Visiting Kronberg Castle

By | Category: Travel destinations

the castle, once the home of Empress Frederick, now a hotel

This castle is just twenty minutes away from the bustling financial capital of Germany, Frankfurt. But whereas Frankfurt seems new and commercially self-contained, the castle is a place from another era yet it is possible to easily visit the two in the same break.

Now a hotel, the Kronberg Castle took us back into the days of German royalty.  This magnificent architectural structure was built in the late nineteenth century for Empress Victoria, the fist born child of the British Queen Victoria. She married German Emperor Frederick III (and was the mother of the last royal ruler of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II) who died just 99 days after ascending the throne. She built the castle as her own residence after Frederick’s death, living there until she died in 1901. Today, the royal family of Hesse still owns castle which is now a luxury hotel. It was used for the wedding ball of the current head of the family and Landgrave of Hesse fifteen years ago.

the golf course

The castle is in a picturesque setting, surrounded by flower gardens and an extensive, landscaped parkland. It was converted into a five star, 62 room hotel in 1954. The park also includes an 18-hole golf course. As a hotel it also seems to be a museum though not in name as it contains many pieces of furniture owned by the family over the last 130 years.

My check-in was very quick and I was escorted to a spacious suite on the top floor. Every suite is unique and my large bedroom, with a king-size bed and a separate living area, was no exception. The room was elegant and bright, full of natural light and nicely decorated in a neutral tone. The authentic vintage design combined with a modern touch definitely gave me a feeling of royalty. Nina Campbell, the famous British interior designer, redesigned the rooms in 2015.

the lobby area is dominated by a large chimney

You never know what you may experience in such a Royal Palace. You may find yourself sleeping in a room previously used by the last Russian czar, Czar Nicholas II during one of his frequent visits with Empress Victoria.

I took one of the popular tours of the palace which started in the lobby area. This is decorated with a large ornamental chimney, hanging chandeliers and several paintings featuring the empress and the emperor. We visited a few rooms on the first floor but the most impressive room was a big office with its adjoining bedroom. Apparently General Eisenhower stayed there for nearly seven years during the occupation of American Forces at the end of WW II and almost up until the time he ran for the American presidency.

the chef provides some of the best food I hav eeaten This is my fish course I had

I returned to the lower floors and visited the three, large conference rooms, one of which was set up for a luncheon. These rooms are colour-coded red, blue and green, all of which can be used for meetings and dinning. The largest salon displayed several paintings of the banquet hall as it was in time of the empress. The large library is located just off the lobby and is stacked full of ancient tomes, a reflection of the Empress’ taste in literature. The library can also be used for meetings, dinners and music recitals as was evidenced by the fact that there is a large piano here.

Dinner was for me, a special event. Sitting on the balcony overlooking the garden provided a very peaceful setting for a splendid meal.

a view over the gardens

In the morning, after having my breakfast, I explored the grounds surrounding the castle and found myself in the rose gardens. Rose gardens tend to be a British trait which, one again, reminds us that the empress was British by birth.

Through some woodland you will come across the eighteen-hole golf course. But sadly, I only had time to walk by it rather than play the course. That will have to await another journey.

Images and story © Mohammed Reza Amirinia

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