Linn Castle

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Linn Castle
Linn Castle

Linn Castle

Creation time : 12th century
Castle type : Niederungsburg
Conservation status: restored
Standing position : Men's
Place: Krefeld
Geographical location 51 ° 19 '59 "  N , 6 ° 38' 4"  E Coordinates: 51 ° 19 '59 "  N , 6 ° 38' 4"  E
Linn Castle (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Linn Castle
The Linner Burg at night

The Burg Linn is a moated castle in North Rhine-Westphalia Krefeld , district Linn . It is located around five kilometers east of the city center.


middle Ages

The castle goes back to a residential and defense tower of the noble lords Otto and his brother Gerlachus von Lynn, which was built in the 12th century with a size of approximately 8.5 × 14.5 m at this point from tuff stone and pebbles. Already around the year 1000 there was a moth at this point , an artificial hill surrounded by a moat with a wooden watchtower protected by palisades . The first expansion consisted of a no longer extant today curtain wall made of tuff on the north side of the hill.

Otto von Linn sold the Allodium de Linne in 1188 for 100 marks to the Archbishop of Cologne, Philipp I von Heinsberg , but kept the castle as a fief before taking part in the Third Crusade as a young man . Inspired by Byzantine fortress architecture, Otto continued to expand the castle with the proceeds from Cologne after his return. The old shield wall was initially closed in four construction phases with a modern brick wall to form a ring. After its completion, the weak shield wall was removed and the curtain wall was expanded to its current hexagonal shape in two further construction phases. The first three sections form exactly half of the planned hexagonal ring wall and were built quite quickly one after the other between 1195 and 1200. Later, an exactly mirror-symmetrical hexagon should result. For unknown reasons, the second half of the curtain wall was not built so precisely. Already the fourth construction phase was made smaller than planned in 1202, which influenced the shape and size of the rest of the wall in the last two construction phases. Then the construction work came to a standstill. The last two sections were not completed until 1230 and 1250. On the one hand, the removal of the old shield wall delayed the new building and on the other, Otto von Linn died around 1219. His son Gerhard von Linn completed the building, but he probably didn't have the same idea of ​​a castle as his father. At the end of the 13th century he had the wall raised again by 3 meters.

At the beginning of the 14th century, the expansion into a sovereign defense system began. The castle now belonged to the county of Kleve . Heinrich von Strünkede was the Mechthild von Kleve's bailiff at the castle. One operated robber barons among other things against Krefeld, which belongs to the county of Moers . This ended when the combined Kurkölner and Klever troops stormed the castle. The feudal sovereignty of Kurköln was contractually guaranteed in 1392. Burg Linn became the administrative seat of the Electoral Cologne Office of Linn . The castle resembled many twin castles , which consisted of a residential fortification as the main castle and an agriculturally used outer castle . Both were surrounded by a moat.

Modern times


Linn Castle at sunset

In 1477 the castle was besieged by Hermann von Hessen as part of the Cologne collegiate feud . A year later, the old moat was filled in to build an additional outer ring wall. A new trench was then dug in front of it. During the Thirty Years' War , the space between the inner and outer castle walls was filled in order to give the castle a strong outer ring, which could withstand fire from powder-loaded cannons . From the area created in this way, the castle could then also be defended with such guns.

Continuously expanded and reinforced several times, Linn Castle became one of the largest moated castles in the Lower Rhine . At the beginning of the 17th century, the castle and town of Linn were merged into a single fortification with five bastions using earth walls and moats . According to current knowledge, the expansion took place in at least two sections. The first outer weir system was built by 1581, after which it gradually fell into disrepair. It was only around 1620 that the old system was replaced by a new, much stronger one with five bastions. Linn Castle proved the defensibility of the complex during the siege by Hessen-Kassel , which lasted for more than four weeks. In the end, however, the castle was conquered and expanded and reinforced by the conquerors between 1643 and 1645.

Most of the castle complex still preserved today originates from the 13th century, only the south wing and the low outer defensive wall belong to the 15th and 16th centuries.

18th century

Linn Castle with adjoining hunting lodge

The castle was completely destroyed during the War of the Spanish Succession . As early as August 1702, the French occupation of the castle was besieged by imperial troops and finally driven out. The castle went up in flames from the shelling. It burned again in 1704, and then in 1715 lightning set the upper courtyard in flames. The repair of the completely burned-out castle was abandoned by the responsible Linner bailiff, not least because it had lost its strategic importance. Since 1728 the castle was considered uninhabitable. A guard was put on duty in a house built especially for this purpose at the entrance to the castle, as the castle no longer offered suitable premises for a guardroom. Only the keep was still used as a prison. Its name "Butter Tower" (from " Büttel ") also comes from this time .

Between 1707 and 1708, the buildings erected in the outer bailey in 1488 as a bakery and brewery were expanded into a winery , the official residence of the Cologne electorate. Around 1740, Elector Clemens August had the winery converted into a hunting lodge. However, Clemens August stayed there very rarely.

In 1794, immediately after the occupation of the Rhineland , the French declared the goods of the enemy governments to be the property of the French state. Castle and lands were sold. At the time, the Jagdschlösschen was inhabited by Otten's head waiter from Linner.

19th century

Hunting lodge with overgrown castle in the background, around 1900

In the electoral possession since the 12th century, the castle was acquired by the Krefeld silk manufacturer Isaak de Greiff in 1806, together with the hunting lodge, the historical tithe barn and the spacious surrounding area. Isaak de Greiff used the castle as a summer residence and in the winter months as a hunting lodge. One of his sons, Johann Philipp de Greiff, inherited the property and soon after settled here with his family. His daughter Marianne Rhodius , b. de Greiff, grew up here with her sister Emma and lived in the hunting lodge until her death in 1902. Marianne Rhodius was a niece of Cornelius de Greiff , to whom she owed most of her fortune. A few years before her death, she had one of the first private bathrooms installed in the hunting lodge, of which almost nothing has survived today in a non-public part of the palace. The castle inherited her cousin Maria Schelleckes.

20th century

As a co-heir and co-administrator of the estate of Marianne Rhodius, the Justice Councilor Gustav Schelleckes moved into the hunting lodge at Linn Castle after the First World War . In 1924 he sold the castle ruins, including the hunting lodge and all other associated properties, to the city of Krefeld for 506,000 marks. He himself lived in the hunting lodge until his death in 1928. The purchase of the property by the city of Krefeld fell during the tenure of the mayor at the time, Dr. Johannes Johansen, who was very committed to the acquisition.

After the Second World War , the now overgrown and overgrown castle was restored and furnished with contemporary furniture. Today it offers an unadulterated picture of a medieval castle with keep, battlements, moat, towers, castle dungeon, chapel, palas and an intact outer bailey.

Linn Castle had no roof structure for over 260 years. In the course of the repairs after the Second World War, the planks and floorboards of the individual floors were restored, but the top floors could initially only be temporarily secured against the weather with a flat roof. In the 1980s, renovation of the roof became more and more urgent. With state funds and donations, the castle was covered with a new roof, as can be seen today. The new roof is a compromise between history and functionality. The original roof was not as steep as it is today, but a 100% reconstruction would not have been possible as there are hardly any records. The roof structure was manufactured using modern methods, a replica of the original construction is hardly affordable today. The roof of the keep was also raised so that it can serve as a viewing tower with a good all-round view of Linn and the castle park.

Castle chapel

In the basement of the chapel tower by the gate building is the Gothic castle chapel from the 14th century, which opens with a large pointed arch to the Palassaal . The chapel consists of a rectangular yoke and a five-sided closed chancel built into the chapel tower. The chapel is illuminated through two lancet windows. Another chapel may have been located on the upper floor of the battery tower.


The castle is surrounded by the well-preserved medieval complex of the former Electoral Cologne town of Linn with extensive parks, which also include part of the moats and bastions belonging to the earlier fortifications. The park concept was designed by Maximilian Friedrich Weyhe in the 19th century . The clients were the brothers Cornelius and Phillip de Greiff. Weyhe presented his design in 1830. He envisaged extensive parks in the English style around the fortifications of the castle, with the castle ruins as the romantic center. Weyhe's plan, however, was never fully carried out.

In 2004/2005 the park of Burg Linn was included as an outstanding example in the street of garden art between the Rhine and the Maas .

Museum Center Burg Linn

The castle was renovated until 1926 and turned into a state museum. In 1930 the Jagdschlösschen was added. The castle and hunting lodge complement each other with the archaeological museum located in the immediate vicinity of the castle (formerly Niederrheinisches Landschaftsmuseum) at the Burg Linn museum center . This includes Linn Castle, the hunting lodge in the outer bailey , the Archaeological Museum and, as a branch, the Geismühle .

Flax market

Every year on the weekend of Pentecost, the nationally known flax market takes place in the park area around the castle and in the adjoining old town of Linner . The medieval craft market is the largest craft market in Germany. Over 300 craftsmen offer their goods and let them look over their shoulder while they work. Medieval games, costumes, music and of course the castle as a backdrop add to the medieval atmosphere.


  • Christoph Dautermann: Krefeld-Linn (= Rheinische Kunststätten . 509). Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Landscape Protection, Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-86526-032-1 .
  • Ludger Fischer : The most beautiful palaces and castles on the Lower Rhine. Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2004, ISBN 3-8313-1326-1 .
  • Albert Steeger : Linn Castle (= Rheinische Kunststätten. 70). 6th edition. Rhenish Association for Monument Preservation and Heritage Protection, Neuss 1972.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dehio : North Rhine-Westphalia I. Rhineland, Munich 2005, p. 874.
  2. Article in the Rheinische Post from July 30, 2011

Web links

Commons : Burg Linn  - Collection of images, videos and audio files