Philippsthal Castle

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The Philippsthal Castle is located in the lower Werra , in the Hessian municipality of Philippsthal . The baroque residence of the Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal was Landgraf Philipp von Hessen-Philippsthal and his son and successor Charles in the years 1685 to 1735 on the basis of following the Reformation repealed hersfeldischen built monastery Kreuzberg.


South-east view of the former monastery church with the castle-like south aisle
Archway House
South view of the orangery in the palace gardens

The castle has three wings that are grouped around a trapezoidal inner courtyard. The courtyard narrows towards the east and is open in this direction.

The west wing is about 120 meters long and delimits the palace complex to the old town center to the west. Among other things, the landgrave's library was housed here. Today the community library is located in these rooms. In the middle of this two-story (further to the south also three-story) wing is a representative gate made of sandstone, with the coat of arms of the Landgraviate of Hessen-Kassel in the gable field.

The north wing runs to the southeast, along Schloßstraße, towards the archway house. This wing burned down in 1976. As a result, a new wing was built on its foundation walls in order to maintain the character of the three-wing complex. Today there are several retail stores and a retirement home there.

The archway house in the east was the representative main entrance to the castle, as the busy trade route Via Regia between Frankfurt and Leipzig passed only about 1.5 kilometers upstream, over the old Werra bridge Vacha . The arched house with its mansard roof was built in 1734. Until 1998 an information point for the border customs service was located here. Then the border museum was housed here.

The main building was the three-story south wing. Today the town hall of the market town of Philippsthal is located here. The building runs about 50 meters to the east, where it leans against the north aisle of the former monastery church. The tract was born from the bower , the house of the provost , which was adapted architecturally extended to the east. As early as 1590, the south aisle had been separated from the church and used as a storage room for the farm, which had been managing the monastery from around 1560, when the last nuns had left the monastery. This separated aisle was then converted into representative rooms while the palace was being built. Among other things, there were two rooms here for the princely family, who could follow the service in the church from here.

The monastery church originally had a westwork with two flanking towers. It is not certain, however, whether the two towers were ever in full height. Both towers, with a square base, were shortened to the height of the castle buildings and serve as stairwells or connection between the south wing and the rooms on the south side of the church. Since then the church has had a central steeple in the west. In 1733 the original main entrance in the west was walled up, since the family crypt was built below the church tower that year. Katharine Christine von Sachsen-Eisenach (1699–1743), wife of Landgrave Karl I von Hessen-Philippsthal (1682–1770), was buried here in 1743 as the first landgrave of the Philippsthal line.

The trapezoidal castle courtyard has an area of ​​around 4000 m². Beyond the southern wing of the castle or the church, the castle park extends down to the Werra. It has an area of ​​around 50,000 m² and is almost completely surrounded by a man-high sandstone wall. In the upper part, by the castle, there is an ornamental and kitchen garden in the French style . The lower part extends from the orangery built in 1731 to the Werra. This area is designed in the shape of an English landscape garden. The park continued on the other side of the Werra until 1905; this parking area was leveled because of the construction of the Ulstertal Railway.

In 1985, the political municipality acquired the property and renovated it in the following years for use for municipal tasks.

Panorama of the palace complex seen from the south, with the palace gardens


  • Festschrift 800 years of Philippsthal (Werra) 1191 - 1991
  • Cultural discoveries - District of Fulda. District of Hersfeld-Rotenburg. Werra-Meißner district


  • Festival Committee and Municipality of Philippsthal (Ed.): Festschrift 800 Jahre Philippsthal (Werra) 1191 - 1991
  • Thomas Wurzel (ed.), Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen (ed.): Cultural discoveries - District of Fulda. District of Hersfeld-Rotenburg. Werra-Meißner district . German Sparkassen-Verlag., 2005, ISBN 978-3-934377-88-2 , page 143
  • Rolf Müller (Ed.): Palaces, castles, old walls. Published by the Hessendienst der Staatskanzlei, Wiesbaden 1990, ISBN 3-89214-017-0 , p. 290f.
  • Johannes Burkardt: Kreuzberg (Philippsthal) . In: Friedhelm Jürgensmeier et al.: The Benedictine monastery and nunnery in Hessen (Germania Benedictina 7 Hessen), Eos, St. Ottilien 2004, pp. 732-740. ISBN 3-8306-7199-7 .

Web links

Commons : Schloss Philippsthal  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 50 ° 50 ′ 28.5 ″  N , 10 ° 0 ′ 19.2 ″  E