Schöningen Castle

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Schöningen Palace, south corner tower

The Castle Schöningen is one of Guelph Duke I. Magnus built former hunting lodge in Schöningen in district Helmstedt . It was also intended as a border fortress to the areas of the bishops of Halberstadt and Magdeburg .

The palace complex was one of the most magnificent buildings near the Elm . It was often used by the Guelph Dukes and their entourage as accommodation during driven hunts . During a hunt, they are said to have moved into the Elm with 3000 drivers. In 1733 the castle saw a particularly high-ranking guest: The Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich - later King Friedrich the Great  - stayed there on the journey to his wedding with Elisabeth Christine von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern in Salzdahlum Castle .

Building description

The complex built by Duke Magnus von Braunschweig-Lüneburg was heavily modified by alterations in the 16th and 17th centuries as well as later redesigns for agricultural use. Nevertheless, the floor plan of the late medieval complex can still be read today. The remains of the old palace are preserved in the base of the castle. The east wing of the four-wing complex is flanked at its corners by two square towers with a tent roof . The southern one has a side length of about seven meters with a wall thickness of about two meters. In the south wing there is the former castle chapel with a ribbed vault . The palace park bordering the palace buildings was redesigned until 1991, just like the symmetrical garden south of the palace dates back to the 1990s.


Schöningen Palace on an engraving by Merian , 1654

Duke Magnus I of Braunschweig-Lüneburg founded Schöningen Palace around 1350 as a hunting seat and border fortress, which was damaged during the Schmalkaldic War in 1542 when the Schmalkaldic League went into a religious war against Duke Heinrich the Younger . At the beginning of the 16th century, the complex was converted into a castle and until the 17th century it served three Brunswick duchesses, Sophia Jagiellonica (Sophie Jagiello), Elisabeth of Denmark and Anna Sophia of Brandenburg , as a widow's residence. At the same time Schöningen became the official seat . The three women had a great influence on the development of the castle. When Duchess Sophia, sister of the Polish King Sigismund II , lived in the castle from 1568 to 1575 after the death of her husband Heinrich II, she had a pleasure garden laid out that no longer exists today . Elisabeth, the sister of Christian IV of Denmark and mother of the great Christian von Halberstadt , lived there from 1613 to 1626. She completely redesigned the palace in the Renaissance style and had the west and north wings rebuilt. Duchess Anna Sophia, born Princess of Brandenburg, who used Schöningen Palace from 1628 to 1659, ruled here almost independently. The establishment of a Latin school on the town's market goes back to her.

In 1661, Duke August II had the complex demolished and the armory demolished. From 1679 to 1683 Anna-Sophie , the second daughter of Duke Anton Ulrichs von Braunschweig , married to Margrave Karl Gustav von Baden-Durlach , lived in the castle. Her sister Katharina von Brandenburg had previously used the complex as a residence before she died there in August 1644. On January 25, 1681 Schöningen Palace was the place of marriage of Elisabeth Eleonore von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel and Duke Bernhard I of Saxe-Meiningen .

Since the official seat of Schöningen was moved to Helmstedt in 1815, the castle had been downgraded to a domain . The hall and outbuildings subsequently fell into disrepair. It was not until 1970 that the farm was stopped on the site. In that year the state of Lower Saxony sold the buildings to private individuals. The city of Schöningen initially only acquired the surrounding open-air site. In the period from 1978 to 1983, she then bought three wings of the palace area, including the completely dilapidated hall and the district court garden in the south of the palace. As a result, restorations took place. It began with the stables and their conversion into a youth center . This was followed by the establishment of an information center of the Kuratorium Indivisible Germany for reunification . After the city acquired the former tenant house of the castle domain in 1911, this building was also restored from 1985 at the same time as the Palas and the gardener's house. The city handed the restored castle over to the public in 1996, before the restoration of the baroque garden followed from 1997 to 1998 and the restoration of the guardhouse up to 2000. In addition to the facilities mentioned above, there is now also a hotel-restaurant.


  • Lutz Dursthoff (Red.): The German castles and palaces in color. Castles, palaces, fortifications, manor houses and aristocratic palaces in the Federal Republic of Germany and Berlin (West) . Krüger, Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-8105-0228-6 , p. 588.
  • Braunschweigische Landschaft e. V. (Ed.): Cultural monuments in the district of Helmstedt . Brunswick Landscape, Brunswick 2007.

Web links

Commons : Schöningen Palace  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c L. Dursthoff: The German castles and palaces in color , p. 588.
  2. ^ Friedrich-Wilhelm Krahe: Castles of the German Middle Ages. Floor plan lexicon . Flechsig, Würzburg 2000, ISBN 3-88189-360-1 , p. 553.
  3. a b c d e f Castle history on ( Memento from February 18, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on August 21, 2013.
  4. ^ Entry on Schöningen in the private database "Alle Burgen".

Coordinates: 52 ° 8 '26.2 "  N , 10 ° 57' 54.4"  E