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Würzburger Residenz

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If you searched for a list of Germany's top ten most famous or beautiful castles, it would be a pretty save bet to assume to find the Würzburger Residenz on said list. In fact it was one of the places on my royal bucket list I published about one and a half years ago. While I did manage to cross it off the list since, I can't say it was an unequivocally wonderful experience. Don't get me wrong, the Residence Palace in Würzburg is a beautiful place but my visit once more proved that the most famous castles usually do not make for the best viewing experiences. But first, the history: Before the construction of the Residenz, the Prince-Bishops of Würzburg resided in the Festung Marienberg - which we will also cover someday on Castleholic - on a hill west of the Main river until the early 18th century. It was Count Johann Philipp Franz of Schönborn (1719–24) who moved the court from the fortress to a palace erected at the very beginning of the 18th century, the predecessor of…

The Long Goodbye: Still A Castleholic, A Royalholic Not So Much

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Confession of the day: Turns out this Castleholic isn't much of a Royalholic anymore. 
Here's why: I have been following royalty for almost as long as I can remember, so it is hard to tell when my interest really started. It must have been sometime between seeing my first royal wedding in 1999 (today's King and Queen of the Belgians that was) aged nine together with my grandmother and visiting the now-closed Fürstenhaus in Hanover aged about 12 or 13 and getting my very first royal book for Christmas that same year. I have followed several royal families since though my royal interests have always been much more casual than my other royal online ventures may suggest. 
In the past few months, however, I have seen a major drop in my casual interest. So much so that I hardly keep up with any royal news apart from the two Ls in my life (that fortunately don't play a big part in mainstream royal watching). It is not a specific moment I can pinpoint but more of a process. T…

Residenzschloss Detmold

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Truth be told: During the last few weeks I haven't always felt the most motivated to write about my castle adventures. It's been more than two months since I visited my last castle - Schloss Glienicke that was - and I really need a castle fix. (I'm an addict after all, you see.) However, winter isn't the best of times to visit a castle. For one, many of them aren't actually open. Plus, they don't usually look as nice when it's grey and cold. In addition, it's quite difficult to actually find a castle I haven't seen in the vicinity of where I live. So instead, I decided to have a look back at the time I last needed a castle fix (and that I never actually wrote about.)  That time I went to Detmold to see their Residenzschloss. It's not actually that far from where I live and I always knew that it was the residence of the former Princely Family of Lippe. Somehow for some strange reason, I just never had a look what it looked like. Turns out, it…

Kloster Bronnbach

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After a long day of castle adventures back in September that included visits to Schloss Weissenstein, Schloss Castell, Schloss Rüdenhausen and Schloss Wiesentheid, I also stopped by Kloster Bronnbach. Going to the monastery turned castle felt a bit like going to the end of the world. Arriving there from the direction of Würzburg, you pass woods, fields, more fields, and, yes, even more fields. Nestled deep in the Tauber valley, the little village today is a part of the town of Wertheim. The name might ring a bell for some of you and so it won't come as a big surprise that the Bronnbach Abbey was once the home of the Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg.  Legend has it that Bernard of Clairvaux, a French abbot and the primary reformer of the Cistercian order, himself wished for the foundation of a monastery in the valley when visiting Wertheim. According to legend, three noblemen then chose the exact spot based on the appearance of three white singing larks. Bronnbach Abbey was…

The One With All the Castles and Palaces of 2017

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Confession of the day: My love for castles may have ventured from the addiction territory into an obsession. Turns out I visited 28 castles and palaces this year (and yes, I purposely excluded all the museum and churches related to royalty for the sake of a reasonably comprehensive post).

First up, all the castles and palaces that are open to the general public. My three favourites of the year are actually in the first row. Schloss Weikersheim, Real Alcázar de Sevilla and Schloss Weissenstein. I also really enjoyed the Alhambra though I think I actually liked the Alcázar in Seville better.
In order of appearance in the pictures: Schloss Weikersheim Real Alcázar de Sevilla Schweriner Schloss Schloss Weissenstein Palacio Real de Madrid Kaiservilla Schloss Glienicke Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial Schloss Erbach Palacio Real de Aranjuez Alhambra de Granada
Secondly, all the castles and palaces not open to the public I saw on the way to or back from other castles adventures or while otherwi…

Marmorschlössl

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Above the Kaiservillain the hilly park surrounding the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria and his wife Elisabeth, lies a little palace by the name of Marmorschlössl. It was the hideaway of the Empress, better known as Sisi, when in Bad Ischl. (And there's no better after-Christmas treat considering my annual Christmas obsession with the Sissi movies.) While Schlössl is the minimisation of Schloss, Marmor (marble) comes from the material used called Untersberger Marmor, though it was actually a form of limestone.  It was at Bad Ischl were both Franz Joseph and Elisabeth enjoyed spending time. Sisi, who otherwise despised her life as an Empress, felt reminded of her childhood at Schloss Possenhofen in Bavaria, and could go hiking and riding as much as she liked. The Kaiservilla had been a gift by the Emperor's mother and the couple spent almost every summer in the Salt Chamber region near Salzburg. The Imperial Villa is surrounded by a large English-style park,…