Mespelbrunn Castle

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Mespelbrunn Castle

The Mespelbrunn Castle , a moated castle , stands in the Bavarian municipality Mespelbrunn between Aschaffenburg and Wuerzburg in a remote tributary of the Elsava -Tals in Spessart . The facility has been owned by the Echter von Mespelbrunn family since the early 15th century . The annual number of visitors to the palace is between 90,000 and 100,000.


Mespelbrunn Castle owes its existence to a gift from the Archbishop of Mainz , Johann II of Nassau . On May 1, 1412, he assigned the place to Espelborn to his electoral forest master Hamann Echter , who built an unpaved house in the valley floor by a pond on the Krebsbach . Since the Spessart was a wild and unexplored forest at that time and Hussite him as a stopover for their plundering took, in 1427 Hamann Echter began son of the same, from the dirt Weiherhaus his father a fortified house with walls, towers and a moat to build ( Forsthube ) .


In the more peaceful times that followed, the following generations transformed the forbidding walls into a Renaissance castle .

It owes its present appearance to a large extent to renovations between 1551 and 1569, which Peter Echter von Mespelbrunn and his wife Gertraud von Adelsheim had carried out. Above the tower portal of the north wing are the images of both and the motto :

Stair portal with the motto of the Echters
Married love in God and steady Trew
Brings happiness and blessings without all Rew.
We trusted God with earnestness and diligence,
Built this house for our own good.

Gertraud von Adelsheim gave birth to ten children, all of whom can be seen at the real epitaph in the Hessenthal pilgrimage church . The most well-known offspring of the family may have been Julius Echter , who, as Prince-Bishop in Würzburg and Duke in Franconia, founded the Juliusspital in 1576 and the University in Würzburg in 1583 and had the mighty Marienberg Fortress expanded.

A relief dated 1576 , which shows the Prince-Bishop Julius Echter, the Hochstiftspatrone Kilian and Burkard as well as personifications of loyalty and hope and the motto "Si deus pro nobis quis contra nos", comes from the Dutch or Low German sculptor Hans v. the Mul and is now in the Martin von Wagner Museum of the University of Würzburg .

Despite the large number of children in Peter Echter, the male line died out less than 100 years after his death, and the Thirty Years' War also claimed its victims there. Maria Ottilia, the last real woman, married Philipp Ludwig von Ingelheim in 1648 . This came from a baron family von Ingelheim , who was later raised to the rank of count . When the male line of the Echter family died out in 1665, the two families were allowed to combine their names and coats of arms with imperial permission, thus continuing the tradition of the Echter family. Even today, the name of the Count von Ingelheim family is called Echter von und zu Mespelbrunn .

Around 1840 the west wing facing the castle pond was demolished, only the former castle keep remained. Instead of the west wing, the two large wall arches were built and opened up the castle courtyard to the pond .

Current time

Thanks to its hidden location, the Wasserschloss Mespelbrunn survived all the chaos of war unscathed and has retained its picturesque appearance. It is still privately owned. The count's family lives in the south wing of the house, while the north wing has been partially opened to the public since the early 1920s. The castle can be visited from Good Friday to All Saints' Day.

Until 2006 the castle was owned by Count Albrecht von Ingelheim . He died on December 2, 2006 in Frankfurt am Main . The heiress of the family estate is his eldest daughter Marie Antoinette Countess of Ingelheim called Echterin von und zu Mespelbrunn, Baroness Geyr von Schweppenburg (* 1973).


Mespelbrunn Castle and parts of the community became known in 1957 as the location for the German feature film Das Wirtshaus im Spessart with Liselotte Pulver and Carlos Thompson and as the setting for the play of the same name.

The lock was featured on the 70-pfennig stamp of a permanent series of stamps issued by the Deutsche Bundespost.

On February 19, 1519 the author of the Zimmeric Chronicle , Count Froben Christoph von Zimmer was born here.

Web links

Commons : Mespelbrunn Castle  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bernhard Müller: A romantic dream setting. FN summer tips: Mespelbrunn moated castle in the heart of the Spessart. Fränkische Nachrichten Verlags-GmbH, July 25, 2008, archived from the original on April 30, 2010 ; accessed in 2010 .
  2. Stefan Kummer : Architecture and fine arts from the beginnings of the Renaissance to the end of the Baroque. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes; Volume 2: From the Peasants' War in 1525 to the transition to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1814. Theiss, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-8062-1477-8 , pp. 576–678 and 942–952, here: pp. 600 f.
  3. Castle Mespelbrunn on the homepage of the House of Bavarian History, section building history

Coordinates: 49 ° 54 ′ 19.5 "  N , 9 ° 18 ′ 26.4"  E