Wilhelmsburg Castle (Barchfeld)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wilhelmsburg Castle, west side (May 2012)
Wilhelmsburg Palace, east or back with the former inner courtyard (May 2012); right part of the now demolished north wing
Partial view from Salzunger Strasse (2009)

The William Castle is a castle in the municipality Barchfeld in Wartburgkreis . It is located next to the older Steinschen Castle on the western edge of the historical location and rises on the site of a former moated castle in the Werra floodplain . The castle served as part of a meat factory from 1956 to 1990. It is a protected architectural monument , was acquired by the municipality in summer 2012 and is to be renovated.

The attachment

In 1721 Barchfeld became the seat of the paraged Landgraves of Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld , a branch of the Hessian Landgraves that emerged from the Hessen-Philippsthal branch that year and one of the two lines of the former Hessian Princely House that still exist today. The founder of the line was Wilhelm (1692–1761), the third and youngest son of Landgrave Philipp von Hessen-Philippsthal , who had assigned him Barchfeld and Herleshausen as Paragium in his will . On the area of ​​a previously largely demolished moated castle ruin, a baroque castle was built as early as 1690, which Wilhelm had further expanded until 1732 and which was finally named after him.

It was originally a three-wing complex, open in plan to the south-west, whose narrow, two-storey north wing, now demolished, was attached directly to the rear of the castle of the Stein-Liebenstein zu Barchfeld family, who lived in Barchfeld, to the north . The east wing, which was partly built on the stump of the keep of the demolished moated castle, is also no longer preserved. The west wing, today the only remaining part of the palace, is a two-and-a-half-storey plastered building with a mansard roof and corner pavilions protruding to the northwest in front of the facade of the central part , the southern and somewhat larger floor plan of which is crowned by a small bell tower . The central part is four-axis, both pavilions are two-axis; the windows are quite simple, rectangular lattice windows . There were just as many gable dormers in the attic , only in the north pavilion there are only two skylights instead of dormers. A pleasure garden stretched south from the inner courtyard, and to the west towards the Werra were extensive farm buildings and parks; all of this has since disappeared.


Parts of the family still lived in the castle until the 1930s. In 1938, the Mülheim leather goods manufacturer Hermann Berckemeyer bought the castle and used it as a leather goods factory. After 1945 the building, which was made public property through expropriation , initially served as accommodation for displaced resettlers and was then used by the HO district administration during the GDR era . From 1955 to 1989 the facility was used as an administration building, slaughterhouse and meat processing plant for the Barchfelder meat and sausage factory. Industrial buildings were erected in the castle park. After the meat production stopped, the building stood empty in a ruinous state. After the fall of the Wall , Löblein GmbH from Bamberg took over the ailing operation in 1993, built a new factory between the castle and Bundesstraße 62 and left the castle, which was only partially used as a warehouse, to its fate. After a botulism infestation in the canned sausage produced there in autumn 1999, the plant was shut down and the “Löblein Barchfelder Fleisch- und Wurstwaren GmbH” soon went bankrupt. The Barchfeld plant was sold in 2004 to the meat wholesaler Sauels AG from Kempen am Niederrhein , which has been producing boiled sausage products and regional specialties such as Thuringian grilled sausage in the local “Sauels Thüringen GmbH & Co. KG” .

The changing commercial uses of the castle, in particular as a slaughterhouse, resulted in some significant structural changes and equipment losses. However, the spatial structure from the construction period is essentially still preserved, in particular the former ballroom with its stucco ceiling with banding from 1732. The original double doors and the staircase in the house framed by balusters have also been preserved. The historic roof structure has also been preserved, albeit partially damaged, so that the first security measures have now been carried out there.

Current condition

In the summer of 2012, the municipality of Barchfeld-Immelborn acquired the castle and the neighboring Steinsche Castle with the intention of preventing further deterioration and investing the two historically important buildings in sustainable use and preserving them for posterity. This concern is actively supported by the “Barchfelder Schlösser Förderverein” founded in June 2012. Since then, a recent extension and an industrial chimney, roof repairs and clearing out have already been carried out.


  • Karl Volkmar: A thousand years of Barchfeld (Werra). Depicted on the basis of the collection of documents belonging to Baroness Frieda Stein-Schlotheim. Self-published by the community, Barchfeld 1933. (also published as a reprint)
  • Klaus Schmidt: Nature and homeland book Barchfeld / Werra. A representation of nature, landscape and historical development . Self-published by Naturschutzbund Germany, Barchfeld, 2008.

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. When the castle was a slaughterhouse , Free Word, September 3, 2019 edition
  2. Schloss Barchfeld on schlossaugustenau.com , accessed on October 5, 2012
  3. The latter was carried out by Johann Martin Kummel from Kitzingen in 1732.

Coordinates: 50 ° 47 ′ 59.3 "  N , 10 ° 17 ′ 46.7"  E