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Fairytale Castles in Germany: Schloss Marienburg and Schloss Bückeburg
Germany is known for its fairytale castles and palaces that make any history fan or Disney enthusiastic amazed. In this article, I'll show you two of those castles, near the city of Hannover, in Lower Saxony, in the northern part of Germany: Schloss Marienburg and Schloss Bückeburg. Each one deserves an entire day to explore and a camera on hand.
This fairytale castle in Germany, built between 1858 and 1867, is a real romantic place. A present from King George V of Hannover to his wife Queen Marie, the Marienburg Castle (in German: Schloss Marienburg), was designed by the architect Conrad Wilhelm Hase in a Neo-Gothic style. Hase, one of Hanover's most important architects of the time, was succeeded in 1864 by his pupil Edwin Oppler, who fitted out the interior and made some changes to the design. Up to date, the original design is almost completely preserved.
Marienburg, named after its owner Queen Marie, is a private building, serving as a touristic attraction and also as an event center for meetings, birthdays, anniversaries, presentations and, especially, weddings.
When you visit the place, you can take a one-hour tour, the Classic Castle Tour, which will allow you to see the royal family's private rooms. The elaborate interior design still has its original furniture, paintings and rare and singular objects of art, impressively reawaken nineteenth-century court life. It's really breathtaking and it's a shame that we are not allowed to take pictures inside.
The tour is in German, but you can take an audio guide, available in six languages: English, French, Russian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish.
The tour also includes a visit to the Castle Chapel, but it will be closed almost every Saturday, because of wedding ceremonies. It is also good to mention that the tours will be slightly abbreviated during the winter.
Ascent to the Tower Tour
During the summer season and with good weather conditions, you can visit the top of the castle tower. It is breathtaking... both the view and the 160 steps that you will have to climb. From the tower platform, you will have a stunning view of the Leine Valley and the Calenberger Land. In good weather, you can also see the cities of Hannover and Hildesheim.
Only 20 people can go upstairs each time and the tour last 30 minutes. Children from 7 to 14 need to be accompanied by an adult.
The love story of King George V and Queen Marie
King George V (Georg V. von Hannover), the only son and successor of King Ernst August I von Hannover and grandson of George III of the United Kingdom, was born in 1819, in the city of Berlin. He lost the sight of one eye in the age of 9 and, 5 years later, in the age of 14, became completely blind.
In 1837, when George was 18 years old, his father, then Duke of Cumberland, became King of Hannover, while Princess Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom, after King Willian's death. George became, then, the Crown Prince of Hannover.
When he was 24, in 1843, George married the 25 years old Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg (Marie von Sachsen-Altenburg). And, with the King Ernst's death, in 1851, the couple became King and Queen of Hannover. They were 32 and 33 years old.
The King started building this castle in 1864, as a gift for his beloved wife Queen Marie von Hannover on her 39th birthday, but the couple never used the place. The reason was a war between Prussia and Hannover started in 1866. As a result of the war, King George was forced into exile in Austria, followed by Marie a year later.
George and Marie had three children: Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, Princess Frederica of Hanover and Princess Marie of Hanover. Now, the castle is owned by their great-great-great grandson Ernst August Erbprinz von Hannover.
George V was the last King of Hannover.
Plan you visit
Another fairytale castle in Germany, built in the early 14th century, is The Bückeburg Palace (Schloss Bückeburg). It still is the residence of the Princes of Schaumburg-Lippe and parts of it are open to the public. The building had changes made in the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries. It is surrounded by extensive beautiful gardens and parks, covering more than 80 hectares.
In the palace grounds, there is the largest private mausoleum in the world that still is in use and is also open to the public. The Princely Mausoleum was built in 1915 in Neo-Romanic style and in white color that resembles the Roman Pantheon. The cupola is adorned by an impressive gold mosaic.
Schaumburg-Lippe was created as a county in 1647, until 1807 when it became a principality. In 1871, during the German Empire, it became the smallest state having Bückeburg as the capital and Stadthagen as the only other town. In 1918, Schaumburg-Lippe became a free state and nowadays it is part of the state of Lower Saxony.
The interior of the palace is particularly impressive, exhibiting masterpieces of art and furniture, especially in the Great Banqueting Hall, the Palace Chapel and the Golden Hall. Luckily it's possible to take pictures, without flash.
Another important feature of the palace is the stables and the Princely Riding School. They are more than 400 years old and accommodate noble stallions of baroque horse breeds.
Every year, two big events are organised in the palace: the “Christmas Magic“ and the “Country Outing”, when exclusive exhibitors give it a particular enchanting atmosphere. The palace calendar also includes concerts, exhibitions and conferences. As well, there are many rooms that can be hired for private occasions, like weddings.
Plan you visit
- April to September: 9.30 am – 6.00 pm | last guided tour at 5.00 pm
- October to March: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm | last guided tour at 4.00 pm
- Groups by prior arrangement
Contact: +49 57 225039 or +49 57 955830 | firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.schloss-bueckeburg.de/home-en-us/
You can reach the Bückeburg Castle by car or by train. I believe that by train is easier since the castle is really well connected to the S-Bahn network. Find out how to get there on the map below.
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