More than 800 years

History you can touch

Situated at the foot of the Vogelsberg, on the edge of Büdingen's picturesque old town, the castle was built as a moated castle during the reign of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and has been inhabited by the family of the Princes of Ysenburg and Büdingen since 1258. You are cordially invited to enjoy the special atmosphere of this old estate with its rich history.

The many reminders of times gone by - be it the rediscovered frescoes, the Gothic chapel with its unique choir stalls or the many medieval exhibits give you an insight into courtly life at Büdingen Castle.

Discover the premisesof Büdingen Castle

Guided tours*
Monday - Sunday/Public holidays
By appointment only
*Guided tours only from 5 adults
€ 8,50
Children from 3 years
€ 6,50
Pupils & students (aged 14 and over)
Senior citizens, severely disabled persons with ID* 
€ 7,50
* one accompanying person is free for guests with a B license
The rooms of the Romanesque palace
The Staufer residential building originally contained two halls with flat beamed ceilings on the main floor. The western one, which had a fireplace from the beginning, was later divided into two rooms, which were given ribbed vaulted ceilings in the 15th century. Around the middle of the 16th century, Count Anton had the walls and ceilings decorated with a wealth of paintings. However, the rooms also had colorful decorations before this, as the left room, which is already referred to as the "Painted Room" in old inventories, contains remnants of Gothic painting.

The heraldic symbols of both families, beams and chevrons, were arranged in a checkerboard pattern to form a coat of arms wallpaper, probably to mark a marriage between the houses of Ysenburg and Hanau in 1332. Similarly, a rare early example of a genealogy of coats of arms appears on the north wall.

The fields of the vaulted ceiling, on the other hand, show prophets and evangelist figures that were added in 1546. A particularly graceful example of Büdingen Renaissance art is an allegorical depiction of the different types of music. The designs were probably created by the Mainz artist Hans Abel, the execution by the Büdingen painter Caspar Wallrab.

These paintings had their own fate. They were painted over again soon after they were created, but for the most part they have been excellently preserved. They survived the centuries until 1941, when the colorful traces were rediscovered and then gradually uncovered and restored in the post-war years.

The room decoration continues in the other two rooms. In the entrance room, we are confronted by the legendary hero Hercules fighting the Hydra, who is joined by the hero Samson from the Old Testament. The sequence of paintings in the last room of the palace is inconsistent and fantastic, including the oldest view of the castle itself. From the bright bay window, which Count Wolfgang-Ernst had added in 1610, there is a charming view of the picturesque castle courtyard.
The loving alchemist's kitchen
The room now known as the alchemist's kitchen was used by an apothecary for the court until 1739. Recipes were mixed here, and an open fireplace from 1552 provided the necessary heat for distilling healing essences. In ancient times, Büdingen was famous for its petrified stones, which were said to have great healing properties, the toad stones, "so externally and internally they drive away poison", as the chronicle of 1747 states.

Later, the scientific curiosity of a count, combined with the joy of playful experimentation, led to the creation of a natural science cabinet here. This is why there are numerous chemical and physical instruments from the 18th century - such as electrification apparatus, ignition machines, piston air pumps and microscopes. The niche in the wall on the park side became the space for a "secret chamber", a storage bay over the moat. The strange round window, a so-called "oculus", was a light opening to the old castle chapel.
The rooms of the castle chapel
Between 1495 and 1499, Count Ludwig II and his son Philipp had a new late Gothic building erected over the Romanesque castle chapel, which is one of the most beautiful sacred spaces in German castles. The master builder used the irregular floor plan caused by the defensive wall to create a highly harmonious spatial image. The angled battlements have been transformed into a gallery decorated with sculpted work, while an arch separates the raised choir from the nave, the rear part of which serves as a gallery. The room is spanned by a delicate net and star vault, which has been restored to its original splendor since the careful restoration of 1957. Clay shields at the intersections of the vault ribs show the coats of arms of the builders' ancestors in a kind of "ancestral rehearsal".

The oak choir stalls, which give the chapel the character of a precious shrine, have been preserved as a highlight of the furnishings. In its carving, we encounter the pious and at the same time bizarre imagery of the late Middle Ages, in which depictions of saints alternate with twisted animal bodies, symbols of demonic forces, while the realistic human image of the Renaissance can already be seen in the portraits on the balustrades. Two Worms carvers created the work over a two-year period from 1497, as the receipt still preserved in the archive shows.

The chapel survived the upheaval of the Reformation almost unscathed, only the shrine altar has disappeared. The sandstone pulpit for preaching and proclaiming scripture was erected in the Reformed spirit in 1610, a mature work by stonemason Conrad Büttner. An old gravestone in the choir screen comes from the Ysenburg house monastery in Marienborn. Old sacral sculptures, remnants of early stained glass and a number of regimental and wedding flags complete the picture. The atmospheric room is still used today by the princely family as a house chapel.
The rooms of the Gothic hall building
ARMUT VND YBERFLUSS GIBT ZEITLICH BETRÜBNIScan be read above a door in Count Diether's parlor, and the initial letters reflect the name and title of the man who adopted this motto: Anton von Ysenburg Count of Büdingen. The two late Gothic rooms in the basement of the "Saalbau" have magnificent vaulted ceilings, the weight of which is concentrated in an octagonal central column. In the Graf Diether Stube, the eye is also captivated by a large-format mural, a depiction of a winter hunt in front of the backdrop of a snow-covered village, dated 1553 and reminiscent of a motif by Breughel.
The adjoining large Hofstube has direct access to the castle kitchen and has therefore always served as a festive dining room. The wall hangings, painted after engravings by Riedinger with lively hunting scenes, which originate from a Ysenburg hunting lodge, are particularly noteworthy. Both rooms, which are used privately by the princely family, convey an impression of aristocratic living culture with their high-quality furnishings.

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