Posts

Schloss Ahorn

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Have you ever stumbled over a castle without meaning to? That's pretty much the story of Schoss Ahorn near Coburg and yours truly. I'm still not sure whether my navigation system simply got confused on the way from Schloss Hohenstein to Schloss Callenberg or if it has picked up on my love for castles instead and wanted to do me a favour. Because Schloss Ahorn is not along the most direct route between those two places but still it is where the GPS led me to go past - and after spotting this castle on the side of the road, I couldn't help but make a quick stop. Schloss Ahorn is located in a small village by the same name. While today's castle dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries, previous buildings located on the same site go back as early as the 11th century. It was actually part of the dowry of the Queen of Poland, born Richeza of Lotharingia. She inherited the estate from her own mother, Matilda, one of the daughters of Holy Roman Emperor Otto II and Theophanu. …

Schloss Hohenstein

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Before I headed to Coburg early this summer to discover the city's plentiful architectural highlights, I asked around on Instagram for any tips regarding lesser known places in its vicinity to discover. By way of Eva, who runs the wonderful German-language site Burgdameabout her (castle) travels and more, came the recommendation of Schloss Hohenstein - and what a great one it was! Going to Schloss Hohenstein may feel like heading to the end of the world, but nestled away in the hills and woods near Coburg you will find a true fairytale of a castle. Firstly mentioned in 1306, Schloss Hohenstein came into the hands of the Lichtensteins, a Franconian noble family not to be confused with the Liechtensteins with an extra "E" of the Principality, around 150 years later. The preceding building located on the same hill, however, was destroyed during the course of the German Peasants' War of 1525. The uninhabitable remnants of the castle were rebuilt about half a century lat…

Schloss Hundisburg

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Have you ever driven on the German Autobahn? And if you have, did you notice those brown signs along the road mentioning more or less obscure tourist attractions nearby? That is how I first learned about Schloss Hundisburg. I saw the sign for it about half a dozen times in the last couple of weeks when going from Hanover to Berlin or vice versa - and one Sunday I decided to do some spontaneous castle hunting, left the Autobahn and stopped at the Baroque palace near Magdeburg. Schloss Hundisburg is a fairly little known place but one with a fascinating history for two thirds of it burned down in 1945 - and reconstruction only started some 50 years later. Its origins dating back all the way to the 12th century, Schloss Hundisburg received its current Baroque appearance thanks to Johann Friedrich II von Alvensleben. The minister at the Hanoverian court of King George I of the United Kingdom had a former Renaissance castle located on the same site redeveloped into what became the most im…

Twists and Turns of History: The Many Dimensions of the Hohenzollern Claim to Their Former Properties

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The Hohenzollern, the heirs of the German Kaiser and King of Prussia, have made more headlines over the past couple of months than usual. Why? They have filed different lawsuit to reclaim former properties. One of the court cases, about Schloss Rheinfels in St. Goar along the most scenic part of the Rhine river in Western Germany, has been dismissed this summer. For a couple of years now and behind closed doors, there have also been negotiations between the Prussian branch of the Hohenzollern family, the federal government of Germany and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg  in Eastern Germany concerning the restitution of tens of thousands of art objects, unpaid housing rights at Schloss Cecilienhof or two other residences in Potsdam, and compensation payments for expropriations following the Second World War. Due to the demands of the family that were deemed not "a suitable basis for promising negotiations" by the German Ministry of Culture, the content of those more or l…

Why I Have Been MIA Lately: A Quick Update

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It's been almost a month since the last update on Confessions of a Castleholic and while the above picture might suggest otherwise (it's not a castle but the New Town Hall in Hanover, actually), I haven't been castle hunting for quite a few weeks now. Still, I wanted to give you a quick update to say that everything is fine. More than fine, actually: As some of you have already learned via any of my social media channels, I'm moving to Berlin later this month and so life has been pretty hectic and busy. But I'm looking forward to Berlin and discovering all the Prussian palaces surrounding it. In the meantime, castle hunting and blogging had to step back a little but I will be back with more castles later this year.

Schloss Callenberg

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Schloss Callenberg is the third of the four famous Coburg castles we are covering here on Confessions of a Castleholic, after Schloss Ehrenburg and Schloss Rosenau. While all of them were once the property of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Schloss Callenberg is the last of the castle to be owned (or rather owned again) by the family that was once perhaps even more famous for their marriage alliances than for their little Dukedom located on the edge of the Thuringian Forest.  While firstly mentioned in the 13th century as the property of a member of the Chalwinberch family, the castle was later sold to the Bishopric of Würzburg and given as a fiefdom to the Counts of Henneberg and Knights of Sternberg at different points in history. It was during the course of the 16th century, that Schloss Callenberg came into the possession of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg. It was Duke Johann Casimir who acquired the castle following the death of the last male heir of the Sternberg family as an open …

Jagdschloss Paulinzella

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The Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt may just be the least known of all the German states that, more than a century ago, made up the Kaiserreich, even though it did exist up until the very end when the monarchies in Germany were abolished in 1918. It had its own Prince, Günther Victor was his name, and naturally also its own castles. While all fairly little known, Schloss Heidecksburg may just be one of the ultimate insider's tips when it comes to German castles (and I'll promise you, we will get it to it here at Castleholic very soon). But first, let's have a look at Jagdschloss Paulinzella. The nearby hunting lodge of the Princes of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt is located right next to the ruins of the much better known Paulinzella Abbey, one of the most important Romanesque structures in Germany.  Unfortunately, fairly little seems to be known about the history of the Renaissance-style Jagdschloss (at least online as I did not visit the museum about the monastery and h…