Schloss Birkenfeld is an 18th century manor in Lower Franconia, Germany. Since the 19th century, it is in the possession of the counts zu Ortenburg. Holiday houses were arranged in the complex and a holiday apartment in the Schlosses main building. Guided tours through the Schloss may be arranged upon request.
We are looking forward to your visit,
Mirjam Gräfin zu Ortenburg
Today’s Schloss Birkenfeld was constructed between 1738 and 1748 on the fundaments of a water castle. The Hutten dynasty acquired the domain Birkenfeld in 1475 and expanded the manor which was located right at the important road from Nuremberg across Bamberg to Meiningen. During the 16th century, Birkenfeld was also regarded as a regional evangelical hub because the Hutten, of whom, above all, first knight and philosopher Ulrich von Hutten shall be named, adopted the Protestant Reformation’s doctrine very early in 1520.
The erection of today’s Schloss was initiated by Johann Philipp baron von Hutten who hired the young architect Johann David Steingruber to construct a representative complex. Since he held a superior position at the court of Ansbach, Johann Philipp von Hutten had access to the most talented artists of that region. Until the 19th century, the domain Birkenfeld remained autonomous.
Via bequests and marriage, the site was then transferred into the counts zu Ortenburg’s possession. Agriculture and forestry as well as cattle breeding were administered on site. Until 1929, the smallest market in Bavaria was held in today’s fruit and vegetable garden.
The facade’s composition sticks to the strict Rococo symmetry. In contrast to that, the interior design surprises with exceptionally artful and rich plasterworks.
The floor plan of wide rooms was perfectly designed referring to the sun’s insolation. Therefore, Birkenfeld might be a very early example of an ecologically constructed building. The so-called »Cour d’Honneur« is framed by buildings on three sides and opens towards the South. On both, the eastern and western side, pavilions form the closure of the stretched carriage houses. Both pavilions not only support symmetry but they were given specific purposes right at the time of construction, again in respect to the sun’s angle. For example, the bathing house which was installed according to Roman pattern is located on the south-eastern side, into the former library shines the gentle evening sun and the secretary’s house and the bailiff’s pavilion are aligned towards south-west.
Today, the Schloss is still in possession of the counts zu Ortenburg. In 1992, a substantial restoration of Schloss and its facilities was started. The fundamental refurbishment was completed in 2004 while individual restoration projects addressing current and future use of the compound are in continual progress.
Along with the restoration, holiday houses and apartment were arranged. The Schlosses interior may be visited upon request. On request, it is also possible to arrange guided tours with a historian.
Within the protected area Haßberge, the romantic Rococo Schloss Birkenfeld forms half of the Frankonian village that goes by the same name. Here, guests recover from everyday life, children enjoy their freedom and during every season, culturally interested, historians, ornithologists, hikers and cyclists have a sheer inexhaustible amount of options at hand to creatively spend their leisure time.
Once, the celts settled in this region where the water is plentiful, birch trees grow numerously and where the landscape with its gentle hills remained rural. Today, notable historic cities are located nearby. Coburg, Bamberg, Würzburg, Meiningen, Weimar are just a few of the ones that can be reached comfortably by car. But apart from these larger cities, little architectural and historical gems are just waiting to be discovered. Many small cities impress with artful truss architecture and in nearly every surrounding village a Schloss, a castle or an interesting ruin can be found. Visiting the picturesque ruins of castle Altenstein is recommended especially. It offers an astonishingly wide view across the Haßberge and historical events take place all around the year.
Besides cultural attractions, sheer unlimited options to spend your leisure time are waiting for you. Summer sledding, a visit in the fairy-tale village Sambachshof, canoe paddling on one of the region’s waters, golfing on one of the three golf courses nearby, bathing in one of the four spas around or even skiing on the summits of the Rhön – here, you may fill your leisure time to your wishes and affections. You will be surprised of the scenic opulence and wide views across the Haßberge landscape.
The region is worth a trip not only during Summer since nature unfolds its charm also in Winter time. During christmas time, it is worth to visit one of the region’s numerous christmas markets that create a unique romantic atmosphere in the cities mainly consisting of truss houses.
Families in particular will feel comfortable here. Far away from hustle and bustle, children can experience adventures – even without continuous parental observation.
Frankonian wine, Frankonian beer and further culinary delicacies are waiting for you in cosy and rustic taverns and restaurants.
And even long-time guests discover new things on each visit.
If you need help in planing your holiday, we will gladly assist you.
The riding hall can be provided for festivities.
You need further information or want to book the apartment?
I am looking forward to hearing from you:
Countess Mirjam zu Ortenburg