Over the past five years Confessions of a Castleholic has existed, we have talked A LOT about castles built in the Weser-Renaissance style, a local variation of the architectural style of the 15th and 16th century, predominantly found in the area around the River Weser in central and northern Germany. While Schloss Hehlen is our seemingly gazillionth example of the Weser-Renaissance style, it is actually the first castle to feature the River Weser on a shot of it. The castle owes its existence to Count Fritz von der Schulenburg and his wife Ilse von Saldern. The castle on the banks of one of Northern Germany's most prominent rivers was built as one of the earliest examples of Weser-Renaissance style between 1570 and 1584.
Fritz, however, never lived in the castle but left it to his estranged wife Ilse. The pretty massive four-winged castle encloses a courtyard and features several towers. Still usually called Wasserschloss Hehlen (water castle), the castle is surrounded by small moats on all four sides. During the late 19th century, the Schulenburg family made several changes to the castle including the addition of a major outside staircase facing the Weser as well as the redecoration of the Knights' Hall. It was during the mid-20th century when almost 400 years of Schulenburg history in Hehlen came to an end when Count Johann-Heinrich von der Schulenburg sold the castle in 1956. Two years later, the owner of probably Hanover's best-known coffee roasting company, Machwitz-Kaffee, bought the castle. Unfortunately, the original furnishings and artworks had been removed from the castle at this point in time. Nonetheless the new owner, who originates from the surrounding village, restored the castle and his family continues to use it to this day.