Aschaffenburg: Castle Mespelbrunn
The sun finally made an appearance! for the first time in the cruise!
From: Guide to Castles of Europe
Mespelbrunn Castle is one of the loveliest castles in northern Bavaria and is located in a small, hidden, picturesque valley. It is because of this concealment that it had survived the thirty Years War and remained unscathed during both World Wars. Mespelbrunn is one of the few castles in Germany that has retained its original form with the oldest part of the castle being the mighty tower. Its origins date back to the thirteenth century.
Other parts of the Mespelbrunn castle were erected by the knight Peter Echter and replaced a smaller building which stood between the tower and the chapel. The northern and eastern aisles of the castle are supported by fascinating stone columns. Those on the north side are decorated with rosettes, heads of angels and masks, very typical emblems of the Renaissance style. This part of the castle is entirely built in German Renaissance style. On one of the columns with a carved date of 1564 you will see the alliance coat of arms of the knight Peter Echter and his wife, Lady Adelsheim. It depicts the coat of arms of the Echter Family - three rings and the horn of the Adelsheim.
Mespelbrunn castle also contains a Knights' Hall where the knights formerly assembled. The porches, windows and columns in the hall are made of magnificent red sandstone, and the carved hands at the base of these columns symbolizes the strong relationship between its inhabitants to the soil. There is a tradition that, as long as these columns in the knights hall are standing, the Ingleheim-Echter family will flourish.
The Chapel, situated in the north-west corner of the castle, was built by the knight Hamann Echter, who also established a farm for a priest to live on. Until recently a priest lived at Mespelbrunn castle and celebrated Holy Mass every day. The Chapel altar was built in the 16th century by another member of the family, and was made of alabaster by the Wuerzburg master, Michael Kern.
Some of the windows in the castle have been painted by Countess Antoinette Ingleheim. They show the genealogical tree of the last Lady Echter, her coat of arms, the coat of arms of her parents, grandparents, great grand parents and so on. Other windows show the genealogical tree of her husband: Count Philip Ludwig von Ingleheim.
By grant of the Kaiser, Count von Ingleheim combined his name and coat of arms with that of the Echter family - Count von Ingleheim and his descendants are now called Count Ingleheim Echter von Mespelbrunn. The old parchment bill with the Kaiser's grant is still in the family archives.