Count Heinrich Trajektin von Solms-Braunfels lived in the 17th century. In 1686, he had a pleasure garden with an ornamental fountain laid out for his wife, as you may have heard on our outdoor tour. But the building work he commissioned is not the only reason why he earned a place in the collective memory. He’s also regarded as the greatest general among the Counts of Solms.
His unusual name derives from his birthplace, the Dutch city of Utrecht, which is called Traiectum in Latin. His family had fled into exile in the northern Netherlands during the Thirty Years' War. Trajektin held many high military and civilian offices. For instance, he was General of the Royal English Infantry, Commander of the German Guard, Governor of Nijmegen and Commander of the Teutonic Order in Utrecht. His most significant success came in 1688, when he helped his cousin, William the Third of Orange, to ascend the British throne in the largely bloodless "Glorious Revolution".
The blue military tunic and the beige coat you see here were worn by the count in 1693, when he suffered a mortal wound on the battlefield at Neerwinden in Flanders. In the 17th century, it was still quite common for generals to lead their troops from the front. Check your screen now to see an image of his final battle. The original painting hangs in our Great Hall.
In the lower left-hand corner of the painting, you can see the deadly cannonball approaching. According to a contemporary witness, that cannonball shredded both of Trajektin's legs. He was taken straight to the Grey Sisters' convent some 12 kilometres or seven miles away, where he died a few days later. He was 55. His body was returned to Braunfels and buried in the crypt beneath the choir of the castle church.
All depictions: © Schloss Braunfels