The Court Seal of Wintrich
The court seal of Wintrich is found on deeds spanning five centuries
The Wintrich court consisted of 14 magistrates and was a high court (a court judging serious misdemeanours to body and soul) under the jurisdiction of the sheriff of Hunolstein. This also had jurisdiction over Wintrich, Minheim, Kesten and Filzen. The 14 magistrates were chosen from these villages; five from Wintrich, four from Minheim, three from Kesten, and two from Filzen. An electoral cellar man from Bernkastel used to be appointed as the head of the court by the electoral prince and sat in at court. Wintrich was also the mother church of Filzen until the secularisation.
Until about 1624 both communities formed a civil community as recorded in the fire register dated 1563: “Wintrich and Feltzen are two villages with one council”. In the tax roll of 1624 Filzen is listed as an autonomous community. From that time two magistrates from Filzen were also present at the court in Wintrich whose representation was reduced from seven to five magistrates as Filzen had had no magistrates at the court up to then.
There are differing opinions with reference to the seal symbol. The state archive in Koblenz records this as a “triple wind” or windmill rotor blade. Various historians and local history experts define it as a “triskeles – tris, tres, three” – a Germanic rune – the oldest known written character which was used by Germanic tribes. We find this sign, mostly showing three or six vortexes, on many devices, engraved on wood or stone and often seen on shields of the 1st century A.D. But we find this symbol also on pre-Christian Celtic gold and silver coins (see attached pictures).
I would like to agree with the opinion of the experts and I see no similarity to the Germanic “windmill rotor blades”. If in Vindriacum, the Celtic village, the Celtic language has perpetuated itself to the present day, why should a Celtic character, a symbol for cult and prophetic purposes not have found its place in the Wintrich court seal 800 years ago?
The hallmark of the measurement office Wintrich
Elector Jacob III of Eltz was tired of hearing the complaints about the differing wine measurements of the Moselle. He travelled personally to Bernkastel in order to bring order into the different measuring systems. This journey took place in 1567. The Elector decreed that measurement offices were to be set up in Bernkastel and Wintrich which were to work on the basis of 6 quantities.
“Wine and all other goods pertaining to wine measures are to be measured and sold in 6 quantities; 1 ½ Ohm – called an Oxfort (180 quarts). There should be no wine measurement gauged or racked with rods or strings but we wish and decree that all our subjects in the Bernkastel office and high court, especially those living along the Moselle, that they gauge and measure all casks, in autumn and at all other times, with water and a tub of half an Ohm and measure the content of each cask and mark the measurement on the bottom of each cask. This is so that all merchants coming from abroad will not be at a disadvantage to our subjects. (Excerpt from the decree of the Elector).
It is to the credit of the Elector Jacob III of Eltz, who introduced the “gauge”. Neighbouring villages were allocated to the measurement office of Wintrich which had its own seal.