New palaeomagnetic data from Lower Carboniferous granitoids of the orogenic root of the eastern Variscan belt (Moldanubian domain) show a polyphase palaeomagnetic record. Comparison of the data with existing palaeomagnetic measurements from Lower Palaeozoic sequences of the Bohemian Massif demonstrates a Carboniferous remagnetization of these latter units. All the data presented suggest that the Saxothuringian basement, the Moldanubian orogenic root system as well as the eastern Neoproterozoic Brunovistulian basement were already assembled during the Early Carboniferous. The whole Variscan belt subsequently rotated in a clockwise direction during Mid–Late Carboniferous times. Structural and geochronological data indicate that this rotation was accompanied by large-scale dextral wrenching along NW–SE-trending lithospheric faults. In a first stage, the blocks limited by wrench-faults rotated anticlockwise in bookshelf manner. The data presented rule out the existing model of oroclinal bending of the Rhenohercynian zone at the eastern termination of the Variscan belt.