Sandersdorf Castle is a 17th-century building on a medieval foundation. It stands on a spur of high land to the west of the village of Sandersdorf. The building has four wings. The east and south wings are decorated with bay windows and gables. The lower west wing contains the inner courtyard with open arcades. There are onion domes over the gatehouse and the castle chapel. The most valuable works of art are a crucifix by Ignaz Günther and the Romanesque tympanum on the outside.
A castle was built as the seat of the lords of Sandersdorf in the mid-12th century. The castle changed ownership several times in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1420 it was burned by Duke Henry XVI of Bavaria-Landshut during his war with Duke Ludwig the Bearded of Bavaria-Ingolstadt. In 1425 Sandersdorf and its estate was awarded to the Muggenthal family. They held the castle for more than 200 years. The castle brewery was founded in 1550, and its Sandersdorf beer became widely known. The castle was destroyed during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), but the Muggenthals rebuilt it in its present form.
In 1646, soon after the reconstruction, Wolfgang Unverzagt Freiher von Roy purchased the property. He went bankrupt, and Johannes Jakob Lossius bought it in 1650. In 1675 it was inherited by his nephew Dominikus de Bassus, a professor at the University of Ingolstadt. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) the building was devastated in 1703. Thomas Maria Baron de Bassus became a leader of the Illuminati in Italy, an secret society founded to promote enlightenment ideas such as opposition to superstition, prejudice, and abuse of state power. In 1787 the Bavarian police raised Sandersdorf castle and found compromising documents. His estate was temporarily confiscated. Baron de Bassus died in Sandersdorf in 1815.
Sandersdorf remained the property of the Barons de Bassus, and was partially restored in 1900 by the Munich architect Gabriel von Seidl. In 2008 the Wittelsbach Compensation Fund bought the castle and estate from the de Bassus family.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.