Have you ever suffered from castle envy?
You’re not the only one. A descendant of Germany’s (former) royal family recently tried to lay claim to a beautiful old castle in the Rhine valley.
His claim was rejected by a court in Koblenz – but who can blame a hereditary aristocrat for trying? We all want to feel like kings (or queens) of the castle every now and then. As spaces that merge history and fantasy, castles activate our imaginations and sense of wonder – whether it’s a romantic old keep with turrets and drawbridge, or a palace with lavish ballrooms and manicured gardens.
Germany certainly has form in captivating castles.
You’re bound to recognise images of the spectacular (if not hugely practical) Neuschwanstein Castle, which Ludwig II of Bavaria built at the end of the 19th-century. Ludwig may have broken the bank to make his fairytale vision a reality, but Neuschwanstein is now one of the most visited (and photographed) buildings in Germany. In neighbouring Baden-Württemberg, the ancient university town of Heidelberg is overlooked by a striking redstone castle and palace, while the Hohenzollern family’s ancestral home south of Stuttgart is yet another astonishing complex of high walls and towers, perched atop a mountain.
Even hipster, ‘arm aber sexy’ Berlin is getting a castle.
The Berliner Schloss was for generations official residence of the Kaisers, but following severe structural damage in the war, the building was torn down in 1950 (with the help of 19 tons of dynamite). The GDR government built a more socialist-minded Palast der Republik in its place, which included a bowling alley and disco inside. After the fall of the Wall, however, the new government decided to reconstruct the former Schloss from scratch – so tore down the Palast in 2008 and began to rebuild. Three walls of the facade will be a replica of the original, but the fourth is a modern design. The new/ old Schloss will house a new museum called the Humbolt Forum, although the project has run into a string of controversies. Sceptical locals point out that, in an echo of infamous BER airport, the Berliner Schloss won’t be opening its whopping doors anytime soon…
Book your own castle on Spacebase
If all this talk of castles has piqued your interest, but you’re low on blue blood, Spacebase is here to help. Thanks to the incredible variety of spaces on our website, we can connect you with historical buildings that will create a buzz around your seminar or workshop day, and contribute to its success with a twist of old-style class and elegance.
Here are some of our most majestic picks.
Against the beautiful landscape of south-west France, the Chateau de St Martory offers acres of sumptuous space for big-scale events. Only 45 minutes away from technopole and Occitan capital, Toulouse, this castle dares you to dream big! Dating from 1546, its turrets and grand chambers will produce an unforgettable atmosphere for your participants.
Gohliser Schlösschen in Leipzig has all the benefits of being located in a major city, while offering a glimpse of another world. Built in 1756 for a wealthy Saxon merchant, the Schlösschen boasts ornate Rococo interiors (check out the Festsaal’s painted ceiling) and elegant orangery wings – a stunning location for a conference or workshop.
Greenhithe Abbey in Kent is a historic country house with immaculate interiors – the furniture and walls drip classic English elegance. The estate also features landscaped gardens for breakout walks and has good connections to London, less than an hour away.
While not strictly a castle, how could we leave out the Kurhaus? In the charming spa town of Wiesbaden, this one is for very big groups – up to 1350 pax! Take your event to another scale of grandeur.
Head to Spacebase to discover more castles, palaces and other historical spaces where you are.
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