Hafenpreppach Castle

From the 16th century at the latest, a line Stein von Altenstein sat in Hafenpreppach, which they had received as a fief from the Würzburg monastery. The ancestral castle of this family lies nearby on a ridge (Altenstein Castle). From 1664 the manor was in the possession of the barons of Greiffenclau. However, a quarter of this dominion was under the feudal sovereignty of the House of Saxe-Römhild. The Greiffenclau kept the castle until 1789, after which the complex changed hands several times. When the last heir to the castle, Helmut Riehl, fell on the eastern front in 1942 during the Second World War, his parents transferred the entire estate to a foundation under the trusteeship of the Bavarian Red Cross. After the war, the estate was converted into a children’s home, which was closed in 1978. From 1980 onwards, extensive renovation work began on the building fabric. The owner of the foundation, the Bavarian Red Cross, sold the castle to private buyers in 1989.

The main building dates back to the 16th/17th century and was probably rebuilt and extended in 1714 under the Würzburg prince bishop Johann Philipp von Greiffenclau. Shortly before, Greiffenclau had a representative country castle built in nearby Gereuth. These building measures probably served as capital investment for fear of a devaluation of the Franconian guilder, which had reached a high value at that time.

Until 1960, the “Old Palace” was located to the south of the main building. However, the two-storey Renaissance building with its high saddle roof and striking tail gables fell victim to the pickaxe before it was placed under protection. (Views in the inventory volume). However, the building probably served as an administrator’s house from the very beginning, so the name “Altes Schloss” (Old Castle) is likely to be misleading.

The angular, three-storey palace building is completed by a hipped roof with dormers. Simple external structure of profiled window walls, rusticated corner pilasters and cornices between the floors. The two main storeys are located on the lower ground floor, which as a typical “bastard floor” contained the farm rooms and the servants’ rooms.

The main entrance with its broken triangular gable is located in the middle of the south wing. The wall surfaces are plastered in a light ochre shade, the architectural divisions have been left visible in stone. On the park side, a high, angled terrace on four arcade arches, crowned by a baluster railing with spherical attachments, is located in front of the palace. Another terrace is at ground level, the passageway is flanked by two baroque groups of statues. This rich ornamental architecture stands in striking contrast to the otherwise rather simple appearance of the country estate and is certainly a subsequent addition.

Inside, the mighty double flight of stairs in the west wing deserves special mention. Some baroque wooden doors and a Renaissance fireplace in the east wing are still preserved from the original furnishings.

The entrance to the castle is surrounded by one-storey outbuildings. On the right a shed completes the ensemble, on the left the orangery. In the castle courtyard, a picturesque, four-column fountain house with a stone dome protects the old fountain and cistern complex.

1Source: Wikipedia