Vilseck is a town in the Oberpfalz region of northeastern Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 situated on the river Vils
Vils can refer to:*three rivers in Germany and Austria:**Vils , tributary of the Danube, in eastern Bavaria.**Vils , tributary of the Naab, in northern Bavaria.**Vils , tributary of the Lech, in Tyrol and south-western Bavaria....

, a tributary
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...

 of the Naab
The Naab is a river in Bavaria, Germany, and is a left tributary of the Danube. It is approx. long, including its main source river Waldnaab....


The town is geographically separate from a nearby large American military base known as the Rose Barracks but more commonly referred to as Vilseck. The base, built in 1937-1938, was captured during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 from the Germans; it was previously known as Südlager.

The town of Vilseck's population was 6,484 citizens living within its area of 64.71 km² (25 sq mi) in 35 hamlets and villages as of December 31, 2005. The town is 402 meters (1,300 feet) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...


Its name comes from the location of a castle built in the year 920. "Eck" is the German word for corner. The Vils river has a tight bend where the Burg is located. Thus, the name Vilseck.

Nearby municipalities

Direct neighbour municipality are the municipalities Edelsfeld
Edelsfeld is a municipality in the district of Amberg-Sulzbach in Bavaria in Germany....

, Königstein
Königstein, Bavaria
Königstein, also referred to as Königstein to distinguish it from other places named Königstein, is a market town in the Amberg-Sulzbach district, Bavaria, Germany. It is located NE of Nuremberg.-Points of interest:...

, Freihung
Freihung is a municipality in the district of Amberg-Sulzbach in Bavaria in Germany.....

 and Hahnbach
Hahnbach is a municipality in the district of Amberg-Sulzbach in Bavaria in Germany. There are living at the moment about 5000 people. The most important districts are: Fronbergsiedlung, Friedhofsiedlung, Süd 3, Markt. About 2000 of the 5000 people are not living in Hahnbach by itself, they are...



Construction of the castle at around 925. Primary wooden watchtower with piling and moat, stone watchtower built in the 12th century. At this time a "Burg" (castle) was called an "Eck"; thus the name Vilseck derived from: City next to the Vilsburg. (Vilseck). It is also possible that the name comes from the fact that the city is situated on the Vils on a west to east stretch between two distinct 90 degree bends in the river. The German word for "Corner" is "Eck".


Destruction of the castle by Emperor Heinrich IV during a devastating campaign against Berengar from Sulzbach
- Germany :* Sulzbach-Rosenberg, a town in the district Amberg-Sulzbach, Bavaria* Sulzbach, Saarland, a town in the district of Saarbrücken, Saarland* Sulzbach, Hesse, a municipality in the Main-Taunus-Kreis, Hesse...



Affiliation of Vilseck and surrounding areas to the administrative district of the Episcopal-Bamberg
Bamberg is a city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz, close to its confluence with the river Main. Bamberg is one of the few cities in Germany that was not destroyed by World War II bombings because of a nearby Artillery Factory that prevented planes from...

 bailiwick (Vogtei) under the protection of the Stauffer Emperor.


Earliest documentation of the second castle. In the following years construction of a new castle with the growing of the new city of Vilseck. City and Castle accrete.


Construction of the city fortification: 940 m (half a mile) curtain wall
Curtain wall
A curtain wall is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non-structural, but merely keep out the weather. As the curtain wall is non-structural it can be made of a lightweight material reducing construction costs. When glass is used as the curtain wall, a great advantage is...

, (9 m (30 feet) high, 1.60 m (5 feet) thick), 17 towers and three gates surrounded by a moat.


Awarding of the city crest by Lampert von Brunn, Bishop of Bamberg.
Construction of the town hall (Rathaus
Rathaus is a German word literally translating as “council house”, meaning “city hall” or “town hall”. Many specific buildings are referred to as Rathaus even when spoken about in English.Some important Rathäuser are:* Rathaus Schöneberg...


Construction of choir aisle and nave on Romanic foundation, remaining from 11th century, at the church in Schlicht.


Castle is attacked, plundered and burned down by the knights Hans Pflug and Hand Selbitz, comrades-in-arms of Götz von Berlichingens. Afterwards - reconstruction.


Majority of city, inclusively city hall, burns down.
Plundering of city through Margrave (Marktgraf) Albrecht IV from Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...



Local villages, like Gressenwöhr, Irlbach, Langenbruck, Schlicht and Sigl, become political structured communities.


After authorization through King Ludwig I. the Landgericht (County Court) is set in the Vilseck cityhall.


In this timeframe a "Vilseck District" exists as major regional authority with the communities of Adlholz, Ehenfeld, Gebenbach, Gressenwöhr, Großschönbrunn, Hahnbach, Iber, Irlbach, Kürmreuth, Langenbruck, Massenricht, Schlicht, Seugast, Sigl, Sigras, Süß, Vilseck and Weißenberg .


City hall on fire. Ruin will be transferred to state government to construct new district courthouse.


Construction of the Grafenwöhr Training Area North, with displacement of larger parts of the Vilseck Bürgerwald. (forest).


Construction of German Army Base (Südlager) in the Grafenwöhr Training Area. For the extension of the Grafenwöhr Training Area several villages, like: Langenbruck, Altenweiher, Altneuhaus, Bernhof, Betzlhof, Erzhäusl, Fenkenhof, Grünwald, Hellziechen, Kittenberg, Schindlhof, Schmierhütte and Wirlhof had to be evacuated.

In 1945, the German Army Base (Sudlager) capitulated to the U.S. Army.

Postwar history

In 1946, the town integrated the villages of Schönlind, Ödgodlricht, Heroldsmühle and Gumpenhof from the broken down community of Irlbach
Irlbach is a municipality in the district of Straubing-Bogen in Bavaria, Germany....

, forming the community of Schlicht.

In 1951, there was the construction of the new railway station.

In 1955, the city's water supply system was connected to Schlicht.

During the following years (1956–1959), the Protestant church was built.

1957 was the start of construction of the city sewage system.

1962-1964 saw the construction of the new school with gymnasium (The German word "Gynmasium" is equivalent to the English "High School") in Vilseck.

From 1981 to 1993, the US Army extended and enlarged the Rose Barracks for about DM1,000 million.

In 2000 the "Erstes Deutsches Türmermuseum" (1st German museum of tower watchman or tower keeper) had its grand opening.

Vilseck and the U.S. Army

Vilseck is home to Rose Barracks, a U.S. Army post located just outside the town.

Currently the following units are based in Rose Barracks:
  • 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment
  • 72nd Med Det VS
  • A Co, 39th Finance
  • 2nd ASOS
  • Elements of the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command
  • 27th MEU
  • 514th Military Police Augmentation Platoon

In 1990, as part of 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division; 1st Battalion, 37th Armor was attached to the 3rd "Bulldog" Brigade from Bamberg and deployed to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield/Storm. 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor along with the Brigade HQ proper remained deployed to Rose Barracks for the duration of the conflict.

In 1991, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division
1st Armored Division (United States)
The 1st Armored Division—nicknamed "Old Ironsides"—is a standing armored division of the United States Army with base of operations in Fort Bliss, Texas. It was the first armored division of the U.S...

 elements still in Rose Barracks were redesignated 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. The units in this brigade at the time of tranistion to the Marne Division included; 1-6 Inf, 2-37 AR, 1-37 AR, 6-1 FA, and 501st FSB. Some elements of this Brigade, organized as TF 1-6 Infantry, deployed to Macedonia to perform peacekeeping operations in 1994.

In 2005, the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division departed Vilseck Germany after redeployment from Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....


In 2006, the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) moved to Vilseck. Vilseck and the Grafenwoehr Training Area will become one of the last remaining major hubs of the American Military in Europe. However, pending a reversal of the decision to remove virtually 75% of the military structure from Europe, the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

may elect to leave further elements beyond 2012. As part of the realignment efforts, the American military base at Vilseck has expanded with significant new construction.

External links

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