Zülpich Castle

Zülpich, Germany

Zülpich Castle origins may be traced to a Roman castrum. The present site was built in the late 14th century as a symbol of sovereignty and outpost of the archbishops of Cologne against the County of Jülich.

Razed by French troops at the end of the 17th century, the ruins of the lowland castle ended up in private hands. The Zülpich manufacturing family of Sieger opened a schnaps distillery in the castle until 1870 that operated until the 1980s. In the Second World War it was badly damaged, was partly rebuilt in the 1950s and acts today as a tourist information bureau and home of the Zülpich History Society.

Zülpich Castle is a modest brick building with an almost rectangular plan with high towers at the corners. It is one of the classic quadrangular castles of a type ideal for the Late Middle Ages. Its austere-looking defences are almost entirely devoid of architectural features and underline its fortress-like character which befits its location at the southwestern corner of the medieval town of Zülpich and its incorporation into the town's fortifications.

The enclosed quadrangular structure was originally surrounded by a moat. At its southern, western and eastern corners are round towers that were all once four storeys high. In the north and at right angles is a square tower measuring 10×10 metres with corner ashlars that is the only survivor of an older castle. The present appearance dates the 17th century. The two full-height round towers are topped by protruding, open fighting platforms with brick battlements. All the round corner towers once had residential rooms with fireplaces and garderobes. The western tower facing the town also acted as a dungeon.

The four wings were formerly two-storey residential ranges with high basement vaults. Today only the thick outside walls have survived. The remaining structure of the present-day wing dates to a later period because the original roofs and interior walls from the 17th century have not survived.

The best preserved exterior wall is on the southeast side with the main gate made from carefully cut bunter sandstone ashlars to which the drawbridge used to lead. Above the portal are two, angled coats of arms whose details were probably destroyed by French soldiers in 1794. They used to depict the arms of Frederick of Saarwerden and probably the Archbishopric of Cologne.



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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

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User Reviews

Reiner J. (4 months ago)
Very nice facility. Well worth a visit !!!
Hans Gleisenberger (5 months ago)
The Kurkölnische Landesburg Zülpich is the landmark of the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Zülpich, whose origins can be found in a Roman "castrum". The current facility was built at the end of the 14th century as a symbol of sovereignty and an outpost of the Archbishops of Cologne against the then County of Jülich. Burned down by French troops at the end of the 17th century, the ruins of the Niederungsburg became privately owned in 1741. The Sieger family of manufacturers from Zülpich ran a schnapps distillery in the castle from 1870, which continued to produce until the 1980s. Badly damaged in the Second World War, it was partially rebuilt in the 1950s and today serves, among other things, as a tourist information office and clubhouse for the Zülpich History Association.
Ralf Klußmann (2 years ago)
Visit in the context of the fair on 4.8.19 incl. Open Sunday in the center. The visit to the castle is interesting and recommended for a trip ... It is here not only in the castle, but also around, something to offer. So it is easy to spend some nice, relaxing hours here.
Octavia Dumitrela Carabulea (2 years ago)
A very beautiful place to visit, in the middle of nature surrounded by silence !
Thomas Modzelewski (2 years ago)
The castle environment, the tower and garden are visited relatively quickly. Unfortunately, there are not too many things to look at. Entrance to the tower costs 1 €, the rest you can look at from the outside just like that. Nothing special in my opinion. For a few photos worth the trip but still.
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