Cappenberg Castle

Selm, Germany

Cappenberg Castle is a former Premonstratensian monastery. The Counts of Cappenberg, who were related to the Salians and the Staufers, were a rich and powerful family. During the Investiture Controversy, when they supported Duke Lothar von Supplinburg against Emperor Heinrich V, Count Gottfried von Cappenberg and his brother Otto von Cappenberg led their armies against Münster in February 1121 under the leadership of Duke Lothar. A great part of the town was destroyed, and the old cathedral was burnt down. Before the Emperor could bring them to trial for violation of the peace of the realm, Gottfried – either out of genuine repentance or out of fear of the Imperial judgment - gave the greater part of his estates in Westphalia to the founder of the Premonstratensian Order, Norbert of Xanten, renounced worldly life and withdrew into a monastery, where, according to contemporary custom, he was immune from punishment.

After the ratification of the Concordat of Worms in 1122 he reappeared as Gottfried II, last Count of Cappenberg (afterwards better known as Saint Gottfried). Against the wishes of his family he founded a Premonstratensian monastery in his ancestral castle on the Cappenberg. For his wife, Ida, daughter of Count Friedrich von Arnsberg, and his sisters Gerberga and Beatrix, he built a nunnery next door.

The monastery was economically successful, and accumulated considerable wealth, as may still to some extent be seen from the surviving abbey church. The monastery was largely destroyed during the Thirty Years' War. The present Baroque premises in three ranges were built from 1708 onwards.

After an existence of almost 700 years the monastery was dissolved in 1803 and became an estate of the Prussian crown. After periods under the rule of France and of the Duchy of Berg, the estate was regained in 1815 by Prussia and in 1816 was acquired by the former Minister of State the Baron vom Stein, who renovated the buildings and thus preserved them from dereliction.

After the extinction of the family von und zum Stein the estate was inherited in 1926 by the family of the Counts of Kanitz.

During World War II Schloss Cappenberg served as a place of safety to protect works of art from Allied bombing.

In 1985 the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe and the local authority of Kreis Unna rented rooms in the castle and converted them for use as a museum. Since then, in conjunction with the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, various exhibitions have been held here. In the west wing are kept the archives of Freiherr vom Stein, who lived in the castle from 1824 until his death in 1831, and also the archives of the former monastery. In the former abbey church is a portrait bust of the period around 1160 of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa made of gilt bronze.

Nowadays Schloss Cappenberg is an excursion destination, with a museum, and is part of the Industry Heritage Trail. Art exhibitions and concerts are regularly held there.

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Details

Founded: 1122
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Salian Dynasty (Germany)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Katrin Kraja (2 years ago)
Ein wirklich schönes Schlösschen in der Nähe von Unna. Die Kirche und auch die anderen Gebäude sind echt sehenswert. In der angeschlossenen Gastronomie kann man gut eine kleine Erfrischung zu sich nehmen.
Leon Rekow (3 years ago)
Cappenberg 4 live
Stefan Schmidt (3 years ago)
Great place to relax and meditate. Or have a walk through the park and in the beautiful countryside.
Shashi (3 years ago)
Good place to come to from Dortmund for a bike ride. Complex is well maintained. For 1€ you can climb the tower which in my opinion is worth it.
Sashak (3 years ago)
Beautiful well kept grounds and the Chapel is awesome.
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