Lowenburg Castle or “Lion’s Castle” may look like a medieval castle, but it was built between 1793 and 1801. Located within Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, this ornate castle has been undergoing restoration to regain its lost glory.
Lowenburg Castle restoration work
During World War II, the castle was severely damaged, and its keep suffered the brunt of the blow. Since then, the court slowly lost the appeal of its baroque and rococo architecture.
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But in 2005, Lowenburg Castle renovation efforts began. It’s a large-scale restoration process aimed at reviving the creativity of Landgrave Wilhelm IX — the castle’s creator. Wilhelm built the court as an imitation of medieval knights’ castles.
Renovation works involve repairing the derelict tuff stone, restoring the keep, and conserving ruined existing structures. Lowenburg Castle restoration also involves refurbishing the castle rooms with their original fittings and furniture. Though the castle was destroyed, the furniture, paintings, and fittings were miraculously saved.
The first renovation of this castle in Kassel was done from 1968 to 1974. Then, however, Lowenburg Castle was renovated from the outside, but the inside was turned into a museum. Today, the castle still has a museum with a Graphic Art Collection and a Gallery of Old Masters.
Attractions at Lowenburg Castle
Landgrave Wilhelm IX built the castle not as a fortress, but as a Maison de Plaisance. First, it served as his country house. Secondly, he created it to represent the heritage and status of the House of Hesse — which had ruled since the Middle Ages.
The castle’s surroundings were also laid out to imitate the medieval theme. Landgrave adapted a vineyard, a tiltyard, a menagerie, and a medieval garden. In the original plan, there was to be a monumental fountain at the bottom of the structure. It would have been a fantastic addition to the existing romantic water features, but it was never built.
The castle grounds include several walkways dotted with hemmed hedges, statues, and fountains. The picturesque grounds around the castle are perfect for couples and families as you walk through the arched greenery.
The interior is equally breathtaking, with its princely rooms, a Neo-Gothic chapel, and an armory. More interestingly, Landgrave’s final resting place is in a crypt under the chapel. Visitors can also appreciate the creator’s collection in the ornate apartments. They include paintings, medieval glass windows, historical furniture, and an extensive collection of weapons.
Things to know before you visit Lowenburg Castle
At the moment, a visit inside Lowenburg Castle is guided only. It also has its opening schedule/hours, so you should inquire about the opening hours to ensure the places you want to visit are open.
Apart from the magnificent castle, Bergpark Wilhemshohe is renowned for its unique cultural landscape. The park distinguishes itself with its unique history, unique water features, the Hercules monument, Lowenburg Castle, and Wilhelmshohe Palace.
From the Great Fountain to the artificial rock formation of the Grand Cascade, the creators conquered nature in artful and technologically-advanced ways. Parking is free near the Hercules Statue, and you can also get there via public transport. The park is also pet-friendly, and its trails are great for hiking.
Lowenburg Castle may be one of the jewels in the crown, but the entire Kassel’s Bergpark Wilhelmshohe is a marvel of its kind. Bergpark is one of the few places where you can appreciate history, feats of technology, art, and a remarkable landscape.
Lowenburg Castle transformation: Inspiring conservation
Fairytale home transformations can change many abandoned castles and preserve the world’s wealth. The success of the Lowenburg Castle reconstruction is a true testament to will and patience. It is among the few successful renovations that have taken place in the past few years.