Built by a knight during the 15th century, the Mespelbrunn Castle is simple yet one of the magnificent German castles. Located within the forest area of Spressart between Wurzburg and Frankfurt, this is one of the loveliest and most visited water castles in Germany. Though owned privately, the castle in north Bavaria is open to visitors the year round. The moated late-medieval/ early Renaissance castle located in the tributary valley of the Elsava has become a popular landmark in Spressart.
A Short History
Mespelbrunn was initially a simple house owned by Hamann Echter, vizedom of Aschaffenburg. Built in 1412, on the site within the Spressart forest without fortifications, the building was later fortified with walls, towers and a moat in 1427.
Except the round tower, Bergfried; most of the remains of this 15th century building has been rebuilt in Renaissance style. The defense structure of the castle has been transformed to that of a typical manor-house during reconstructions between 1551 and 1569 by the Etcher family. Due to its remote location within the forests, the castle has been one among the few that were left unharmed in the Thirty Years War. In 1875, a chapel in Romanesque Revival Style and a burial place for the inheritors of the Ingelheim family (the second owners) were added.
The Castle Today
The castle is a private residence, but it is open for public visits since 1930. The castle is open daily from Easter to October between 9 am and 5 pm. Compulsory guided tours and tours to the castle grounds are available at an entry fee.
Private transport is the best option to reach Mespelbrunn. This place is just 5 miles off the Autobahn A3, en route between Frankfurt and Wurzburg. The signposting to the castle is clear and you’ll find several restaurants next to the car park and at the castle itself. A true jewel in the heart of Spressart, Mespelbrunn is not as large a castle as Neuschwanstein, but certainly a great water castle to visit.