Homburg was first mentioned in documents in 1276. Gottfried I of Sayn from the House of Sponheim (1247-1283/84) transferred his castrum Homburg to the German King Rudolf of Habsburg, in order to place it under his protection. He received the castle back as an inheritance. The castle was the residence of the Counts of Homburg, an imperial fiefdom (Reichsherrschaft).
From 1635 Count Ernst von Sayn-Wittgenstein altered the castle to its present-day appearance. One hundred years later the line of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg took over its management; the structure then fell into disrepair. Not until 1904 was its decline halted and, in 1926, a museum, founded by Hermann Conrad, took over the premises. Today it is the Museum of Oberbergisches Kreis.
In 1999 during an excavation, a stone keep of about 12.5 metres diameter was uncovered. Experts estimate that it dates to the 11th century. A consequence of this was that the history of the castle had to be reassessed to that time.
At the beginning of 2005 the district council decided to upgrade the castle. Their plans included inter alia the expansion of the 'Red House' (Rotes Haus) and the construction of a central cash desk and toilet area. The old orangery was to be torn down and replaced by a new two-storey administration and exhibition building.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.