Station: [2] Braunfels Castle in Medieval and Early Modern Times

The first time Castellum bruninvels, that is, Castle Braunfels, was mentioned in a document was in 1246. At the time, the castle consisted of a single habitable tower with a three-storey defensive wooden wall-walk. It had been built to protect the area from the neighbouring Counts of Nassau. In the second half of the 13th century, the Old Keep was extended by adding a residential building known as a palas. Look at your smartphone’s screen to get a general impression of what the medieval castle looked like. A curtain wall surrounded a small courtyard, and there was a gatehouse to safeguard the entrance. However, only minor traces of both have survived to the present, because over the centuries, both the residential buildings and the castle’s defensive works were continuously extended. 

This copperplate engraving is from 1646. On the left, the east side, you can see the castle church with a cross on the roof of the choir. The church was consecrated in 1501. The tallest of the towers is the 16th century Luginsland (which literally translates as “look out over the land). It was a prominent feature of the castle’s skyline at the time. However, the tower was badly damaged in the great castle fire of 1679 and later demolished. But its sandstone portal still exists and is now part of the clock tower. The fire destroyed large parts of the castle and devastated the valley – only five houses survived. 

A lot of resources had to be invested in the reconstruction, so Count Wilhelm Moritz's dream of building a large palace with a huge dome in the Baroque style never came to pass. But if you take a look at your screen, you can see the design for the palace of his dreams.

All depictions: © Schloss Braunfels