The construction of the original Lütetsburg castle dates back to the East Frisian chieftain Lütet Manninga. He lost his ancestral home in Westel to devastating floods between 1373 and 1377. As a consequence, he expanded the family property Uthoff into the moated castle Lützborch.
Further outstanding castle lords and Knyphausen dynasty representatives followed, e.g. Dodo zu Innhausen und Knyphausen (1583-1636), who served the Swedish King Gustav Adolf in the Thirty Years’ War, and Wilhelm von Knyphausen, who in 1776 fought with the British against George Washington in America.The castle itself underwent many changes in its long history: theft and depredation during the Saxonian feud in 1517, ravages during the Thirty Years’ War, destruction by fire in 1893, and finally, partial destruction by aircraft bombs during the Second World War.
The present Lütetsburg castle is a modern, four-wing construction that was built 1956-1962 on the 1517 foundation walls. The family zu Inn- und Knyphausen continues to lives there today.
The simple, monumental brick building, consisting of a four-winged main body and two towers, was designed by Prince Wilhelm Edzard zu Inn- und Knyphausen and implemented by the architect Hans Heinrich von Oppeln.
The basic form of the outer ward goes back to the 15th century, and the impressive gate towers were built in the 17th century. The architectures integrate harmoniously into the landscape and exist in unison with the impressive park complex surrounding it. The castle interior is closed to visitors because it is a private residence.
Edzard Mauritz zu Inn- und Knyphausen (Earl from 1816 onwards) decided to transform the representative Baroque garden with its different parts into a naturally-formed, integrated landscape. He planted new foreign trees and shrubbery, dug canals and other streams and erected earth banks. He later added monuments and sculpted figures, so that the park gradually came to express his personal values and sentiments according to his experiences. We can see this in structures such as the stone pyramid in memory of his mother and his first wife, the friendship temple that he dedicated to a good friend, as well as in the Caroline Island with the Caroline memorial, which he dedicated to his deceased first daughter.
Following his death, Edzard Mauritz zu Inn- und Knyphausen’s children carried out very little structural change in the park. Yet alterations in its character did occur at that time, thanks to the extensive planting of rhododendrons and later azaleas, whose spectacular blossoms transformed the garden of quiet contemplation into a colourful, festive area.
The park continued to be cultivated as a monument steeped in history and picturesque natural space. Only in 1932 was it extensively redeveloped by Fürst Wilhelm Edzard zu Inn- und Knyphausen. After 1945, his commitment focused largely on clearing war damage and reconstructing the castle after a fire in 1956.
Castle Park counts today as one of the largest and most beautiful in northern Germany. Its 30 hectares and several kilometres of walking trails offers everyone, young an old, an oasis for regeneration. It is one of the few preserved examples of early Romantic garden types combining art and history as an integrative way of life.
The variety of over 150 exotic and native plant species, together with the vast expanse of the enclosure, make for the park’s charm. Here every visitor can find his or her own space and discover the park’s beauty for themselves. To this day, many characteristics of historical design have remained intact, so that you can still admire them in the park. For example, the ornate, affectionately inscribed benches invite every visitor to a moment of reposeReferences:
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.