Mainberg Castle in Germany in the 1940s

These photos were contributed by Susan Panioli and her sister Lorraine O’Dell, the daughters of Veteran Leroy F. O’Dell, who served with the 313th Infantry and the 79th Division during WWII in France, Germany, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia.

Leroy F. O’Dell

Susan believes the photos were taken of Mainberg Castle by her father sometime between September 1944 and May 1946. Leroy was also wounded during the war and received the Purple Heart. He’s now 93 years of age (born 16 May, 1925), and is living in a nursing home in upstate NY, USA.


I’m in the process of finding someone who can identify and verify the location of these photos.

Edited on 14 June 2018: I just got word from the expert himself – these photos were indeed taken at Mainberg Castle. (Source: Thomas Horling, Mainberg Castle Historian)

 

Postcards of Mainberg Castle

Ever since I started doing research for a blog reader about Mainberg Castle in northern Bavaria, I have become very interested in the topic myself, and started buying historical postcards.

Mainberg Castle in 1914

 

Mainberg Castle around 1930

 

Mainberg Castle in 1946

 

Mainberg Castle in the 1920/1930

A Night at Zeilitzheim Castle

There are about 25.000 castles and fortresses in Germany. Nobody knows for sure how many there actually are, so the Deutsche Burgenvereiniung (German Castle Association) has decided to do a final count and registration. They expect to have the final results in about ten years’ time.

A week ago, we spent the night in one of these 25.000 castles. Going back to one’s hometown requires accommodation, and over the past few years, we have tried out several places – mostly inns in villages around the northern Franconia area.

This time, we chose Schloss Zeilitzheim (we had spent a night there about 10 years ago). As it was the case back then – we liked the pavilion, the park, and breakfast the best.

We had booked the Kardinalszimmer (sleeps four people) to accommodate all of us.

We enjoyed sitting on the bench looking out over the park.

 

The castle interior is a museum with its artifacts, showcases in the hallway, and authentic furniture.

I can highly recommend this castle hotel to anyone who just wants to get away for a day or two (or more). Buy a bottle of wine from the owner’s Weingut (winery) and sneak off to the pavilion at night. My husband and I sat there under a starry sky, and had a quiet conversation while sipping our wine. Recommended: Bring a flash light or a candle.

If you like really warm rooms, then I’d suggest you go there during the warmer season. This is a true castle, so in early spring, the rooms/radiators do not heat up so quickly. For me, it was perfect though.

Postcards of Mainberg Castle in Germany

These postcards of Mainberg Castle are part of my private collection.

Title: Deutsche Heimat

Dated 1924

Dated 1935

Dated 1953

Dated 1955

Dated 1961

 

The Current State of Mainberg Castle

A stateside reader, who plans on visiting Mainberg Castle this summer, inquired about its current state and whether the castle would be open to the public.

Based on various sources in the media, the castle is in urgent need of repair and restoration. The current owner, the real estate agent Ms. Renate Ludwig, bought the castle in 2005. She and her initial partners were in the process of running a restaurant there, until fire safety regulations deemed the castle not safe enough.

Now the castle is for sale on the internet, but there is no private investor to be found.

Price: € 3.850.000 €
Lot size: 15.646 m² (168.400 ft²)
Floor space: 4.716 m²  (50.700 ft²), 50 rooms

Interested? Then view: Mainberg Castle for Sale

 In November 2017, the State of Bavaria authorized public funds of euro 700.000 to provide immediate help as the castle has been classified to be in danger of collapse.

At first, a team of experts checked to see if the deterioration stemmed from the underground tunnel, which was built during the Sachs Family reign during WWII. Their results further stated, that the tunnel itself would  not be the main cause of a possible impending collapse. Wear and tear of a 700-year-old castle does run its course.

In 1915, the industrial tycoon Ernst Sachs bought the castle. Then from 1954 – 1960, the castle was owned by Wilhelm Heger, until it had to be auctioned off. The city of Schweinfurt bought it then and in 1982, it changed hands again. This time, the castle was owned Gerhard Eichhorn & heirs, until the current owner bought it in 2005.

Efforts are made to save the castle from its ruin. I wish the state funds would have been available sooner.

The current renovation is supposed to be finished by the summer 2018. Since we are in Germany, please add another two years for completion.

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