Station:  Parade Ground
This square in front of the church is where the castle guards used to hold their parades. That’s why it’s been known as Paradeplatz, Parade Square, since the 18th century. You’ll have a chance to admire the castle guards’ accoutrements later on, when you visit the Family Museum.
The building immediately to the left of the church is the five-storey Weedenbau. It was built over the castle’s cistern in 1716 and still has its original baroque façade. The window reveals are made of Main River sandstone. The rooms beyond used to be kitchens and utility rooms, with servants' quarters above. Until the mid-19th century, a number of the noble family’s princes and princesses also had apartments there.
Below the church, right next to the equestrian staircase, lies the Old Guardhouse. In the past, it also included some prison cells. One of them is known as "Eiserner Heinrich", Iron Henry, after Heinrich Zeil, a bandit chief who was jailed in 1750. Next along is the Cabinet Building, erected in 1881. It replaced a brew house that was mentioned as early as 1661. So choosing it as the site of our café seemed to make sense. Along with tea, coffee and scrumptious cakes, the café also sells entrance tickets and souvenirs.
The 15th century building opposite the church was built by Count Otto as his personal residence. It has been known as the Fürstenbau, the Princes’ Building, since 1880. The passage leads to the Inner Courtyard, which you can visit as part of a 50-minute guided tour of the castle. Tickets are available at the café.
You’re also welcome to visit our Princely Family Museum. It features uniforms, medals, seals, coins, jewellery, armour, and gowns worn by some of the princesses during the Baroque and Rococo periods. You can visit the museum without taking a guided tour. The entrance is at the end of the passage, top left. To pass the turnstile, you just need to put a few euros in the slot, and you’re ready to go. We’re happy to accompany you with the audio guide.
All depictions: © Schloss Braunfels