Niederrossla
The history of the area goes well back in history. Archeological finds go back to the stone-age. Found were arrow-heads, flint-tools, stone-hatchets, containers and broken pottery. The area was settled for the last 10,000 years. Settlements continued through the bronze- and iron-age.

Between 100 B. D. and 200 A.D. the Germanic tribes of the Cherusker and Hermanduren moved into the area. After them the "Thoringi" followed around 380 A.D. mentioned for the first time by Flavius Vegetius Renatus. The cult places in the area are attributed to this time-period.

The Germanic God of War and Thunder "Thor" was one of the Germanic main gods. The name "Thorleite” reminds us that a religious site was located there. The Heiligen Weiden (holy willows) was a strongly fortified site of worship for the gods. A 30 meter wide, 6 to 8 meter deep and 110 meter long moat protected the Heiligen Weiden. Today the moat is still visble and known as Klaftergraben.

The Sonnenwende (sun turning celebration) was celebrated by rolling wheels covered with burning materials down to the river. The area around the Ilmschloesschen was used for this celebration. Several graves from the slavish time-period were found in the village. One was found on the property of Poststr. 7. When the water tower was constructed a potter's oven from the bronze-age was found. Other graves were found at Ludwig Jahn Platz 3 and one at Franz Liszt Str. 7.

For a long time it was assumed that the first documentary evidence about the village is from the year 1119, when Niederrossla near Apolda is mentioned. However, after new information from the main Thuringian public records office in Weimar a place called Rossla in Thuringia is mentioned for the first time in a document by emperor Otto III. dated September 15, 996. A new monastry was to be build at Rossla. Not known is, if the "Iocum Rossla" is Niederrossla on the River Ilm or Rossla a village near Sangershausen.

T
he castle (called Schloss by the inhabitants) is closely related with the history of the village. The 57 m high castle tower greets visitors already for quite a distance. When exactly a first castle was built is not clear. It is possible that on the spot of the castle an earlier fortification existed. It is said a castle existed already in roman times or even earlier in the iron age. It is possible that the Thueringer erected a castle in the 6. Century to guard against a possible invasion by the Sorbs.

A Diethmarus of Rossla is mentioned for the first time in a document in 1119. In the year 1191 are von Rossla and 1221 and/or 1231 Heinrich and Friedrich of Rossla are mentioned. In 1241 mentioned is a knight Wiederhold of Rossla, in 1261 Hugo of Rossla, 1264 Hermann of Rossla and 1296 Heinrich of Rossla. The last document mentioning the von Rossla‘s is from the year 1371.

After the knights of RosslaoAfter the knights of Rossla became extinct, it appeared the castle was given to Apolda - Heinrich of Poland and Heinrich the younger admistrated the castle for Apolda. Thus the castle went into the possession of the Vitzthum. One of the most powerful families of the time. In 1447 Apel von Vitzthum finally traded the castle to William III., the courageous, for landholdings in Frankonia.. At the time seven villages were administrated from the castle.

In 1482 William III., died childless. Niederrossla fell to Sachsen-Altenburg and belonged to the Amt Rosla including the following villages: Oberrossla, Pfiffelbach, Zottelstedt, Mattstedt, Wickerstedt, Stadtsulza, Bergsulza und Dorfsulza. taxes to the Amt Rossla had to be paid by the following villages: Sulzbach, Wormstedt, Utenbach, Pfuhlsborn, Stobra, Neustedt, Eckartsberga, Thuesdorf, Nieder- and Oberreissen, Buttstaedt, Rudersdorf, Rehehausen, Darnstedt and Rannstedt. In 1672 the line Sachsen-Altenburg died out, the territory was divided and Niederrossla came to Weimar.


In 1738 Duke Ernst August re-built the castle to a hunting lodge. The towers merlon’s were removed and the 56 meter high tower received a pointed hood. In addition a small baroque manor-house with a main-gate was built. More buildings were added later.

Later the property and landholdings were rented out. It is said that even Goethe had leased the property for 10 years. Just before the battle of Auerstedt the castle was used by the Duke of Sachsen-Weimar as his headquarter. From here he was send with his corps away from the main Prussian army.

During the first postwar years the baroque manor-house was used as the mayor’s office and refuges found a home. In 1947 the Russian occupation forces gave he order to rip down he baroque manor-house and the servants quarters. In doing so destroying a very valuable baroque building. The general decay of the castle began thereafter. It was not before the 1970’s that the reconstruction of parts of the castle begun. The west wing was re-constructed to house apartments, a gymnasium and a large kitchen. The east wing is not used.

Church in Niederrossla
With a solemn service on March 10, 2003 the church in Niederrossla was re-opened after a two year re-construction period.  After initially planning only to repair the roof of the church it was discovered that the whole church building was infested by wetness and an overall renovation had to be undertaken. The construction measures represented one of the most extensive re-building the church had to undergo since its inauguration in 1721 by Duke Ernst Wilhelm. The previous church was burned down.

The altar is stretching over four floors. On the first floor is the altar and the painting of Christ’s last communion before his crucifixion.

On the half-round second floor the altar is flanked by two life-sized figures. A pigeon is arranged under the canopy indicating the holy spirit. Shown is Christ with the cross, Moses and the board with the ten commandments at Mount Sinai.

The third floor shows the painting of the crucifixion of Christ and the figures of the mercy (right) and hope (left with hope anchor).

On the top we see two angels under the picture of the world-court after the return of Christ

 
Over this crucifix is located the Fuerstenloge showing the coat of arms of Sachsen-Weimar. Here the guests of the castle could attend church service.

On June 20/21th, 1828 the Grand Duke Carl August lay here at rest.

This is just a short description of the church, a description that can not show you the real beauty of the church.