CAPPENBERG CASTLE, A FORMER MONASTERY, CAPPENBERG ABBEY
Date : June 14th – on our way to Bremen
Castle Type : Baroque style
Area: Selm, North Rhine-Westphalia
The present Baroque premises were built fro 1708 onwards. After almost 700 years the monastery was dissolved in 1803 and it became an estate of the Prussian Crown
We were pretty new to Germany so when I saw 4 castles not too far from each other I got SO excited… but later realised that ITS NORMAL to see so many castles in the one area… IM IN LOVE! (but I need more time!)
We drove and found a place to park where we seemed to be the only ones around (hmmm beginning of a horror story? When you dont know what to expect on the roads in Germany driving a car the size of the Titanic in comparison to what we are used to driving, we were thinking thoughts like “what the hell did we get ourselves into?? luckily that changed around day 4 or 5 once we started to get used to it all)
THE HISTORY OF CAPPENBERG CASTLE
“The Counts of Cappenberg, who were related to the Salians and the Staufers, were a rich and powerful family
During the Investiture Controversy, when they supported Duke Lothar von Supplinburg against Emperor Heinrich V, Count Gottfried von Cappenberg and his brother Otto von Cappenberg led their armies against Münster in February 1121 under the leadership of Duke Lothar. A great part of the town was destroyed, and the old cathedral was burnt down. Before the Emperor could bring them to trial for violation of the peace of the realm, Gottfried – either out of genuine repentance or out of fear of the Imperial judgment – gave the greater part of his estates in Westphalia to the founder of the Premonstratensian Order, Norbert of Xanten, renounced worldly life and withdrew into a monastery, where, according to contemporary custom, he was immune from punishment
After the ratification of the Concordat of Worms in 1122 he reappeared as Gottfried II, last Count of Cappenberg (afterwards better known as Saint Gottfried). Against the wishes of his family he founded a Premonstratensian monastery in his ancestral castle on the Cappenberg, Cappenberg Abbey (Kloster Cappenberg). For his wife, Ida, daughter of Count Friedrich von Arnsberg, and his sisters Gerberga and Beatrix, he built a nunnery next door
The monastery was economically successful, and accumulated considerable wealth, as may still to some extent be seen from the surviving abbey church. The monastery was largely destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. The present Baroque premises in three ranges were built from 1708 onwards
After an existence of almost 700 years the monastery was dissolved in 1803 and became an estate of the Prussian crown. After periods under the rule of France and of the Duchy of Berg, the estate was regained in 1815 by Prussia and in 1816 was acquired by the former Minister of State the Baron vom Stein, who renovated the buildings and thus preserved them from dereliction.
After the extinction of the family von und zum Stein the estate was inherited in 1926 by the family of the Counts of Kanitz.
During World War II Schloss Cappenberg served as a place of safety to protect works of art from Allied bombing
Nowadays Schloss Cappenberg is an excursion destination, with a museum, and is part of the Route der Industriekultur (“Industry Heritage Trail”).
Art exhibitions and concerts are regularly held here”
There were a few families riding through the parks on their bikes, a few walkers and we just enjoyed being here reading up on the history of this place and imagining what it would be like to live in a castle like this