Warthausen castle is a large country palace which has been home to several famous historical personages, including authors Christoph Martin Wieland and Sophie von La Roche, and painter Johann Heinrich Tischbein. It was the traditional home of the Counts of Stadion-Warthausen.
In 1168, a castle was sold to Friedrich Barbarossa, and passed to the House of Habsburg in 1339. The castle burned down in 1474, and was rebuilt. In 1529, Reichsritter Dr. Hans Schad von Mittelbiberach (1505-1571) received the building from the House of Habsburg, adding new construction to it between 1532 and 1540, enlarging it to a country palace. It was burned again in 1623, during the Thirty Years' War, and rebuilt in the Renaissance style in the 1620s. From 1696 to 1827, Schloss Warthausen was in the possession of the Counts of Stadion. The State of Württemberg took possession of it and its hereditary rights in 1827. In 1829, it was acquired by Wilhelm von König-Warthausen. Since 1985, the building and its surrounding lands have been owned by Franz Freiherr von Ulm zu Erbach.
The palace is built in the South German Renaissance style. It has Baroque external architecture features. It is located just north of Warthausen, near the river Riss. It dominates the area and the eastern tip of the estate overlooks the Riss valley. The landscape as it had recently been completely redone in English style appears in a plan of 1793 by the gardener Brückner. This new landscape design set a historic new standard for German gardens. The landscaped portion of the entire 120 acre estate consists of about 17 acres. It contains parterres (formal gardens). The remaining land is neatly divided in fields lined by allées, some being there still. There are some ornamental ponds and lakes on the estate.
The Warthausen Brewery, active from 1632-1970, was located at the foot of the hill. It was a beer supplier for about 400 inns throughout Southern Germany and at tourist attractions. The building is now a nursing home.
The estate has been a setting of inspiration for notable writers and poets who were invited to the property from time to time over the years. Wieland, a leading authority of the German Rococo, for example was inspired by the grounds of the estate. Wilhelm von König-Warthausen gave detailed descriptions of the Schloss and its gardens in his works.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.