Schloss Johannisburg was erected between 1605 and 1614 by the architect Georg Ridinger for Johann Schweikhard von Kronberg, Prince Bishop of Mainz. A keep from the destroyed 14th-century castle that had formerly stood on the site was included in the construction and is the oldest part of the castle. Until the end of the ecclesial princedoms in Germany in 1803, it was the second residence of the Prince Bishop of Mainz. At the end of the 18th century, the interior had been restructured in the style of Neoclassicism by Emanuel Herigoyen.
Karl Theodor von Dahlberg, Prince Bishop of Mainz in 1803, retained the territory of Aschaffenburg — turned into the newly created Principality of Aschaffenburg — and was awarded other territories in compensation for Mainz, which was annexed by France. From 1810-1813, Aschaffenburg was part of the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt. Aschaffenburg and Schloss Johannisburg then passed to the Kingdom of Bavaria.
During the reign of Ludwig I, Schloss Johannisburg served as the summer residence of the King. He commissioned the construction of a Roman villa known as Pompejanum within sight of the palace.
The palace was nearly destroyed in the last days of World War II and took about twenty years to fully restore.
The castle is one of the main attractions of Aschaffenburg and its landmark. Schloss Johannisburg is one of the most important buildings of the Renaissance period in Germany. It is open to the public and hosts several museums:
There is also the world's largest collection of architectural models made from cork, built by court confectioner Carl May and his son after 1792.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.