Own a Historic Castle in the Picturesque German Countryside
October 31st, 2013 | by The Update
Photos / Sotheby’s International Realty
Own your very own castle just off of the mystical and beautiful Rhine, between Cologne and Frankfurt, Germany. This incredible feat of architecture boasts authentic, period areas dating back 450 years before Columbus discovered America. The oldest tower in the castle was constructed in 1044 during the height of the Medieval era. The history of this unique property beautifully complements its physical appeal – soaring ceilings, impeccable details, and breathtaking views of the valley.
Contrary to the popular mental image of dripping dungeons and gloomy rooms, the residence exudes a surprisingly light and airy atmosphere. Two hundred windows, facing in every direction, flood in golden sunlight throughout the day.
The renowned Octagon (see image above) offers a beautiful meeting space for more than 50 people and was used at one time by Gorbachev and the German government. Further in the residence lies a magnificent chapel with 180-year-old original Roman frescos.
Add in a master suite with all amenities, a gated private driveway, (completely paparazzi proof!), the private pub in the vaulted cellars, a state-of-the-art home cinema, a tennis court, and a helicopter landing pad, this castle offers the height of modern luxury living.
This history-meets-modern retreat rests within a sprawling 32 acres of enchanting grounds, claiming its own, free standing hill and forest, and a priceless 360-degree view for hundred miles.
Best yet, this castle isn’t for billionaires only! Put €5 million down, and you can finance the rest at the historically low interest rate of 1.95 percent. Oh, and did we mention that the castle’s CV includes a long list of internationally renowned VIPs? Yes, it’s pretty much a perfect package.
Burg Rheineck, or the Rheineck Castle, rests on one of the most beautiful hills in the region, overlooking the famous Rhine valley with its lush landscape and beautiful tributaries. As 19th century writer Von Horn observes:
“Rheineck was built and adorned internally in the most beautiful and tasteful manner. Its gardens and grounds make it a really a delightful residence. Anyone passing through this country . . . would say that a castle so situated must command a most beautiful view; but when he stands beside it, and his eye ranges from the peaks of the Eifel . . . he will fain confess that he never anticipated a view so rich and extensive” (W. O. von Horn, The Rhine: History and Legends of Its Castles, Abbeys, Monasteries, and Towns, page 424, 1872).
The inner courtyard is the perfect place for hosting large receptions, glittering parties, exclusive dinners as well as serene afternoons in its idyllic surroundings.
With an almost infinite array of spots, each with its own unique atmosphere and view, there is always one to suit your needs. If you want to impress, take your guests on top of the Old Tower, where an elevated platform allows for a view unparalleled throughout the entire Rhine valley. One the inside, there is the ‘Pinte,’ an ample, pub-like room in the vaulted cellars below the main building. Its cozy ambience makes it ideal for confidential meetings, after-dinner drinks or a casual evening with friends. The large fireplace keeps the ‘Pinte’ warm in winters and the thick walls keep the heat out in the summertime.
The 11th century. That’s where our story with one of Germany’s most illustrious pieces of architecture begins. Burg Rheineck first appeared in historical manuscripts in 1044 AD. The castle’s well-documented chronology overflows with tales of Kings and Queens, Robber Barons and Archbishops, political intrigue, and legend.*1 Through hundreds of years, Kings like Barbarossa and the Knights Templar have endured sieges at Rheineck, celebrated weddings and victories, hidden their captured adversaries in dungeons and tower rooms. Rheineck has been burnt and pillaged repeatedly, witnessed the 30-year-war, when the Swedes captured it in 1632 and the French under the Sun King Louis XIV in 1689. It always has been rebuilt soon after.
In 1827, the Prussian secretary of culture, Moritz August von Bethmann-Hollweg, fell in love with Rheineck and began rebuilding in 1832. He chose the then-famous architect Johann Claudius von Lassaux and the painter Edward von Steinle for the priceless frescos in the chapel. An amazing array of visitors graced Rheineck over the centuries: King Friedrich Wilhelm, even Kaiser Wilhelm, Mikhail Gorbachev, Yehudi Menuhin, John F. Kennedy Jr. and hundreds more spent some time at Rheineck.
Bad Breisig is known for its thermal springs and boasts a large array of hotels and restaurants. It is ideally located on the western bank of the Rhine, just about 30 kilometers south of Bonn, the former German capital, and can easily reached by ship, car, train or even helicopter. The nearest international airports are Köln/Bonn, about 40 minutes away by car, and Frankfurt, about 1 hour and 20 minutes away.
There are several restaurants offering catering and delivery service. At the “Rhein in Flammen” event, hundreds of brightly lit ships cruise down the Rhine. Sketches by William Turner are still at Tate Gallery, the brilliant explorer and scientist Alexander von Humboldt even wrote: “The view from this Tower is the most beautiful of any castle.”
- Alexander Duncker : The rural residences, palaces and residences of knights economic landowners in the Prussian monarchy, together with the royal family, home, and Fideicommiss Schattull-goods. Volume 12 Berlin 1871-73 ( PDF, 220 kB ).
- Carl Bertram Hommen: Rheineck Castle – her picture went around the world. In: History Yearbook Ahrweiler 1984. White, Monschau, ISSN 0342-5827 , pp. 82-87 ( online ).
- Heino Möhring: myths and stories around the castle Rheineck. In: History Yearbook Ahrweiler district in 1992. White, Monschau, ISSN 0342-5827 , pp. 143-147 ( online ).
- Jacob Rausch: Rheineck Castle. In: History Yearbook 1955 for the district of Ahrweiler. Schiffer, Rheinberg, ISSN 0342-5827 , pp. 82-88 ( online ).
- Alexander Thon Stefan Ulrich: “… like a monarch perched in the middle of his Hofstaate.” Castles on the lower middle Rhine. Schnell & Steiner , Regensburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-7954-2210-3 , pp. 132-137.
- In Memory of the Rhine (1840), by J.J. Tanner
- Bodmer Castle Rheineck
- Burg Rheineck Reuterslei
- Burg Rheineck collection Duncker, By Alexander Duncker
- Schloss Burg Rheineck Arenfels
- Castle Rheineck
- Castle Rheineck 1847
- Tombleson Rheineck
*1: For more on the legends of Burg Rheineck, see The Rhine: Legends, traditions, history, from Cologne to Mainz (1839), by Joseph Snowe.
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is Dallas’ luxury real estate leader, with more than 200 agents in five offices located throughout Dallas-Fort Worth and access to the global Sotheby’s network, including more than 11,000 agents in more than 650 offices worldwide. CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information on escapes and second homes, ranch and land, and luxury homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and beyond, go to briggsfreeman.com.