M: Welcome to the gates of Langenburg Castle!
F: We’re looking forward to having your company today as we walk the trail that runs around our castle. We’ll guide you around our magnificent gardens with plants and trees that were once part of the landscape of an English park. You’ll come across an enchanted tea tower and a beautiful memorial site dedicated to animals.
M: The history of our castle goes back to the time of the Hohenstaufen emperors in the 12th century. Since the 13th century, Langenburg Castle has been owned by the princely family of Hohenlohe. In 1610, Count Philipp Ernst chose Langenburg as his seat and extended it to create a Renaissance castle.
F: A century and a half later, from 1757 to 1759, parts of the castle were rebuilt in the Baroque style. That was when the almost neo-classical façade was added to the east wing, which you’re facing at the moment. If you look up at the gable, you’ll see the year 1966, which is unusual for a castle.
M: That was the year of the castle’s reconstruction. In January 1963, a major fire had destroyed the entire east wing and part of the north wing.
F: Between the first and last two figures, you can see the Hohenlohe-Croy alliance coat of arms. It combines the coats of arms of the parents of Prince Philipp, the current lord of the castle. The one on the left belongs to his father, Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the one on the right is that of his mother Charlotte, née Princess of Croy. Prince Philipp has been lord of the castle since 2004 and lives here with his wife, Princess Saskia, and their three children.
M: Have you noticed the little tower on the left of the castle? The one with the fairy-tale air about it? That was built in the 19th century, funded by the dowry of Princess Feodora zu Leiningen, who came to Langenburg after her marriage. She was Queen Victoria’s older half-sister. It’s called Leininger Tower after the princess, and weddings have been held in its garden since 2014. The garden is actually a branch of the Langenburg registry office.
F: Now, please head to your right, down the stairs. If the steps look less than appealing, you can take the road instead. Our tour will follow the narrow path next to the castle – until we reach the Hutzel Tower.
Fotos: © Trüpschuch