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The south side of the Landgrave Castle welcomes visitors from afar Marburg Lutheran church in the evening light A popular destination is the Kaiser-Wilhelm-tower or tower called Spiegelslust
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The Landgrave Castle

"Up there I stood, where in a sea of fragrance and blossoms the castle rises grey and grand to watch over Philip’s old city..."
Franz Dingelstedt

It was the year 1228. Elizabeth - Hungarian princess, widow of the landgrave Ludwig of Thuringia, banished from the Wartburg - scorned the fortress Marburg and built her hospital at the foot of the fortress’ mount. Yet her daughter Sophie made Marburg the new main residency of the successive dynasty. Here, if not in Kassel, the Hessian landgraves resided until 1604. They enlarged the fortress to a fortified castle.

The long, two-aisle Prince’s Hall in the north wing was completed at the beginning of the 14th century. It is considered the greatest gothic secular hall in Germany (33 x 14 m).

After a profitable marriage made it possible to build the White Tower (referred to today as the "witches’ tower”) as an artillery bastion and the "Wilhelm’s Tract” (the east wing), the castle looked in 1500 almost the same as it does today. In later phases it became more likely to remove sections, for example, several fortifications that became obsolete after technical developments in weaponry. The last of these were demolished by Napoleon’s troops in 1807. Excavations and restoration over the past years have made some of the casemates accessible again.

But let’s take another look back: "We are all still bright-eyed and healthy and living like royalty,” Martin Luther wrote on October 4th, 1529 from Marburg, to where he and Huldreich Zwingli and many other leaders of the Reformation were invited by Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous. The Ecumenical Colloquy in the castle lasted three days. The discussants came to an agreement on 14 points - all but the last one, the interpretation of the Lord’s Supper. Then an epidemic broke out in the city and the participants dispersed. Today several exhibit pieces in the "landgrave’s room” in the south wing - in those days the anteroom of Philip’s chamber - remind us of that particular event in Church History.

History comes alive in other rooms of the castle as well. Although after 1604 the castle served only as a fortress and garrison, then prison, still later the State Archive, thus robbing it nearly completely of its original furnishings, the Landgrave Castle of Marburg in the meantime has a legitimate claim to be recognised as a central historical and informational site for Hesse. This can be said with the permanent exhibit "How the Land Hesse Came to Be” in the main building or with the valuable displays of the University Museum for Cultural History in the Wilhelm’s Tract.

Two more reasons to visit the castle and - with a climb up the Bickell stairway - not even to balk at 140 steps on the way.

Landgrave Castle - University Museum of Cultural History
Tel.: +49 (0)6421- 282 5871

Open daily exept Monday:
April - October: 10am - 6pm
November - March: 10am - 4pm
April - October: guided tours Sundays 3pm (only in german)
Tickets: 4 € (reduced rate 3 €)

April - October: Guided tours Saturdays 3.15pm (only in german)

Tours of the castle and the casemates outside the regular times and in languages ​​other than German can be organized by the Marburg Tourismus und Marketing GmbH,
Tel.: +49 (0)6421-99 120.
Here you can book online guided tours of the castle, the castle museum and the casemates

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