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Schloss Fasanerie

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Schloss Fasanerie is Hesse's self-proclaimed "most beautiful Baroque palace" - and while it has plenty of Baroque splendour and is undoubtedly beautiful, not knowing a terrible lot about its history in advance, I was slightly surprised by all the Classicist elements to be found inside the palace still owned by the Landgraves of Hesse. Upon learning more, however, this mixture of styles is simply a reflection of the Schloss's varied history that began with the Prince Abbots of Fulda (though I thus do wonder whether I would really describe it as Hesse's most beautiful Baroque palace considering the other architectural elements). As you can see, it was a rainy day when I visited Fulda a few weeks ago, so please excuse the somewhat hastily taken images. The main challenge of the day was holding the umbrella while taking pictures and not getting the lens full of drops - or simply a Castleholic's triathlon. Luckily, I am a rain-experienced Castleholic and I did man…

Jagdschloss Holte

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Whenever I go on a castle hunting adventure, I try to find a few lesser known castles, oftentimes not open to the public, on the way to my actual destination. On my way to Paderborn to see Schloss Neuhaus, I stopped by in the little town bearing the name of today's castle and what I beauty I found! The sunny yellow of Schloss Holte in the town of Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock sure did bring a smile to my face and was perhaps my favourite non-open castle of the whole trip. The Renaissance- and Baroque-style moated castle dates back to the early 17th century. The area surrounding the castle originally belonged to the Counts of Rietberg. When they died out in male line, a previous castle located on the same site passed to Countess Walburgis of Rietberg and then her daughter Countess Sabina Catharina of East Frisia, who had married her uncle Count Johann III of East Frisia. Under the Treaty of Berum, Sabina Catharina was awarded the County of Rietberg. The couple built Schloss Holte betw…

Schloss Hamborn

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With more than 30,000 castles in Germany, it's no wonder that current usage is very varied. Case in point: Schloss Hamborn, which serves as a centre for anthroposophy and is home to a school and rehabilitation clinic named for the 19th century esotericist Rudolf Steiner, who was the founder of both anthroposophy and the ideas of Waldorf education. It was also during the 19th century that Schloss Hamborn came to be even though its Weser Renaissance-style architecture might suggest it is a century or two older. During the mid-1800's, the noble von Hartmann family from nearby Borchen purchased two feudal estates in the area and united them into one. Construction on the Eastern wing of today's Schloss started in 1868. The coat of arms of the family featuring a heart and three roses can still found above the main entrance of that wing. Already three years later, in 1871, Schloss Hamborn passed from Bernhardine von Hartmann to her nephew Hermann von Mallinckrodt. In 1878, the c…

Schloss Wewer

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While the history of the little village of Wewer, today a part of Paderborn, can be traced back to the 9th century, today's Schloss by the same name isn't quite as old. This relatively simple Baroque-style castle was built for Baron Jodokus Godfried of Imbsen between the years 1684 and 1686 in stead of a former castle nearby. At the time, the historical district of Wewer was split between the Imbsen and the Brenken families after one half had been sold by the Imbsens to a female line of the family who had married into Brenken family at the beginning of the 16th century. The Barons of Brenken in Wewer died out in male line in 1817 with their inheritance going to another line of the family who home was Schloss Erpernburg. Only a few years later, in 1833, the Barons of Imbsen also died out in male line. Their indebted estate, including Schloss Wewer, went to the daughters of the family who decided to sell it to pay the debts. It was their heirs of the Barons of Brenken who decid…

Schloss Fürstenberg (Bad Wünnenberg)

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Thinking about it, there are an awful lot of Fürstenbergs around... About a dozen cities and villages in Germany alone bear that name literally translating as "hill of the Prince", a handful of mountains as well as not one but two nobles families. With that last bit of information, it also won't come as a major surprise to you that there are several castles called Fürstenberg around. Today, we are going to have a closer look at one of those, Schloss Fürstenberg in North Rhine-Westphalia. But here is a little surprise for you though: The Schloss isn't actually owned by either of the two Fürstenberg noble families but by the Counts von Westphalen zu Fürstenberg.  It was one of the most prominent members of the family, Friedrich Wilhelm von Westphalen, who commissioned the construction of the castle in stead of a medieval castle located on the same site. At the time, Friedrich Wilhelm served as the Prince-Bishop of Hildesheim and would later go on to also hold the same…

Schloss Alme

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Castle hunting tip #5438: Spring (when the trees don’t have their leaves yet) is the best time of the year to see castles that aren’t open to the public while the weather is often warm and sunny. Case in point: Schloss Alme I saw during my most recent castle adventure. While we can trace back the history of the Schloss to the first half of the 18th century, several others castles had been located in the small village of the same name, which today forms part of the city Brilon, as early as the 14th century. The current Schloss Alme owes its existence to Dietrich Adam von Meschede, who demolished some parts of an older Burg located on the same site in favour of the new Baroque-style castle and integrated other parts into the new structure built likely built between 1719  and 1744.  Dietrich Adam, however, had no male-line heirs to leave his new castle to. After he left it to his second wife Franziska Dorothea, it later passed via his oldest daughter to the Barons of Bocholtz in the for…

Schloss Neuhaus

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This Castleholic never ceases to learn... While I have written a post with no less than 13 pro castle hunting tips, I learned another one the other week: If possible do not visit a castle that is also a registrar's office for civil weddings on a Saturday morning when it actually serves as a place to tie the knot. Because when I visited Schloss Neuhaus in Paderborn, that is exactly what happened to me and I saw no less than five or six bridal couples. So it's a bit of a wonder I managed to actually sneak a few pictures without not one but several bridal couple in them. It also meant that I could not actually visit all of the rooms usually open to the public. While today a school, a museum and, obviously, a registrar's office, Schloss Neuhaus was once the residence of the Prince-Bishops of Paderborn with its history going back all the way to the year 1257 when the first fortified house was erected there just outside of the city of Paderborn. It was Bishop Heinrich von Spieg…