Hunting Chateau "Top of the Hill"

This abandoned castle is a former hunting lodge completed in 1698 in the middle of a wooded low mountain range in Germany. Due to decades of vacancy, vandalism and arson, the existence of the castle, is under threat. In 2012, the castle was removed from the list of cultural monuments of the state.

From 1697 to 1698, the local regent had the hunting lodge built by a master builder as a two-storey, three-winged complex with a cour d'honneur open to the park to the south. An almost identical wing was built parallel to the west wing, creating a courtyard open to the north. All wings were connected by rectangular, 

Abandoned Castle in Germany

slightly different pavilions. The central wing was given an arcade of twelve arches on the park side. In the western pavilion, a three-storey church was built as a central building with an oval interior and a surrounding gallery on twelve colossal pillars.

The complex had a usable area of around 5000 square meters. The palace park was around 250,000 square meters in size. It contains a baroque round fountain house.

During the Wars of Liberation 1813-1815, the complex served as a military hospital. In 1908, the Corps de Logis was completely renovated in the historicist style.

The last reigning Prince lived mainly here after his abdication in 1918 until 1925, after which the right of residence for the family expired.

In 1925, the castle was acquired by the German Imperial Warriors' Association, which set up a recreation home for soldiers there. In the summer of 1943, it became the temporary quarters of the Reichsippenamt Berlin and the NSDAP's Office for Kinship Research.

After the Second World War, the buildings were initially converted into a large bakery. During the GDR era, the castle was used as a vacation home and training academy for VEB Robotron Optima Büromaschinenwerk Erfurt and as a pioneer holiday camp. In this context, the castle chapel was divided by false ceilings. In 1951, the Thomas Müntzer Central Pioneer Holiday Camp with up to 1200 places and partial semi-military use by the Society for Sport and Technology (GST) was built south of the hunting lodge. After 1990, it became known that the GDR authorities had planned to imprison opposition members in the vacation camp in the event of "tension".

In the course of reunification, the castle came to the state via the Treuhandanstalt (Trust Agency) in 1990. In 1997, it was auctioned off to a private owner for DM 60,000, who has since left it to decay and vandalism. In 2005, the Corps de Logis, built in 1908, became a ruin due to arson. In 2007, the owner was awarded the "Black Sheep" of the Monument Association.


Source: Wikipedia


Visited: May 20, 2020 and August 8, 2021

Location: Undisclosed, Germany

Status: Abandoned (2021)

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