Castles & Palaces

Hämelschenburg Castle – a look at the life of nobility in the past

Emmerthal: Hämelschenburg Castle ©Stiftung Rittergut Hämelschenburg (Photodesigner Mark Wohlrab)

Hämelschenburg Castle combines many of the features you would expect from a stately castle: a splendid design with three wings and moats, a fortified bridge and two impressive octagonal staircase towers.

Owners Jürgen von Klenke and his wife Anna von Holle commissioned a castle with all of the attributes of a typical medieval castle to be built between 1588 and 1613 at the heart of the site of a feudal estate that had already been destroyed multiple times. Its most striking feature is the 24 gabled dormers, which are elaborately adorned roof extensions. Weser sandstone was used for the build, as this material was highly sought after at the time. The couple lived with their 14 children in the grandest part of the palace, the three-storey south wing, which was opulently decorated in a Renaissance style.

It came down to this incredible family to bravely protect the entire castle to avoid it being plundered and destroyed during the Thirty Years' War. Visitors are treated to a detailed insight into the life of the nobility during the Renaissance, baroque and 19th-century periods, with many of the rooms completely kitted out with furniture, paintings, porcelain, glassware and weaponry. The reconstructed Minnegarten is a beautifully floral reminder of a time when gardens were a hidden refuge for courtly love, otherwise known as 'Minne'.

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