The first fortified castle existed in 1470, built by Ludwig II directly on the left bank of the Fulda . A big fire in the old town destroyed the castle as early as 1478, so that a stone castle was built as a result. It then became a popular summer residence for the landgraves and at times a landgrave's widow's residence.
It was only between 1571 and 1607 that Landgrave Wilhelm IV of Hessen-Kassel and his son Moritz built a new four-wing building in the Renaissance style . The building was two-story and had stair towers at all four corners. The south wing and the stables are still preserved today. A palace chapel in the form of a transverse church was built into the east wing, which had long since been destroyed . This castle was recorded in 1646 by Matthäus Merian in an engraving. He wrote:
"After Cassel, Rotenburg is the noblest royal residence. Instead of being on both sides of the Fuldastrohms, the castle on the far side of the country is so completely square with stones, larger in size but not as high as that at Cassel."
From 1627 to 1834 the castle was the residence of the Kassel branch line Hessen-Rotenburg , which ruled the so-called Rotenburger Quart . During the Thirty Years War , the castle was plundered several times, but not destroyed. In 1750, the west wing was rebuilt in Baroque style under Landgrave Konstantin von Hessen-Rotenburg. His son and successor, Landgrave Charles Emmanuel in 1790, let the north wing, designed by architect François Ignace Mangin in Empire style rebuild. During this reconstruction, the east wing was completely demolished.
In 1834 the Landgravial branch line Hessen-Rotenburg expired, and the Rotenburger Quart and with it the castle fell back to the Electorate of Hesse . The palace was inhabited by court officials in the following period. After the annexation of Hessen-Kassel by Prussia in 1866, Rotenburg and the castle were in Prussian possession. After long negotiations with the Prussian administration, the castle was then awarded to the Hessen-Kassel branch line Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld , which used it as a widow's residence.
In 1932 the city of Rotenburg bought the castle and the adjoining buildings. From 1933 to 1945, the military command school of the Reich Labor Service was housed in some rooms . From 1945 it was an emergency shelter for refugee families until it became state property in 1953. Since then, the State Finance School of the State of Hesse has been located in the entire palace complex .
In addition to the former farm buildings (e.g. Marstall ) in front of the castle, the castle complex now consists of three wings. The inner courtyard opens to the east towards the castle park. Today the Marstall is the seat of the Hessen Mobil training center - road and traffic management .
- Rudolf Knappe: Palaces and fortresses in North and East Hesse. Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 1996, ISBN 3-86134-237-5 , pp. 32-33.
- Heinrich Nuhn : Rodenberg castle ruins near Rotenburg. In: Barbara Händler-Lachmann (ed.): Kulturgeschichte, Bad Hersfeld 1995, ISBN 3-9804841-0-6 , pp. 237-238.
- Rolf Müller (Ed.): Palaces, castles, old walls. Published by the Hessendienst der Staatskanzlei, Wiesbaden 1990, ISBN 3-89214-017-0 , pp. 300–302.