the town’s income. The disputes were largely settled in 1584.
Von Schwendi’s son Hans-Wilhelm was often in debt and therefore sold parts of the inherited property. The town soon granted citizenship rights more independently than before, even to people who were in part quite destitute, as well as to poor servants who married citizens’ daughters. The town became impoverished, which prompted von Schwendi to give it a new charter on October 8, 1598. According to this, only those who possessed a certain sum of money in cash or in kind were granted citizenship. Nevertheless, the situation of the town deteriorated and crime increased. In 1613, two (according to other sources seven) witches were arrested on the (according to other sources seven) Were burned for witchcraft.
Like many villages on the Upper Rhine, Burkheim was badly affected during the Thirty Years’ War. Already before numerous Inhabitants had already succumbed to the plague. The Swedes wanted to capture Burkheim and Neuenburg in order to cut off the supply of the imperial fortress of Breisach across the Rhine. On June 1, 1633, a siege could be broken by a fallout of the people of Burkheim. After most of the inhabitants and the imperial garrison had gone to Breisach, the town was surrendered without a fight to the Swedish general Otto Ludwig von Salm-Kyrburg-Mörchingen on June 24, 1633. In the autumn of 1633, the imperial general Johann von Aldringen liberated Burkheim from Breisach. Both commanders quartered troops in Burkheim, which led to privations on the part of the small remaining population. In 1638, the imperial general von Götz succeeded in supplying Breisach, which was besieged by Bernhard von Weimar, with food from Kenzingen via the Rhine. In order to be able to prevent this in the future, Bernhard took Burkheim. The French acquired land on the Upper Rhine in 1639 and Burkheim became French-Weimar.
Only three buildings and the castle had survived the war, the running wells had been destroyed as well as the streets where the paving stones had been torn out. Since 1633 no baptisms, marriages and deaths have been recorded in the church books, the parish service was performed from Jechtingen.
After the conclusion of peace in 1648, the entire region was deserted and desolate. New inhabitants came from Switzerland, Tyrol, Lorraine and Burgundy, most of whom had been spared by the war. Some family names still bear witness to their origin, such as Bercher, Jäger, Mäder, Klingenmeier, Scheiber, Liebenstein, Oberkirch, Baumann, Thoma, Trogus, Gschwender, Probst and Zwigart. The lienholder during this period was Helene Eleonore von Schwendi (1599-1667), who had lost her father Hans-Wilhelm von Schwendi and her mother Clara von Raitenau within a few days of each other in 1609 and who had quarreled with the Bavarian branch of the family throughout her life over the lordship of Hohenlandsberg. She died in 1665.
During the Dutch War (1672-1679), the castle was destroyed by French troops, according to Reverend Balthasar Spindler in 1672 by Marshal de Luxembourg. According to Witt, the latter had the supreme command, but was not in Breisgau in 1672. The destruction of the castle was therefore inspired by the Breisach governor Rycour. What the ruins of the castle looked like at that time can still be seen today on the high altarpiece of St. Pancras Church. Ignaz Wilhelm Kasimir von der Leyen, the son of Eleonore and her second husband Philipp von der Leyen, shared the lordship of Burkheim with his half-brother Franz Karl von Fürstenberg (1626-1682) from 1661. In 1686 von der Leyen asked the government of Vorderösterreich for support in rebuilding the castle, which would not have amounted to a complete rebuilding because of some of the walls still standing. According to the cost estimate, the reconstruction would have required 40,000 bricks, 53 waves of shingles, 860 pieces of timber and 1400 laths.
In 1689, when French dragoons took up winter quarters in the town during the War of the Palatinate Succession, they destroyed the remaining remains of the castle, the town wall, and the town gate. Reconstruction was no longer worthwhile. The relationship between von Leyen and the town was marked by various disputes, e.g. over the appointment of officials or the Herrenau forest. The people of Burkheim threw the town clerk appointed by von Leyen out of the house together with his family and furniture. Because of the dispute about the Herrenwald they killed the ducal hunter Hermann Ernst. Since the inhabitants of Burkheim had the impression that a new law was to be introduced after von Leyen had taken over the reign, the legend arose that a ghost by the name of Neurecht was wreaking havoc in the castle.
Alexander‘s wife Heinrich von Redwitz, a daughter of von Leyens, was able to reunite the two parts of the pledge, as Franz Karl had died childless. Charles VI redeemed the pledge and converted the dominion into a fief for the mayor of Freiburg Karl Heinrich Hornus of Bernkastel in 1736/1737 for 37,000 florins.
The latter’s heiress daughter Klara Katharina married Franz Ferdinand Mayer von Fahnenberg. In 1740, a settlement between the town and the von Fahnenberg family resolved the last existing differences between the two parties, who were both heavily in debt. In the course of this lack of money, the town had rebuilt only one of the former three town gates in 1712, which, however, had to be replaced already in 1780. Also from 1712, work began on rebuilding the upper floors of the destroyed town hall, which was completed in 1724. From 1720 onwards, the torn-out pavement of the streets was repaired, as was the water pipe, which had also been destroyed. The town sold several properties to finance this work and also gave up some untenable privileges. In the meantime, the villages in the valley resisted Burkheim’s domination, for example by founding their own guilds instead of being forced to become members of the Burkheim guilds. Empress Maria Theresia admonished the towns to follow Burkheim’s lead.
After unsuccessful attempts at reconstruction, the castle grounds were converted into a vineyard in 1780/1781 by Ägid Freiherr Joseph-Karl von Fahnenberg. Since the reconstruction had failed due to the high costs, the Fahnenbergs moved their headquarters to Oberrotweil. The importance of the small dominion was thus lost, but Burkheim retained its town charter. This vineyard on volcanic rock was a novelty, as in former times vine cultures had been mainly cultivated on loess-covered areas.
During the Coalition Wars, Burkheim provided citizen troops on several occasions, but was usually not rewarded financially for doing so. From 1797 to 1803, Burkheim briefly passed to the Duchy of Modena, then again to Austria, and finally in 1806, with the Peace of Pressburg, to the Grand Duchy of Baden. The village was no longer the centre of its own dominion, but was assigned to the Breisach office and thus lost its importance, as did the Rhine ferry. From then on, it was no longer used for the transport of goods with Alsace, but for the transport of wood from the forests on the left bank of the Rhine. In 1820, its operation was then completely discontinued.
The period between 1840 and 1850 brought the straightening of the Rhine by Johann Gottfried Tulla. While Burkheim had been very much influenced by the fishing industry for centuries due to its proximity to the Rhine and the numerous Rhine floodplains, its importance declined after the straightening of the Rhine. The constant threat of floods after the melting of the snow became a thing of the past. The post office could now reach Breisach without the detour via Oberrotweil and Achkarren. On the other hand, Burkheim was no longer situated on the Rhine, which had previously contributed to the importance of the village. Meanwhile, the population grew from 598 inhabitants in 1818 to 711 in 1820 and to 844 inhabitants in 1846. Around 1843, the town consisted of 138 houses in which 156 families lived. Of the 746 inhabitants, all were Catholic except for one Protestant.
After the source of income fishing had broken away due to the decline of stocks as a result of the straightening of the Rhine, the inhabitants of Burkheim concentrated on agriculture and viticulture. Another source of income was initially provided by Tulla’s construction work. Nevertheless, many inhabitants were forced to emigrate, which took place in a wave directly after 1840 to Algeria, as well as in further waves around 1850, around 1890 and after the end of the First World War to the USA.
In 1901, the castle and the associated vineyard were acquired from the Fahnenbergs by Leopold Bastian, who had been a vineyard owner in Endingen am Kaiserstuhl since 1868, after they had acquired the property in 1861 (allodification).
The descendants of Leopold Bastian still own the castle and rent it out for ceremonies.
Burkheim in the 20th and 21st century
No major effects on the town’s history were caused by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/1871 and industrialisation including the connection of the Kaiserstuhl railway. Burkheim itself was largely spared from the First World War, but had to mourn 28 fallen inhabitants. With the Peace of Versailles, Burkheim lost the forest property on the left bank of the Rhine (40 % of the total forest property) as well as valuable fishing waters, and with the inflation it also lost the compensation it had received for this. In 1924, with the dissolution of the district office of Breisach, Burkheim became part of the district office of Freiburg, from which the district of Freiburg was to emerge in 1939. Meanwhile, the population remained fairly constant between 1920 and 1939.
Due to the now re-established proximity to the French border, several bunkers were built from 1937 onwards to fortify the Westwall. During the Second World War the population was evacuated three times (1939, 1940 and 1945). After 1945, occupation and administration by French units followed. After the war, Burkheimers received aid shipments from the descendants of USA emigrants several times between 1945 and 1949.
Many vineyards could not be cultivated and became overgrown, so that they had to be replanted after the war. A reallocation of vineyards, which had been started in 1943, was continued and, together with the conversion to grapevines free of phylloxera, ensured that viticulture, together with the winegrowers’ cooperative that had been established, once again became an important main and secondary source of income for Burkheim. In 1954, the Baden Wine Route was established, whose Kaiserstuhl route passes through Burkheim.
The population was 775 in 1950, and a new schoolhouse was built in 1960. Soon after, mining of gravel began, which would later become the Burkheimer Baggersee. The precious chippings from the plant were sold in the 1970s via the Rhine mainly to Belgium and the Netherlands.
In 1967 a partnership was established between Burkheim and Sigolsheim (Alsace), which still continues.
In the course of the district reform of Baden-Württemberg in 1973, Burkheim was added to the newly created district of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald. In 1975, Burkheim transferred its town charter to the newly formed municipality of Vogtsburg in the course of the municipal reform. Since then, Burkheim has been a sub-municipality of the town of Vogtsburg im Kaiserstuhl, which thus became the largest wine-growing municipality in the whole of Baden-Württemberg. Around the year 1980, Burkheim, together with Schelingen, was simultaneously designated as a rural commuter community, since both had an above-average proportion of commuters compared to the rest of the district.
In 2012, Burkheim primary school was closed. At the end of 2012, the village had 920 inhabitants.
The townscape is characterized by the historic old town with the Rotweiler Gate and the Renaissance town hall from 1604 (ground floor) ground floor). Its entrance is decorated with the coats of arms of Vorderösterreich (with imperial crown and chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece)Lazarus von Schwendi and the former town of Burkheim. At the front there are also coats of arms of three patrician families who have rendered outstanding services to the town. The townscape is completed by restored burgher and half-timbered houses, narrow alleys, cobblestones, draw wells and lime trees.
The most famous half-timbered house is the former inn Zu den fünf Türmen in the Mittelstadt. Southwest of the Mittelstadt are the castle courtyard and the castle ruins, Burkheim’s landmark. The upper part of the old town, the Oberstadt, is also characterised by narrow alleys and the Catholic parish church of St. Pancratius. To the north of the church are the cemetery and the neighbouring former tithe barn, whose façade has been preserved despite being converted into a residential building. The entire old town was surrounded by the town wall built by Schwendi, which is still partly visible. Originally Burkheim had three town gates, today only the town gate at the entrance to the middle town still exists. The other gates were located north of the church (Schultor, still attested in 1972), at the western end of the old town below the castle courtyard and at the eastern end of the fishermen’s quarter (Rheintor). The Fischerviertel, the lower part of the town formerly known as the Wassersuppe, lies outside the city walls and extends south of the old town along the city wall. The entire old town as well as the city walls and the castle ruins are listed monuments.
City gate at the entrance to the middle city
House to the five towers with city wall (right)
The area east of the city gate, outside the city walls, was not built on until the 18th and 19th centuries, when it became too narrow inside the walls. The areas to the west and south-west of the old town could not be settled before the straightening of the Rhine, as they were criss-crossed with countless side arms of the Altrhein. Some of these bordered directly on the lower-lying fishermen’s quarter. After the Rhine was straightened, the former alluvial areas near the old town were used for agriculture. It was not until after the Second World War that further areas to the south, south-east and south-west were developed. The new development areas of Krutenau and Mittelsand/Ayle were not developed and built on until the mid-1970s.
Helmut Witt described Burkheim in 1971 as the Baden Rothenburg. As in the Franconian town, there are also weekly night watchman tours of the historic middle town in Burkheim.
Other regular events include the Vogtsburg Artists’ Days, the Burkheim Wine Days or the three-day Vogtsburg Christmas Market. The latter had over 15,000 visitors in 2012. There are also 20 associations in Burkheim, including the aforementioned guilds.
In addition, the Kaiserstuhl Corkscrew Museum is located in the village. In the 19th century, the poet Wolfgang Müller von Königswinter described Burkheim as the place where Wolfdietrich is said to have done penance.
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- Schloss Burkheim (Memento of the original on December 6, 2013 in the Internet Archive) Info: Thearchive linkwas inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this note. , weingut-bastian.de, retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Witt 1963, p. 36.
- Witt 1971, p. 210.
- Rudolf Michna: Der Kaiserstuhl. In: Landkreis Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald (ed.): Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald. Land from the Rhine over the Black Forest to the Baar. Karl Schillinger, Freiburg im Breisgau 1980, ISBN 3-921340-44-6, p. 308.
- Witt, p. 13
- Historic Middle Town in Burkheim (Memento ofthe original onFebruary 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive) Info: Thearchive linkwas inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this note. , Vogtsburg im Kaiserstuhl, retrieved 30 December 2012
- Benjamin Bohn Vogtsburg: Between 15,000 and 20,000 guests, Badische Zeitung, 4 December 2012, retrieved 11 February 2013
- City of Vogtsburg:image brochure. (PDF; 5.0 MB) (No longer available online.) p. 26, archivedfrom the original on March 19, 2015; retrieved July 14,2013. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted andnot yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this note.
- Wolfgang Müller of Königswinter Wolfdieterich’s penance in Burkheim In: August Schnezler (ed.): Badisches Sagen-Buch I, Creuzbauer und Kasper, Karlsruhe 1846, pp. 311-313
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