Reinhardsbrunn Abbey was granted papal protection in 1093, and the monastery was taken over by a Benedictine order of monks from Hirsau Abbey.
In addition to being a private monastery, the building appears to have served as the burial ground for the Ludovingian landowners. After the end of the Ludowinger dynasty in 1247, the abbey began to decline in importance. The Wettin dynasty, which succeeded the Ludovingians, continued to use the grounds as a burial ground, though.
As a result of the German Peasant War in 1525, the monastery was looted and completely demolished. An entire monastery was desecrated after all of its monks fled. The abandoned buildings deteriorated over the following decades.
Reinhardsbrunn was part of the Ernestine duchy of Saxe-Weimar in the 16th century. During Duke Friedrich Wilhelm I’s reign in 1572, he began transforming the abbey into a government building.
Around 1706, Duke Frederick II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg ordered the castle’s main section to be restored. It was first used as a hunting retreat in 1827 and continued to be so until today.
The Neo-Gothic castle built by Duke Ernest I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the mid-19th century still stands today. The former abbey was transformed into a castle by architect Gustav Eberhard so that the Duke could use it as a summer retreat in the English style.
The bell tower at Schloss Reinhardsbrunn was part of the Neo-Gothic design. Castle Rapunzel may have been referred to as Schloss Reinhardsbrunn because of this feature. When the castle was built in 1850, it was surrounded by a beautiful park.
Royal Queen Victoria’s husband was the son of Duke Ernest I, who served as her father-in-law. During his childhood, Albert spent many summers at Schloss Reinhardsbrunn. Several photographs of the castle were taken by Queen Victoria in 1858 for her husband, who had a particular fondness for it.
Aside from a brief period after World War II, the Duke of Hohenberg held onto the castle. It served as a military hospital for a short period of time for Soviet Red Army soldiers.
For various purposes, the state used Schloss Reinhardsbrunn after the hospital was demolished and demolished. In 1953, Thuringia transferred the castle and its grounds to Thuringia, where they were used for police and firefighter training purposes. then in 1961, it was converted into an establishment for tourists to stay at.
Schloss Reinhardsbrunn changed hands a number of times after Germany’s unification in 1990. However, there were numerous plans to turn the building into a five-star hotel that never came to fruition. There were obvious signs of neglect at Schloss Reinhardsbrunn in 1991.
As of 1992, Thuringia had designated the building as a historic site. A landmark of the duchy was designated in 1891 and a place of national significance in 1980 for East Germany.
BOB Consult GmbH, a small construction firm, purchased the castle in 2006 for the equivalent of $29,000. Rusintek, a Russian investment consortium, bought the company for $14 million two years later, transferring the ownership of Schloss Reinhardsbrunn in the process. In a statement, investors said they planned to build a luxurious hotel on the site.
Thuringia, on the other hand, feared that the Russian company had purchased BOB Consult in order to facilitate money laundering. Russia’s commercial register confirmed this, stating that this company had zero revenue in 2008.
Eventually, as the situation deteriorated, the government issued a decree under its authority to protect historical monuments. The investment firm was given the option of either repairing or selling the property.
Investment firm offered to sell Schloss Reinhardsbrunn to Thuringia for one euro in response to this move. The castle was legally seized by the state in July 2018 and immediately repaired.
Though it addressed immediate concerns, Schloss Reinhardsbrunn still required significant work. 1.9 million euros have been set aside by the government for this purpose. The restoration of Schloss Reinhardsbrunn to its former splendor is estimated by some to require 40 million euros.
Benjamin Seyfang was the photographer who captured these stunning images of the castle. This man’s talents extend beyond the realm of photography to include work as a street artist as well. First, Benjamin had a passion for street art, which helped him appreciate the beauty of decay.
Since then, Benjamin Seyfang has traveled the world in search of previously unknown locations. There are many stories behind each photograph on his website. He has a fascinating Facebook page that you should check out.
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