Front side of Neunhof Castle in the so called Garlic District near the city of Nuernberg, Fraconia (Bavaria)
Some background information:
Neunhof Castle is a former bastioned stately home of the noble patrician family Kress von Kressenstein from Nuernberg. A castle on the same spot, owned by the counts of Nuernberg, was first mentioned in 1246, but after it was heavily damaged in 1449, in the course of the First Margrave War, it was transformed into a fortified manor at the end of the 15th century.
Together with its outbuildings Neunhof Castle is situated within a castle garden on a quadratic platform, which is surrounded by a castle moat. The platform itself is also protected by massive sandstone walls with loopholes. Likewise consisting of massive sandstone are the castle’s groundfroor and first floor, whilst the storeys above are framework architecture.
The timber framing dates from 1479 and one of the gables shows the year 1508. During its rebuilding the manor was bought by the noble and wealthy family Kress von Kressenstein, which owned it for the next almost 400 years. Already in the 14th century this family became wealthy by long-distance trade, but the Kress von Kressensteins had to wait another 150 years to become ennobled by emperor Karl V, which finally happened in 1530.
In the 18th century the family moved to a different, more up to date stately home, but at the same time made Neunhof Castle their hunting château. The baroque garden, which girdles the castle, dates from this time. In 1856 Neunhof Castle was bought by a different noble patrician family, the family Holzschuher von Harrlach, which still owns it today.
In the presence members of this family occupy the top floor of the castle. but all the subjacent floors are leased by the Germanic National Museum in Nuernberg, which keeps it as a precious branchlet. The architecture of the castle undeniably is one of the best-preserved examples of gothic timber framework architecture in the Nuernberg area, but what makes it even more outstanding is the almost complete extant interior. Three floors of the castle, the old horse stable and the baroque garden are open to the public. A visit is highly recommended.