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Schloss Alverdissen

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This feels like the weeks of the lasts here on Castleholic... While Burg Hardenberg was the last castle to cover of this autumn's castle adventure to southern Lower Saxony, Festung Marienberg was the last of my castle travel to Würzburg and beyond - and now Schloss Alverdissen is the last of last year's castle hunt in Eastern Westphalia - or the county of Lippe, actually, as any local would make sure to point out. Schloss Alverdissen near Detmold, residential town of the Lippe family who gave their name to the region, and thus close to this goodie, owes its to Count Philipp I of Schaumburg-Lippe, ancestor of the Schaumburg branch of the House of Lippe. Philipp, born as a younger son of Count Simon VI of Lippe, was given a previous castle located in the small village of Alverdissen in 1613. At the time, he took the name of Lippe-Alverdissen though being a younger son, he did not wield any power. This changed in the 1640's, when Philipp's sister Elisabeth, mother of the…

Back in Aldovia: Ramping Up the Ridiculousness

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It was that pizza, wine and ice cream kind of Friday for me this week - and what goes better with pizza, wine and ice cream than a fictional royal romance? Nothing, and so it was my luck that the sequel of "A Christmas Prince" came out on Netflix this Friday. Fittingly called "A Christmas Prince 2: The Royal Wedding", it tells the story of the wedding of King Richard of Aldovia and American journalist Amber. And boy, does it ramp up the ridiculousness level in comparison to the already ridiculous first movie!
Because a royal Christmas movie without snow wouldn't be a proper royal Christmas movie, we skip ahead a year. While Richard is busy being King and bringing Aldovia into the 21st century with an failing initiative appropriately called "New Aldovia", Amber seems to have made a career out of being the fiancée of that tiny nation's head of state including magazine covers, talkshow appearances and blogging her whole way through it all while stil…

Royal Family of Hanover to Sell Family Seat Schloss Marienburg

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Some breaking castle news coming out of Germany today: Hereditary Prince Ernst-August of Hanover will sell Schloss Marienburg, the family's seat outside of Hanover, for one symbolic euro to the state of Lower Saxony - or more specifically the Klosterkammer Hannover, a part of the State Ministry of Science and Culture running several foundations and administrating the state-owned monasteries and churches.
The Landesmuseum Hannover, the state museum, will buy important artworks and furniture for two million euros so that they can stay at the castle. Hereditary Prince Ernst-August will put further artworks valued at around six million euros in a charitable foundation to be displayed at the castle. The sale of Schloss Marienburg was announced today after rumours had been flying high for a few days. Naturally, the planned sale is going well with the opposition politicians in the state parliament so there will probably a few more days of headlines.
It was also recently announced that…

Festung Marienberg

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There is one castle of my great castle adventure to Würzburg and surroundings last year missing from Castleholic thus far: the Festung Marienberg high above the Bavarian city more famous for its stunning Residenz. The reason? Possibly that I didn't enjoy it as much as many of the other places  during my trip including Schloss Weissenstein which I will never stop swooning about. Don't get me wrong, the Festung is a place of fascinating history and offers greats views over Würzburg but it didn't quite grab me as much. Festung Marienberg, or Marienberg Fortress, served as the residence of the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg for nearly five centuries before being vacated in favour of the more glamorous residence. Construction on the original parts of today's Festung started around the year 1200 but only about 50 years later, in 1253, Bishop Hermann von Lobdeburg made the fortress his permanent residence after his relationship with the people of Würzburg took a turn for the wors…

Burg Hardenberg

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High above Schloss Hardenberg lies a castle of a similar name: Burg Hardenberg, the ruins of a 12th century rock castle that was abandoned by the Hardenberg family at the beginning of the 18th century in favour of the more comfortable Schloss. The Hardenbergs, who were later created barons and, in 1778, counts, had been the owners of the Burg since 1287 when they received it as a fiefdom by the Guelph rulers. The castle had originally been built by the Archbishopric of Mainz to oversee two trading routes and previously been given as a fiefdom to the Lords of Rosdorf. At the time the Hardenbergs came into the possession of the Burg they actually weren't yet known by that name but instead as de Novalis. Instead, the name Hardenberg stems from the name of the mountain this castle is located on. The family's claim to their new castle was solidified in 1345 when the Archbishop of Mainz confirmed the fiefdom of the Burg and the village of Nörten originally granted by the Guelph rul…

Schloss Wollershausen

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Not far from Schloss Gieboldehausen lies another little known castle built for the Lords of Minnigerode: Schloss Wollershausen. The moated castle in the tiny village of the same name was built between 1732 and 1735 by Ludwig von Minnigerode. While his family had owned the estate since 1398 when they received Wollershausen as a fiefdom from the Guelph rulers, Ludwig only got his hands on the property after an inheritance feud lasting over two decades a few years previously.  He decided to demolish a previous castle built around the year 1600 that had fallen into disrepair located not far from where the current castle stands. The construction of the new castle, however, turned out to be a costly endeavour as the Schloss stands in the middle of a marshland thus making it necessary to stablilise the underground by introducing large logs into the grounds. Nonetheless, Schloss Wollershausen remained in the hands of the Minnigerode family until 1932 and has seen varied usage since including…

When Montenaro Meets Belgravia: The Princess Switch

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Confession of a Castleholic: Yours truly does have weak spot for cheesy fictional royal dramas. So much so that I can actually come up with a list of movies with the most ridiculous storylines - and guess what, we have new contender in town: Netflix's "The Princess Switch" with Vanessa Hudgens which came out just a couple of days ago. (Et mais oui, spoilers ahead.) If you start to feel a bit of déjà vu while watching Netflix's latest holiday romance you would be excused: It's a new take on "The Parent Trap", which in turn was inspired by a book written by German author Erich Kästner, this time without parents but with significant others. When American baker Stacy visits the European country of Belgravia for a baking competition, she happens to run into the fiancée of the tiny nation's crown prince, who herself hails from the country of Montenaro. (Or so I think, while she is the Duchess of Montenaro, her late father was the Grand Duke of said place…