Mespelbrunn is a town located between the cities of Würzburg and Frankfurt in Aschaffensburg district of the northern Bavaria, Germany. The town is like a quaint scene straight out of the pages of a romantic fairytale picture book, especially with its most notable landmark, the Mespelbrunn Castle or Wasserschloss Mespelbrunn (Schloss Mespelbrunn). The almost surreal Schloss Mespelbrunn is a real jewel in the heart of the Spessart, attracting throngs of visitors, making tourism an important backbone of its economy.
Wasserschloss Mespelbrunn is without a doubt the most gorgeous preserved castle of northern Bavaria. It even has some of its original furniture and shape. The surrounding hills are lushly vegetated with green woods while the lake’s crystal clear water mirrors the image of the picturesque castle.
A Peek in Time: The History of the Mespelbrunn Castle
The Mespelbrunn Castle didn’t start as a castle; it was a mere house when it was originally built by Knight Hamann Echter in the 13th century. In the 15th century, the nearby lush and dark woody forest of Spessart became the object of fancy of bandits that plundered all surrounding properties. This prompted Knight Hamann Echter’s son to build the fortifications, the moat and the rest of the castle not realizing it would make the structure one of the most visited attractions in this part of Germany. Nestled deep in the forest, the remote location made it less accessible, keeping it relatively undisturbed by warfare in the succeeding years.
Today, the surviving members of the Echter family still live in the castle. The Ingelheim – Echter family opens the castle in the months of April through October for visiting tourists. Visitors are charged a few euros for admission that goes toward paying the taxes for the property taxes.
To This day: The Splendor of the Mespelbrunn Castle
The two columns built in the on the eastern side of the castle bears a Renaissance architecture. These two pillars are unique with their carvings that relate to the Echter family. It has features that reflect the excellent craftsmanship that went in its construction. The windows are unusually attractive being constructed with red sandstone and colorful stained glass windows. The 16th –century pikes and armors have been well preserved.
It was first opened for public viewing in the 1930s for it to generate an income for the surviving relatives who were then in dire straits considering the amount of money needed to maintain such an impressive structure. Presently, the family residing in the castle occupies the south side rooms of the castle to accommodate the tourists visiting the main rooms. This makes the castle have that lived-in ambiance. In addition, the family allowed the use of some areas for holding functions, such as weddings and large gatherings.
Touring the Mespelbrunn Castle
The castle is open every day, from 9 am to 5 pm, starting Easter in April lasting through to. The admission fee and the compulsory guided tour is €3.50. Those who just want to roam the grounds can do it for free.
You can get to Schloss Mespelbrunn using a private transportation and by hiking through the paved road from the parking lot. It is only about 8 km (5 miles) away from the Autobahn A3 (exit 63). It makes a perfect stopover destination when visiting Frankfurt from Würzburg and vice versa. It is 30 km (20 miles) or 20 minutes away from Aschaffenburg and 75 km (46 miles) or an hour away from Frankfurt. If traveling on a car rental, driving will not be hard with all the visible signposts clearly visible along the way to the castle.
If you intend to spend more days in the village, you can see the other attractions in the area – Wallfahrtskirche Hessenthal, Baroque & Half-Timbered Meet Modern Art & Teapots in Amorbach, and Schloss Johannisberg, Pompejanum, and Stiftbasilika in Aschaffenburg, and the half-timbered buildings in Miltenberg. There are inexpensive hotels and restaurants to cater to your needs. There are a number of eating places near the car park; for experience, you may also want to try dining in the castle itself.
Do you want to step into the pages of a fairytale book? Wasserschloss Mespelbrunn can offer you that experience, thanks to the descendants of Knight Hamann Echter for sharing the splendor and the history of their ancestral home.