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Schloss Meysenbug

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Got some spare money lying around? For just two million euros this castle could be yours! 15 rooms, 900 square metres, almost 30,000 square metres of land. You should have some more cash stashed away somewhere though to spend on renovation works. That's the fate of Schloss Meysenbug near Hanover which is currently on sale ending about 150 years of family history. It was around the year 1867 that Carl Rivalier von Meysenbug, high ranking official in the Electorate of Hesse, built the current Tudor-style Schloss instead of a previous castle located on the same site that had suffered water damage. He had been given the property, previously owned by the noble family of Zerssen, by Elector and Landgrave Wilhelm II of Hesse in 1828. The son of a Huguenot family from France, Carl Rivalier had been ennobled in 1825 taking the name of an extinct Hessian noble family, Meysenbug, in addition to his own. He was later given the title of a Baron at the behest of Emperor Franz I of Austria. Car…

What The Heck? The One In Which I Criticise Meghan And Kate (Because I Can)

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The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex really bring out the worst in people, don't they? Not Meghan and Kate themselves but their very existence. The royal watching world has become an interesting one, to say the least, since Meghan joined the scene. Because, let's face it, there can never be two women peacefully coexisting. It's a truth universally acknowledged that one woman must always be pitted against another. And to join the fun: I will criticise them too. Because I can and I will, just wait for it... (I'm currently still working on my critcism because I'm honestly just not that interested in the British royal family to begin with apart from that period when I was about 13 before I discovered the bad boys from Monaco who were way cuter back then. And still kind of are, at least one of them.) 
There have always been different camps in royal watching: Elizabeth vs. Margaret, Mary vs. Letizia, Diana vs. Fergie, and you could go on, and on, and on, and on. Some o…

Schloss Pyrmont

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What do Peter the Great, Friedrich the Great, several British Kings, German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and U.S. founding father Benjamin Franklin have in common? They all went to the tiny town of Bad Pyrmont to take the cure at some point in their lives. Especially during the 16th and 17th centuries, the spa town in today's Lower Saxony gained its reputation as a fashionable place for royal vacations. And so it won't come as a major surprise to you, that there is also a Schloss in Bad Pyrmont - the Bad standing for spa, not, well, bad. That castle, known as Schloss Pyrmont, was the main destination of my latest castle adventure that also led me to some nine other castles which we will have a closer look at over the coming weeks and months. (So far, you can already check out Schloss von Hammerstein.) It was between the years 1525 and 1536 that Count Friedrich VI of Spiegelberg built the first fortification in Pyrmont. The fortified castle stood as a square-shaped rampart …

Schloss von Hammerstein

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Yesterday was a ten castles kind of day in the life of this Castleholic. So where to start sharing them with you? I suppose the first one I saw on my latest castle adventure is a good beginning: Schloss von Hammerstein in the small village of Apelern near Hanover that interestingly boasts not just one but two castles. (We will get to the other one, Schloss von Münchhausen, in another post.) Now owned by the Barons on Hammerstein in the 12th generation, the history of their castle is actually also tied to the Münchhausen family. Already firstly mentioned in the 11th century, the estate came into the hands of Baron Jobst of Münchhausen in 1550 as a fiefdom by the Counts of Holstein-Schaumburg. After Jobst's line of the Münchhausen family died out in the 16th century, Anton of Wietersheim became the new owner of the estate. It was the Chancellor of the Counts of Holstein-Schaumburg who built today's Weser-Renaissance style castle between 1586 and 1590.  About 80 years later, the…

Prinzenpalais Oldenburg

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Just a few metres away from the Oldenburger Schloss lies another, smaller royal residence known as the Prinzenpalais (prince's palace). It was Grand Duke Peter Friedrich Ludwig of Oldenburg who commissioned the construction of the palace in June 1821. He intended for the palace to be used by his two orphaned grandsons, the princes Peter and Alexander, sons of Prince Georg of Oldenburg and Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia. Construction on the two-storey Classicist Prinzenpalais was finished by 1826. However, the two princes only lived at the palace for three years as Alexander moved to Russia following the deaths of both his older brother and grandfather in 1829. His cousin Nikolaus Friedrich Peter took over the property in 1852 about a year before succeeding to the throne as Grand Duke Peter II of Oldenburg. He made several changes to the structure during the 1860's including the addition of a second and third wing by architects Carl Boos and Heinrich Strack, respec…

Erbprinzenpalais Rastede

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The Erbprinzenpalais in Rastede, these days mostly shortened to Palais, lies across the country road from Schloss Rastede near Oldenburg in a small English landscape park. After several changes in ownership, it was Grand Duke Peter Friedrich Ludwig of Oldenburg who purchased the original building, presumably built by a member of the noble Schmettau family, for his son and heir Peter Friedrich August in 1822. The palace was henceforth known as the Erbprinzenpalais (Hereditary Prince's palace). To reflect the status of the family, the original single-floor lodge was enhanced by the addition of a two-storey avant-corps.  The full second floor was added later on by the future Grand Duke Nikolaus Friedrich Peter - Those Oldenburgs do love their triple names, don't they?! - in his day as the Hereditary Grand Duke. It was also Nikolaus Friedrich Peter who gave the small palace its current outer appearance combining historicism and Gründerzeit elements alike during renovation works c…

Schloss Rastede

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Last Sunday, I asked you what to do with Confessions of a Castleholic because there were no castle I had previously visited left to write about on here. While you did shoot me some great ideas over on Twitter what I could do, I just couldn't help myself - and I went castle hunting again! This time, I went Oldenburg, the capital of the former Grand Duchy of the same name in Northern Germany, and also made the way to the small town of Rastede nearby, where the family's summer residence was located. While the major Schloss in Oldenburg is now owned by the state of Lower Saxony, this gem is still in the hands of the ducal family. Schloss Rastede received its current appearance under the order of Grand Duke Paul Friedrich August of Oldenburg in 1838 replacing a previous Baroque palace located on the same site. The origins of the estate go back even further all the way to the 11th century when an abbey was founded in the village. Religious life at Rastede, however, came to an end fo…