, where the name became noted for its many branches in the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. The earliest recorded instance of the name appears to be of Hildegard Gräfin von Sponheim (1098-1179,) who was an Abbess (head of a convent.) Loretta of Sponheim (1300-1346) was a countess of the noble house of Sponheim-Starkenburg. Sponheim Castle is a medieval ruin in Burgsponheim on the edge of the Hunsrück mountain range in Rhineland-Palatinate,
and was the ancestral home of the Counts of Sponheim, a medieval German noble family, which originated in Rhenish Franconia.
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