Kitzingen is located in the northwest part of the German state of Bavaria. My husband was stationed there from 1971-1974 when he served in the U.S. Army. We lived a few miles out of town.
How Kitzingen Got Its Name
Schwanberg Castle was built upon a high hill. In the 8th Century, Countess Hadeloga, a daughter of King Pippin, stood upon the ramparts of the castle, removed her jeweled scarf, and announced that she would order an abbey built where it landed. The scarf drifted away in the wind. A shepherd named Kitz found her scarf about seven miles away near the Main River. The Countess kept her word and ordered a Benedictine cloister be built at that spot. The community around it was named Kitzingen, after the shepherd.
The Leaning Tower of Kitzingen & Count Dracula’s Grave
A guard tower and outer wall were built in the 13th Century to protect the village. Since there was a draught, workers used wine instead of water to make the mortar. I don’t know if that is the reason, but, over time, the top of the tower began to lean. Hence the name, The Leaning Tower of Kitzingen.
On top of the tower is a golden orb. As told to us by U.S, soldiers, the orb contained the heart of Vlad Dracula of Romania. The golden globe leans toward a grave in Old Kitzingen Cemetery that is across the street from the tower. The grave is surrounded by stucco walls on three sides, covered by a roof, and protected by a tall, wrought iron gate across the front. The overhead marker reads “Count Alucard”—Dracula spelled backwards.
Soldiers told us that photos taken of the inside of the grave were always blank. I took photos on several occasions, with and without a flash, but none of my photos ever showed the interior of the grave site.
To further the legend, there were two upside-down crosses and two right-side-up crosses in the windows of the Leaning Tower. When sunlight shone through those windows, the silhouettes of the upside-down crosses appeared right side up in the graveyard to ward off vampires.
Some of the locals discounted this legend and said that the grave is that of a rich family from Kitzingen. The U.S. Army version is a lot more interesting, plus, my photos were proof that at least part of the legend was true.
Link to images of the Leaning Tower of Kitzingen on Bing:
Link to images of Dracula’s grave on Bing: