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Karte - Euskirchen

Castles in the District of Euskirchen

In the cultural landscape of the Eifel there are over 130 country seats of aristocratic families. Nowhere else in Europe are there so many such castles to be found, which simultaneously show an enormous range and variety of castle construction, seen technically, formally and artistically.

The almost 1000-year history of the region imparts extensive knowledge to the observer about living conditions in the past. A third of the aristocratic domiciles have not survived the course of time and are partly, or even totally destroyed.

For the most part, those castles which have been preserved are in more or less good structural condition. However, only some of the privately-owned castles merit a sight-seeing visit. On the following pages you will find a selection of castles.

Bad Münstereifel Castle

The Bad Münstereifel Castle was built in the 13th century as a four-towered regular construction, but was destroyed by French troops in 1689. It has been private property since 1984.

Today only parts of the Burgbering remain, including one gate on the south side. It is used for private apartments and as a restaurant. The castle wall with its numerous gate-towers, begun in the 13th century, is a popular destination for sight-seeing.

Arloff castle, Bad Münstereifel-Arloff

Arloff Castle originated in the 13th century as a farmstead surrounded by a moat, which was enlarged in the 15th century to become a castle with a four-storey tower. This tower, along with the residential house built onto it in 1699, still stands preserved. Today the castle and estate are used for farming again.

Kirspenich Castle, Bad Münstereifel-Kirspenich

The village of Kirspenich has a Celtic-Roman origin, as can be seen from its name, but it first appeared in records in 893 A.D. in the property register of Prüm Abbey.

The castle's square residence tower, made of rough stone, dates back to Gerlach von Dollendorf, who owned Kirspenich in 1278. In the 14th century the castle tower, which is mentioned in official records in 1301, was raised by two storeys. Despite further extensions and improvements during the 16th century Kirspenich never became the country seat of knights. In the 18th century the estate belonged to the Baron von Friemersdorf, who had the baroque residence, resembling a maison de plaisance and comprising 16th century parts, built against the tower.

At the beginning of the 20th century the castle functioned as a restaurant, which was extended to include further outbuildings and a large dance-hall. In the 90's the estate was fundamentally and thoroughly restored after decades of neglect.

Blankenheim castle

Blankenheim castle was built in the early 13th century on a narrow mountain ridge. In the 15th / 16th centuries alterations were carried out to convert it into a high palace. Soon after 1800 the castle was sold for demolition. In 1927 the ruins of the main castle were converted into a gymnastics college, then into a youth hostel. The castle house at the entrance is a vestige of the lower castle.

The gatehouse and the round battery tower date back to the 17th century. The former attorney's chambers with attic roof were built in 1787.

Kronenburg Castle, Dahlem-Kronenburg

The ruins of the Kronenburg and the almost completely preserved Burgbering from the 13th century still leave their mark on the village today. In the 18th and 19th century the castle fell into disrepair. Of the main building only two semi-circular towers of the north gate and the ruins of the keep can be seen. The dimensions of the original grounds are recognizable from the the remains of the surrounding wall and of a semi-circular Bastion. There are also remains of the working quarters in the courtyard, situated further down.

Next to the Bergbering the well-preserved and restored half-timbered houses are worth visiting. The greatest attraction for sight-seers is the late-gothic parish church of St.John, with its interior. It was built around 1500, included in the wall surrounding the castle. As there is only one buttress in the middle to hold up the fine vault, it is called a single support church.

Schmidtheim Castle, Dahlem-Schmidtheim

The four-storey residence tower, preserved until today, shows the original building from the 16th to the 18th centuries, which was probably erected on top of a Roman farm. Next to the tower the fore-castle was enlarged to include a work-yard, two wings and a well with a four-part basin in the courtyard. The moats of the once two-part castle have been filled in over the years.

Flamersheim Castle, Euskirchen-Flamersheim

Flamersheim castle has the appearance of a baroque castle. Over many centuries it was extended to the present complex of buildings. Its origins date back to the 9th century. King Ludwig of the Germans christened his castle "villa regia nomine Flamersheim" in 870, so that it was mentioned in records long ago.

Until the 16th century the castle was preserved on its original ground-plan, which is unrecognizable today. In the 17th century the castle was converted into a baroque country palace by the Quandt von Landskron family, who had acquired the castle through the Palandt.

After the Quandt family, the castle was privately owned for a long time. The son of an Elberfeld industrialist's widow was ennobled in 1884; his descendants are still the owners of the castle today.

Großbüllesheim Castle, Euskirchen-Großbüllesheim

The castle was first mentioned in records in 1402, in the fiefdom of the Duke of Jülich, enfeoffed to Reymer Spies von Büllesheim, whose descendants still flourish today as the Barons Spies von Büllesheim. Büllesheim castle was originally built in two parts next to a weir, as a knight's country seat. Of this only the gate-tower of the residential house remains, built onto the fore-castle. The fore-castle itself has undergone no major changes in 350 years, apart from minor renovation work. The buildings of the main castle preserved till today date back to the 17th century and underwent major transformations in the 19th century, so that now Büllesheim castle is no longer recognizable as the main castle. The moat is no longer visible, either, as it dried out and was filled in with sand and earth.

The castle was in the fiefdom of the Duke of Jülich until 1802, when the last Duke of Jülich, Ludwig von Brempt, died. From then on, it was no longer the country seat and rapidly fell into disrepair. Today only the three-winged fore-castle has been preserved. In 1867 the estate was bought by the Nettekoven family, who divided the land and farm and constructed a second residential house in 1886, so that now there are two distinct farms, separated by a wall.

Kleinbüllesheim Castle, Euskirchen-Kleinbüllesheim

The original foundations of the castle date back to circa 900 A.D. and were discovered in 1942 south of the present castle, during excavation work in the Second World War. The present castle was built with a protective moat. The two-storey brick building with rounded corners and attic-roof appears to visitors as a massive edifice. This impression is reinforced by the huge entrance gate, dating back to the 16th century, and by the square ground plan. The corner towers and the outside walls of the original fore-castle have been preserved from the 14th century. The moat has dried out and is only partly recognizable. The castle is privately owned and used for farming.

In 1042 one of the last Earls of Tomburg signed Kleinbüllesheim over to the cathedral chapter of Cologne. In 1728 Johann Conrad Schlaun built the manor house next to the late-gothic fore-castle, in place of the medieval moated castle for the elected Chamberlain of Cologne, Adam von Bourscheidt. Over the years there were continual changes of owner, the castle was passed from one aristocratic family to the next, but then it belonged to Earl Wolff von Metternich zur Gracht, who was registered as owner in 1850. Earl Paul Wolff von Metternich has been renovating the castle for years.

Kessenicher Castle, Euskirchen-Kessenich

The two-part castle on the Erft river, which fed its moat, was first mentioned in records of the early 14th century. In 1339 the castle was registered in the fiefdom of the Margrave of Jülich. In the centuries up to 1828 the castle only belonged to the Jülich aristocracy for a short time. The Lords of Binsfeld owned and lived in the castle until 1604, when ownership was transferred via marriage to the aristocrat Waldbott von Bassenheim. In 1828 it passed into bourgeois hands and has been privately owned since 1884. Even today the essential features of the original two-part castle can be recognized, although the ditch between the fore-castle and manor house was filled in during the 19th century. The castle entrance is through the gatehouse, built in 1562, which still bears the coat-of-arms of the von Binsfeld family.

Today the original manor house has two wings with a round corner tower. It now appears to be a romantic country house, while the old foundations for further living quarters and towers are still preserved.

Niederkastenholz Castle, Euskirchen-Niederkastenholz

Niederkastenholz castle is surrounded by a moat, with an angular main castle and a separate horse-shoe shaped fore-castle with working quarters. It used to belong to Kornelimünster Abbey. The rough stone buildings of the castle are complemented by the wrought-iron gate. The fortified tower dates back to the 12th century and is the oldest part of the castle.

The so-called "Probstei" was added onto the medieval main castle between 1752 and 1756. Part of the moat is still visible today, although most of it was filled in during the 19th century.

Ringsheim Castle, Euskirchen-Schweinhheim

Ringsheim castle is a very extensive castle which, unusually, stands alone in open fields. Situated between the boundary forest of Flamersheim and the crown road, it was fiercely fought over due to its strategic position. The village originally belonging to the castle was destroyed in the 17th century. Today Ringsheim is an extensive castle with a manor house, an inner fore-castle with working quarters and the area of the large outer fore-castle with a well preserved ditch around it, in which the church ruins stand. Merely ruins of the outer fore-castle have been preserved. Most of the main building remains as an impressive 17th century castle.

In the 13th century Ringsheim was enfeoffed by Cologne to the eminent landowners of Ringsheim, who possessed large tracts of land in the locality. Because of excessive debts the entire estate was sold in 1455 to Johann Hurth von Schoeneck. When the von Schoeneck family died out in 1615, the castle reverted to the Archbishop until 1635, when it was enfeoffed to the Chief Constable Johann, Baron von Beck. In 1656 his son sold the entire estate to Philipp von der Vorst-Lombeck. In 1713, after a long legal process, the castle was returned to the heirs of the original owner Hurth von Schoeneck, the Barons von Harff zu Dreiborn and Ringsheim. After these frequent changes of owner, Ringsheim remained the family property of the Barons von Dalwigk for about 200 years and was inherited in 1900 by Wennemar von Schaffhausen.

Hardtburg Castle, Euskirchen-Stotzheim

This castle, situated 245 metres above sea-level in the Hardtwald forest, is a very unusual castle, compared with other castles and farms. It was founded in the 11th century, which makes it one of the oldest local buildings. The two-part castle is surrounded on all sides by a moat and is situated at some distance from the nearest town. At the centre of the main castle is a hill excavated from the side of the valley, on which a square stone tower has always stood.

Today it retains the character of a medieval moated castle, as it has not been altered since its completion in the 14th century. Originally it belonged to the Earl of Are-Hochstaden; after his decease his last descendant, Earl Konrad von Hochstaden, Archbishop of Cologne, inherited the estate. Since the 17th it has progressively fallen into disrepair, due to lack of maintenance. Towards the end of the 18th century ownership was transferred to the Finance Ministry of France; around 1815 the State of Prussia established a forestry office here.

Today it belongs to the State of  North Rhine/Westphalia and serves as the residence of the Hardtwald Forester.

Kleeburg Castle, Euskirchen-Weidesheim

Kleeburg castle in Weidesheim is a jewel among the Erft castles, with its red-and-yellow window-shutters. This two-part castle, surrounded by a moat, has a large fortified fore-castle and massive brick towers. Visitors are only able to see the fore-castle. One can only gain entrance over a little drawbridge. Today the main castle is small but unique. After a fire in 1938 the rooms of the upper storey were rebuilt according to the original design.

Veynau Castle, Euskirchen-Wißkirchen

Veynau castle stands in the middle of the Veybach valley, built in 1340 to close the ring of castles around Euskirchen, and thus belonged to the Jülich castle-belt. This is a very extensive complex of buildings, comprising a main castle with Palas and two corner towers, as well as an inner fore-castle with two round towers and a very large outer fore-castle.

The castle is characterized by frequent conversions, but its original features are recognizable, so that the interesting details from the 14th century are still visible.

Dietrich Schinnenmann von Aldenhoven obtained the newly built castle in 1340 as a fiefdom of the Margrave of Jülich and reinforced it to become the strongest fort in this area. During its long history, the castle stood up to several wars, was often damaged, but always rebuilt and restored. The castle belonged to the Margrave of Jülich until 1722.

After the end of the duchy of Jülich there were continual changes of owner, until finally in 1843 the Duke von Aremberg acquired the entire estate. Today the main castle is owned by Prof. Harald, Baron von Elmendorff, who has extensively restored the castle with the aid of the State of North Rhine/Westphalia.

Reifferscheid Castle, Hellenthal-Reifferscheid

In summer 1991 the village of Reifferscheid, with its castle on the hill, was awarded the gold medal in the state competition "Our village shall become more beautiful". At the national level of the competition, the village won the silver medal.

At first the castle was surrounded by a ring-wall, with its entrance through the rough-stone Matthias Gate, built in the 14th century. The buildings inside the outer ward were extended, after being destroyed several times, to the ring-wall. The three-nave gothic church (1489/91) is also included within the fortification. From the outer ward, one proceeds to the late gothic fore-castle. The ruins of the high castle are flanked by corner towers and the massive round keep. Inside the castle ruins, one can see the two-aisle Palas cellar, with its cross-vaulting, and the remains of the castle chapel. The history of the castle is characterized by a continual alternation of destruction and reconstruction. On the first occasion, in 1106 the castle was set on fire by Duke Heinrich, who did not want it to fall into the hands of his enemy. In 1669 substantial parts of the castle, the gate and the church were destroyed by a fire disaster. Afterwards the building was reconstructed as a baroque castle, before French troops seriously damaged it again. Under Earl Franz-Wilhelm the castle was rebuilt, whereby residents of the Reifferscheid parish were allowed to build their houses on, or onto the destroyed parts of the castle wall. Many half-timbered houses, built then and since, characterize the image of the village today, east of the small gate.

Wildenburg Castle, Hellenthal-Wildenburg

This medieval knight's castle, circa 800 years old, stands on a narrow mountain ridge, which falls away steeply on all sides. Originally the castle and the village of Wildenburg were separated by a ditch and drawbridge. Today the ditch has been filled in and the drawbridge has disappeared. The castle itself comprises a main and forecastle. The most striking parts of the castle are undoubtedly the towers: the tall tower over the hall, the tower above the gate in the forecastle and the large square tower. The identification of the above towers is difficult, because all the towers visible today are round. The large fortified tower at the southwest corner was probably square at first, but was then reinforced against cannon-fire and rounded off. The so-called tall tower over the hall is today called the Johannisburg. It was bought by Steinfeld Abbey in 1715 and the old inner Palas was converted into a church, in which many wooden sculptures from various centuries are on display. The former staircase-tower became a bell-tower, around which are the gatekeeper's house, the witches' tower and the half-timbered houses of the village.

Wildenburg Castle
Wildenburg 10
Hellenthal-Wildenburg

Berg Castle, Mechernich-Berg

The present estate comprises a free-standing castle with a tower, built in the 15th century, and used to have a fore-castle facing north-east. The castle and moat originated in the 12th century and served as a refuge and defence against raids by the Normans and others. During the 14th century it became the country seat of the von Berg family, under whose direction it blossomed into a knight's castle. During the 18th century the castle became the property of Clemens August, Baron von Syberg zu Eicks, and has been a leased farm ever since.

Eicks Castle, Mechernich-Eicks

Eicks Castle lies in the deep ravine of Bruchbach, virtually undisturbed by centuries in its romantic atmosphere. At first sight it appears to be a dream palace, which has always been a familiar stately home. The buildings comprise a two-part castle with moat, part of which has remained since medieval times. The fore-castle is a spacious three-wing building with two corner towers, built in 1680. The manor house is an oblique-angled rectangular building, framed by two protruding corner towers. In the cellar evidence of the original castle can be found.

Today Eicks Castle has the appearance of a baroque castle, which came after the original manor farm in the early 14th century. Like all the other castles, Eicks Castle often saw changes of ownership, although unlike most of them it was never disposed of.

During its long history, the castle only changed hands as a result of marriage or inheritance. In the early 17th century Eicks Castle was the property of an aristocratic family called Syberg. Franziska von Syberg, last of the house of Syberg, gave the estate to her nephew, Wilhelm, Baron von Hövel, in the 18th century. Today the castle is still owned by the von Hövels.

Kommern Castle, Mechernich-Kommern

The interlocking complex of buildings is concealed behind a lavish symmetrical wooden facade and the entire estate is surrounded by a magnificent park with rare trees.

The oldest part is the residential tower on the slope of the valley. It probably dates back to the 13th century. From the 13th century Kommern Castle was the property of the Arenberg family, who were elevated to dukes in the 17th century. The castle was never used as country seat, but was merely an administration building, as the Arenbergs' wealth was founded on mining. During the 18th century the castle's owner changed after the French invaded. They leased it to the Abels family, who acquired it in 1807.

Since 1927 the castle has been privately owned, extensively restored and leased to an extended family.

Satzvey Castle, Mechernich-Satzvey

Satzvey Castle represents an especially beautiful example of a romantic castle. It originated in the 14th century. At that time a main and a fore-castle were situated on separate islands. Behind the wide expanse of water, today one can see the richly structured manor house, with its tower and the gate-house from the 15th century.

On the present estate of Satzvey Castle a variety of events are held, for example the jousting tournaments with medieval markets, witches' festivals, children's theatre programs and the historical castle Christmas, including traditional Christmas market. Moreover, in private rooms banquets are arranged for parties of between 40 and 500 guests.

Wachendorf Castle, Mechernich-Wachendorf

Wachendorf Palace is one of the few aristocratic country seats which deserves its title of palace. Today it lies at an easy distance from the village of the same name, on the fringe of a large park, reaching out through an impressive avenue into the countryside. The remains of the moat and the cannon bastion are evidence of an unsettled and uncomfortable past. Wachendorf Castle was also first used as a knight's castle.

It was first mentioned in records in 1190 as country seat of the aristocrat Vogt, when the property was church-owned. During the early 16th century ownership was transferred by marriage to Johann von Palandt, who was one of the most important of the Jülich knights. In 1628 Marsilius III von Palandt held the infamous witch trials here, although he was not authorized to do so.

None the less, 16 people lost their lives as a result. In 1780 it was acquired by Bavarian Major-General Adolph, Baron von Ritz, who had the gothic castle demolished, to be replaced by a small baroque palace. In 1877 through the Landrat of Euskirchen it passed into the hands of Baron Solemacher-Antweiler, who converted the small property into the present large pala. In 1896 his son sold it to Dr. Paul von Mallinckrodt.

Zievel Castle, Mechernich

When one sees Zievel Castle today, it is exactly as one would imagine a medieval knight's castle to look like. Unlike other local castles, the village of Zievel is not connected to the castle which protected it. The staff who served the noble families usually lived nearby, but here the castle stands in the middle of the landscape.

Zievel Castle is not only much older than other local stately homes and was not only a fiefdom, but also the country seat of high nobility. The very extensive estate used to be surrounded by a moat and separated into a fore-castle and main castle. The ground plan of the castle conforms to the construction carried out by the knight Schmeich von Lissingen.

Some alterations to the building were made during the 15th century, for instance the construction of the twin-tower gate. In 1825 the manor house, dating back to the 15th century, was replaced by the present baroque-style house. The castle was first mentioned in records in 1107, when it was the free property of the Earl of Limburg. In 1377, through the aristocrats von Daun, the Zievel estate, together with the villages of Lessenich and Rissdorf, passed into the hands of the knight Schmeich von Lissingen, who built the castle which is recognizable today. The 15th century saw a new change of owner, when the castle became the main residence of Baron Metternich from Metternich. When that lineage died out in the mid-17th century, the heirs divided the estate and erected a second manor house in 1661. In 1766 the castle was leased to the Krewel family, who then bought the property in 1820 and remain the owners today.

Schleiden Castle

Of the rectangular buildings with free-standing keep, built in the 12th century, only the remains of the east and south wings of what used to be an important castle are preserved. The alterations carried out in the 18th century, following diverse war damage, resulted in the palatial building as it can be seen today. During the Second World War the castle was seriously damaged, but was reconstructed in 1952. This construction work was carried out in a simple reduced form; only on the valley side does the castle resemble its former image. Schleiden castle today is merely the remains of what used to be a much more extensive castle complex of several buildings. Schleiden castle was scheduled to be converted into a senior citizens' home by the end of 2000. Further information can be obtained on the Homepage der Stadt Schleiden.

Schleiden Castle
Vorburg 9
53937 Schleiden

Dreiborn Castle, Schleiden-Dreiborn

Dreiborn castle, built around 1300, is situated outside the village of the same name. At approx. 540 metres above sea-level, it is the highest castle in the Rhineland. Originally it was protected by a double moat. A part of the surrounding wall, the round corner tower, the work-yard and manor house date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

Vogelsang Castle, Schleiden

Vogelsang is an Ordensburg, which used to signify a castle built by a religious order, but it was constructed between 1934 and 1936.

With its 50 meter-high tower, the castle can be seen from miles around. This building was one of the few educational institutions created for national-socialist offspring. The task of the three Ordensburgs in national-socialist Germany was to scientifically support the Weltanschauung of the time and to inculcate the "genuine German character" in pupils.

400 to 800 pupils were educated at Vogelsang castle until 1939. At the outbreak of the Second World War they were moved to Sonthofen Ordensburg. Thereafter the airport was utilized by air-force units; in 1940 Vogelsang was the deployment zone for the German army in the western offensive - the following year it stood empty.

Until 1944 Vogelsang housed the Adolf Hitler School; at the end of 1944 it was again used as a troop deployment centre. In 1945 Vogelsang castle became a temporary field-hospital till July, when it was surrended without a fight to the Allies. On 1st April 1950 Vogelsang castle was taken over by the Belgian military and is still used as a military training area. Today Vogelsang Castle is part of the Eifel National Park.

Kühlseggen Castle, Weilerswist

Kuehlseggen Castle is a remarkable exception to the rule: after a century of standing unoccupied and neglected, it was renovated and became the residence of its owner. Today the complex of buildings is based on the castle and moat of the middle ages. The remains of the gothic manor house can be recognized in the contemporary residential house. The working yard outside was not constructed until the 19th century, after the moat of the fore-castle had been filled in.

Since its last renovation the baroque manor house, based on its medieval predecessor, presents a fascinating image of a hybrid castle. Until the late 14th century the owners of Kuehlseggen Castle changed frequently. During the course of the 15th century it attained the status of knight's castle. Up till 1836 the estate changed hand often and declined visibly. In 1836 the daughter of Baron von Zuydwyck inherited the estate and the castle continued to decay, uninhabited, until 1964. Robin, Baron von Eltz-Ruebenach has since restored the entire castle.

Bodenheim Castle, Weilerswist-Bodenheim

The castle at Bodenheim is the only preserved family seat of the former Brabant landowners of Lommersum, which was still a fiefdom in the late 18th century. On the estate there is clear evidence of the original medieval two-part castle with a moat. The picturesque manor house, with its many corners and angles, stands on an artificial mound and the moat has been dry for decades.

The oldest preserved part is the west wing, with its corner tower and stair-tower in the courtyard. The castle was first mentioned in records in 1194 when the first aristocratic lineage was named. The heirs of this lineage were at first the Brents von Vernich and finally von Tomberg, who also built the largest part of the castle as it is known today. 1625 the estate was transferred by marriage to the family von Hersel, who lived in the castle for almost 200 years. In 1845 Earl Edmund von Hatzfeld-Weisweiler sold the castle to the Duke of Aremberg, who leased it to the Kieselstein family. In 1934 the family acquired the castle and still live in it today.

Kleinvernich & Großvernich Castles, Weilerswist-Kleinvernich & Großvernich

 

These two castles have guarded the eastern and western banks of the river Erft since 1350. The two-part Grossvernich Castle, known as a "castrum" with a moat, was built after 1300 near the surrounding wall, which today is hardly discernible.

Kleinvernich Castle is still entirely surrounded by a moat today. However, the estate is used exclusively for agriculture. The only memorial to the late-gothic castle in Grossvernich is the ruin of a tower which is in danger of collapse.

Zülpich Castle

The castle dates back to the 14th / 15th centuries and is integrated in the town wall. However, construction had been begun in 1278 by Archbishop Siegfried von Westerburg. In 1689 the rectangular gothic fortification, with thick outside walls and round towers at the corners, was set on fire by the French. From 1847 a brand distillery was located in the castle. During the Second World War the castle was seriously damaged and was reconstructed on a simple scale.

Juntersdorf Castle, Zülpich-Juntersdorf

In the 14th / 15th centuries the formerly two-part gothic castle was built on an incline and protected by a moat. The fore-castle was connected to the manor house, after it had been reconstructed following a fire in the 19th century, so that the buildings almost form a closed complex. Parts of the manor house date back to the 17th century.

Langendorf Castle, Zülpich-Langendorf

This once two-part castle was built in the 12th and 13th centuries as main and fore-castle surrounded by a moat. The round corner-tower of the late-gothic manor house dates back to the 15th century, as does the oldest part of the manor house. The more recent part of the manor house includes the chapel bay window and the courtrooms. The fore-castle with three wings was renovated in the 16th century, of which only the west wing has been preserved until today.

Today Langendorf castle is one of the best preserved and maintained moated castles in the Rhineland. Regular concerts are held there, entitled "Concert in the Outbuilding" for up-and-coming young artists.

Lauvenburg Castle, Zülpich-Nemmenich

Lauvenburg castle is a typical medieval castle, surrounded by water and in very good condition. The castle is situated on the outskirts of the village and appears very romantic with its old stock of trees. The moats of the two-part castle are still fed via the medieval mill-race, which was diverted from the Rotbach stream.

The fore-castle was reconstructed in new-gothic style after a fire in 1868. Behind a yard with a walled manure heap, flanked by farm-buildings, the main castle building stands in late-gothic style. The wooden gallery in the inside of the yard and the remains of high fortified walls at the front of the yard bear witness to violence in the past. In 1408 the castle was first recorded, as fiefdom and open-house of the Duke of Jülich, whose feudal vassals used it as a base for their livelihood as robber-barons. Although it was mostly owned by Cologne families, it appeared in 1603 on a list of knights' country seats.

It was reconstructed as a country residence in the 17th century by Privy Councillor Johann Heinrich Cramer von Clauspruch of the Palatinate. In 1760 it was sold to the French Couunt Latour, who was dispossessed by the French Revolution.

The castle has been privately owned until today.

House Busch, Zülpich-Niederelvenich

Haus Busch was built in early medieval times, although the exact date is unknown. Today it is still unfinished, as planned reconstruction in the 18th century was not completed. The entire house is rectangular and encloses a large courtyard. The first owner, as far as can be ascertained, was the land-owner Beissel von Gymnich. In the 15th century ownership was transferred via marriage to Michael von dem Bongart. At the end of the 17th century the building was acquired by the von Groote family, who also planned the grandiose reconstruction which was never completed. In the mid-19th century Haus Busch was sold to a wealthy individual, whose descendants are the present owners.

Bollheim Castle, Zülpich-Oberelvenich

Essentially, the buildings used today for farming, which are derived from the working quarters dating back to the 18th century, are all that have been preserved of the castle. Visitors are denied a view of the grand castle which pre-dated these buildings. The castle provides a prime example of the development of the Rhenish nobility, for initially only the local aristocrats were named. In the course of history these simple established landowners blossomed into knights and rulers. Today the former castle is privately owned and resembles a large farm. It is used by its owner for agriculturet.




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