Harnisch, um 1540 (Oberhausmuseum Passau).
Copyright: Oberhausmuseum Passau
One of the core tasks of castles was border fortification and surveillance. Borders were often fluid, especially in the Middle Ages and less so in the early modern period from the 16th century onwards. They were highly contested and changed after battles or through the purchase or allocation of kings, bishops, dukes or smaller rulers, who mostly conquered or bought the border controlling castle first to overtake the new territories. Therefore, some castles, especially in the border regions, changed hands relatively often over the centuries.
Tittmoning Castle exemplifies this "interplay" well. The castle, that belonges to Bavaria since 1816, was originally built in 1234 as a border fortress of the Salzburg Archbishopric against the Duchy of Bavaria and its Burghausen Castle. From here an archbishop's keeper administered the castle, the nursing court and the attached county. In 1324, Tittmoning was besieged by Bavarian troops and finally conquered. In 1327, the archbishop of Salzburg bought the castle back. In the 15th century, the castle of Tittmoning gained in importance and for a time the archbishop even resided here. In 1611, Tittmoning was again besieged in the so-called "salt war" by the Bavarian duke, who even took over Salzburg at short notice. This time the siege was unsuccessful, but the severe damage of the castle was the answer to the "illegal" occupation of the Berchtesgaden Provostry by the archbishop of Salzburg. This illustrates the strong power struggle in the so-called "salt triangle" of Bad Reichenhall (Duchy of Bavaria), Dürrnberg and Hallein (Salzburg archbishopric) and Berchtesgaden (Prince-Provostry).