Palaces, manors and town halls in Germany

Lindstedt Palace

Lindstedt Palace is part of the ensemble of courtyards and gardens of Potsdam. It was built in the second half of the 19th century by Friedrich Wilhelm IV in late classicism style. The authors were four architect, including the famous Friedrich Ludwig Persius and Friedrich August Stüler. The palace is listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.
Founded: 1858-1861 | Location: Potsdam, Germany

Körtlinghausen Palace

The first documented mention of a castle on the site of current palace dates from 1398. The current palace replaced an earlier previous moated fortress. The manor belonged to the von Schorlemer and the von Rüdenberg families till 1447 when it was acquired by the von Lürwalds. They were followed by the von Hanxleden who were in their turn succeeded by the von Westrems in 1614. Between 1645 and 1819 it belonged t ...
Founded: 1714-1746 | Location: Warstein, Germany

Ettersburg Castle and Park

Ettersburg Castle lies on the edge of the forest on the northern side of the Grosse Ettersberg. This woodland has been the hunting ground for the Dukes of Weimar since the 17th century. Duke Wilhelm Ernst started building the castle at the beginning of the 18th century; the work was completed by his nephew Ernst August. From 1776 to 1780, the Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach held her summer court in Ett ...
Founded: 1706 | Location: Ettersburg, Germany

Alfter Palace

The origins of the Alfter palace go back to the 12th century. After it was destroyed many times and each time rebuilt provisionally, in 1721 the castle site was converted into a Baroque palace. The two-floor manor flanked by towers was largely based on the style of the previous buildings, but a lower castle with wings was added. The office of the Elector of Cologne"s hereditary Marshall has been associated with Schlo ...
Founded: 1721 | Location: Alfter, Germany

Wellingsbüttel Manor

Wellingsbüttel Manor is baroque manor house in Hamburg, which once enjoyed imperial immediacy (Reichsfreiheit). Wellingsbüttel was documented for the first time in 1296. In the early 19th century it was the residence and place of death of Friedrich Karl Ludwig, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck, the penultimate duke, who was an ancestor of the present-day British royal family. Wellingsbüttel Manor was elevate ...
Founded: 1750 | Location: Hamburg, Germany

Monaise Palace

Between 1779 and 1783, the Dean of Trier Cathedral, Philipp Franz Count of Walderdorff had a summer residence built on the west bank of the Moselle in the style of early French neo-classicism. The architect engaged was the French master builder François Ignace Mangin. Situated directly on the bank of the Moselle, the residence faces northeast and thus lies in the direct line of sight to Trier. The name Monaise means 'my ...
Founded: 1779 | Location: Trier, Germany

Ellwangen Palace

Ellwangen Palace is a prominent landmark and a symbol of the town of Ellwangen. Perched imperiously on a ridge overlooking the former monastery town of Ellwangen, the palace was first mentioned in historical records in 1266. Known as the abbots’ castle, the fortified structure provided a grand home to the abbots of the Benedictine monastery in Ellwangen. The old walls of the castle complex, dating back to the time ...
Founded: 1603-1608 | Location: Ellwangen (Jagst), Germany

Fürstenried Palace

Fürstenried Palace is a Baroque palace built by Joseph Effner for Elector Maximilian II Emanuel in 1715–17 as a hunting lodge. Two pavilions are added each in the south and north of the main building. A few years later (1726) a fire damaged the Fürstenried Palace. The following year, at the birth of the future Maximilian III, Fürstenried went as puerperal gift to the Princess Maria Amalia of Austria, ...
Founded: 1715 | Location: Munich, Germany

Gaussig House

Gaussig House is a manor house in Palladian style located approximately 6 km southwest from Bautzen. Extending over some 75 acres, nestled in beautiful natural surroundings and bordered by the Grosse Picho hill to the south, lies one of Upper Lusatia’s largest landscape parks. Gaussig House, the orangery, the church and vicarage, and the estate form the centre of Gaussig village. A manor house at Gaussig was first ...
Founded: c. 1700 | Location: Gaußig, Germany

Beck Castle

Schloss Beck is a Baroque castle in Bottrop, planned and built as a “maison de plaisance” between 1766 and 1777 by Johann Conrad Schlaun. It is currently run as an amusement park. Although the building was designed as a palatial residence, by the end of the 18th century Beck Castle had become a distillery for schnaps. It came into the possession of the Metternich family around 1850. Despite the Second World ...
Founded: 1766-1777 | Location: Bottrop, Germany

Wieland Estate

The Ossmannstedt estate is closely linked with the name of Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813). The poet purchased the Baroque complex of buildings and park in 1797 and lived there with his family for six years (see Wieland estate in Ossmannstedt). Even in Wieland’s day, very little of the original Baroque garden remained, as the previous owners had used the three terraces sloping down to the river Ilm for agricult ...
Founded: 1797 | Location: Oßmannstedt, Germany

Merten Palace

Schloss Merten is a building belonging to a former Augustine monastery, which was founded by the neighbouring castle. It is likely that the monastery was donated by Countess Mathilde von Sayn and was first mentioned in a document by Otto von Kappenstein and his wife Kunigunde in 1217. In 1699 the monastery was burned down. It was not until 1791 that the southern wing was rebuilt. The overall site also includes a small ...
Founded: 1791 | Location: Eitorf-Merten, Germany

Achstetten Manor

Achstetten Castle is a spacious three-storey building in classicist style. Two wings are loosely attached to the main structure at a right angle. These two wings function as economy buildings. On three sides the castle is surrounded by a large park, which is home to an enclosure where fallow deers are kept. The main access to the castle is by a driveway measuring about 150 metres in length. Noteworthy of the interior are ...
Founded: 1795-1797 | Location: Achstetten, Germany

Alberweiler Castle

Alberweiler Castle is a small castle-like structure where the ground and the first floor of the castle are made of stone and the upper storeys consist of three projecting half-timbered floors. A castle is first mentioned in sources dating from the 11th century. It was occupied by knights in the service of the Counts of Berg-Wartstein. This early structure was destroyed in 1487 but soon after, towards the end of the 15th ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Alberweiler, Germany

Hohenburg Palace

Schloss Hohenburg was built for Count Ferdinand Joseph von Herwarth in classical Baroque style in 1712–18. It replaced the medieval Hohenburg castle, which had been destroyed by fire in 1707 while occupied by Austrian troops during the War of the Spanish Succession. It is located approximately 300 metres west, at the foot of the hill on which the old castle was built; stones from the ruin were used in the constructi ...
Founded: 1712-1718 | Location: Hohenburg, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.