Discover Braunfels castle
You can discover Braunfels castle in many different ways. Perhaps you would like to explore the historical building on your own? Without a guided tour. The princely family museum presents itself as a treasure chamber, where personal utensils and special collection items of individual family members are on display.
In addition the castle tours are also very popular. These take place throughout the year: in winter on public holidays, Saturdays and Sundays. In summer time even on weekdays. There are also educational tours and the so-called "master tours" on special themes. Furthermore, there are also guided tours that are especially aimed at the young public, as well as the "interactive tours". If you wish, you can also celebrate your child's birthday or wedding anniversary in the castle. The castle Braunfels is also a well known place for cultural events. For example, the open-air opera evenings in the castle courtyard are especially popular in the summer months. Or how about an excursion into the world of fairy tales? Braunfels castle has a lot to offer in this respect.
A look back into history
Not much is known about the first years of the castle. The following is well documented: in 1129, the Marquard of Solms witnessed the founding of the Schiffenberg monastery, which is located near Giessen. For the castle Braunfels itself there is the oldest documented mention in 1246, when the castle was called "Castellum Brunenvelz". The Count of Solms from the Lahn Valley counted the castle among his possessions. The name of the Solms family comes from the small river "Sulmissa", a tributary of the Lahn. Today this river is known as "Solmsbach". Until today this river still splashes through the village of Burgsolms. This place was also the ancestral seat of the family. A moated castle once stood here, but it no longer exists today. On the basalt cone, on which the castle Braunfels stands today, once stood only a simple watchtower.
The building history of the castle
A simple watchtower once stood on a basalt cone in an exposed position. A border post to secure the site against attacks by the Counts of Nassau to the west. The watchtower was gradually expanded. First a palace, then a residential building was added. Then another tower was added to the building. Later, these three buildings were also protected by a curtain wall. The core of the castle with the two towers and the double-gabled palace can still be seen in its basic features today. Today, the knights' hall is located in the palace, the Friedrichsturm is located at the back left of the double-gabled palace.
In the course of time, the complex has been extended and expanded again and again. The different epochs had an influence on the appearance of the complex. A very large redesign took place towards the end of the 19th century. Prince Georgre-oriented himself to the building structure of the beginnings of the castle back in the middle ages.
A knight's hall as a birthday present
Princess Ottilie was given the knight's hall as a gift for her 40th birthday in 1847 at a festive opening. The handover turned into a great celebration and a successful surprise by her husband, Prince Ferdinand. In the knight's hall you find a picture showing Ferdinand in his knight's armour together with his wife Ottilie. This picture was painted by Johannes Deiker. The painting also shows that the knight's hall has not changed much until today.
Thus the building finally became a castle
A last major reconstruction took place in the 80s of the 19th century. Prince Georg and his wife Emanuela had the castle completely redesigned once again. In doing so, the princely couple oriented themselves towards the style of historicism. Gothic and romanesque style elements were in the center of attention and also the building style of the Renaissance should be quoted. Up to this point, the optical appearance was characterized by its different construction phases. Now a uniform concept was to be pursued. Also the beginnings as "Castellum Brunenfelsz" were to be taken into consideration again. The medieval castle was to become recognizable again. The topping-out ceremony of the new keep was celebrated on July 2, 1884. The design for the remodelling came from the Hanoverian architect Edwin Oppler. Inspiration for the realization of the complex can also be found in the work of the French architects Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and Émile Boeswillwald.