The Villa Hügel was built by Alfred Krupp in 1870-1873 as his main residence and was the home of the Krupp family of industrialists until after World War II. Today the villa is now open to the public. Its hall is the regular concert venue of the chamber orchestra Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen. It is also used for exhibitions.

Up to around 800 people worked on the construction project at a time. Since Alfred Krupp wanted a very modern home, the villa was supposed to be fire-proof, well insulated from sun, wind, cold and heat. It featured double-paned windows, water heating and an early form of air conditioning. The temperature was supposed to be independently adjustable for each room. A large complex of support buildings was erected nearby, including private water and gas works.

Krupp pushed for a speedy completion, although the Franco-Prussian War and collapsing mining tunnels underneath the edifice slowed construction. On 10 January 1873, the family moved in. Some of the technical features did not work as expected, however, so work continued after that.

Alfred Krupp died in 1887. The family continued to use the Villa Hügel and Friedrich Alfred Krupp and his wife Margarethe made some significant changes to the house, adding sumptuous ornamentation. Among other heads of state and monarchs, Emperor Wilhelm II stayed at the Villa Hügel nine times. The current appearance of the Villa is mostly due to the next generation of Krupps, Friedrich Alfred's daughter Bertha and her husband Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, who hired Ernst von Ihne to work on the building after 1912. He added wooden paneling on the interior and the owners furnished the Villa with numerous works of art.

An annex called the Little House (Kleines Haus) containing sixty rooms was used to confine Alfried Krupp in the aftermath of the Second World War. Some parts of the villa were used to house members of the British post-war Control Commission for at least a while during 1946.

Architecture

The house has 269 rooms and occupies 8,100 m². It is situated in a 28-hectare park that overlooks the River Ruhr and the Baldeneysee.

The main complex consists of the three-storied Wohnhaus and a three-storied Logierhaus. The two were linked by a winter garden (now a two-storied building). The construction is supported by an iron framework, very modern for the time. The overall style of the original building was a very austere example of a late-Neoclassical villa. Later changes added more ornamentation. The interior of the main building's ground and second floors is dominated by a main hall of over 400 square-meters. By contrast, the rooms of the (non-public) first floor were kept relatively simple.

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Address

Hügel 15, Essen, Germany
See all sites in Essen

Details

Founded: 1870-1873
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Germany
Historical period: German Empire (Germany)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Prince (2 months ago)
One of the most beautiful and historic places I have ever seen!!
Maxim Khalchitskiy (2 months ago)
If you expect a huge museum with a lot of artwork then you are wrong here. But we like the place. The history of Krupp family, spacious rooms with walls and floor decorated with wood, some paintings, some models of ships etc - everyone will find something interesting here. Not to forget a beautiful park and an entry price of 5 EUR both for the villa and the park together. We have been there before and will definitely come again
Luca Feige (2 months ago)
Visited the location with a group. Really breathtaking and stunningly huge building with big rooms but the exhibition was for my taste not too interesting.
David Sturz (3 months ago)
Wonderful park and an amazing mansion, its defenetly worth the 5 euro entrance
Christian Parschau (8 months ago)
The stately home of the famous Krupp family. Really well preserved with a lovely museum and a massive park. Definitely one of the nicest attractions in the area that I know of. You can easily spend quite some time here
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