Großes Schloss Blankenburg

Blankenburg Castle

the largest Guelph castle still preserved – is the landmark of the town of Blankenburg with a history of over 900 years.

A castle, on a mountain, in the Harz mountains, far away from the metropolises of our time.

Here, on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains, in the stately Blankenburg Castle, European history was written, great rulers went in and out.

The castle is already the fourth building on this site, originating from medieval castle remains from the 11th century and castle buildings from the Renaissance period.

The castle and palace experienced a changeful history, which is closely connected with the Duchy of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel and the most important ruling houses of Europe. Peaceful as well as warlike times left their traces, as did the changing rulers.

In 1705-31, Duke Ludwig Rudolf von Braunschweig expanded the four-winged Renaissance palace into a Baroque residence and held court in splendor. He had succeeded in marrying his daughters into the circles of the European high nobility: Elisabeth Christine became the wife of Emperor Charles VI and mother of Maria Theresa of Austria; her sister Charlotte Christine was married to Alexei of Russia, the son of Tsar Peter the Great.

The short but brilliant Baroque era in Blankenburg ended when the residence was moved back to Wolfenbüttel.

Afterwards, the palace stood mostly empty until Duke Wilhelm (1806-84) started the renovation. The 275 small chambers became 150 large ones, and the Redoutensaal became a theater.

From 1914, Duke Ernst August of Hanover and Viktoria Luise Princess of Prussia inhabited Blankenburg Castle. Their daughter Friederike became Queen of Greece – her granddaughter is Sophia and was the Queen of Spain. Thus the circle is closed.

The baroque architecture has been largely preserved to this day. Other uses led to changes within the rooms in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Years of vacancy of the buildings after liquidation, the “Fachschule für Binnenhandel” (technical school for domestic trade) of the Konsumgenossenschaft (consumer cooperative), which was located there until 1991, led to considerable and sometimes extreme damage in and to the castle ensemble.

Since 2005, the association Rettung Schloss Blankenburg e. V. has been trying to stop the decay and to bring about the restoration and sustainable use of the castle complex. Since the end of 2008, the non-profit Großes Schloss Blankenburg GmbH has been the owner of the castle.

The castle is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 – 16:00. Guided tours of the castle take place exclusively from March to December on Saturdays between 14:00 and 16:00 or on special occasions. A tour of the interiors is generally only possible within a guided group!