One of the largest double castles in central Germany, begun in the 12th century, main building phase: 13th/14th century, donjon and two keeps
Separated by ditches and a rock the eastern and western ruins of Brandenburg castle are situated above the river Werra and the foothills of the Thuringian Forest. Little is known of the early history of the castle; however, due to its position near the important international trade route “via regia” it seems likely that it was founded quite early. The counts of Wartbu(e)rg were documented in Lauchröden since 1144. Almost a century later (1227) they named themselves after the Brandenburg. The double castle which today appears like an ensemble probably developed from two independent castle buildings. Of the later outer bailey, known as the Westburg, the keep, remains of the enclosing wall and of the gate house have been preserved. The eastern castle is surrounded by its own enclosing wall. This wall encloses, inter alia, two courtyards, a partly hexagonal keep, a donjon as well as the northern wall of the residential apartments. Underneath the entire complex there are spacious cellars with high vaults.
The frequent change of owners until the 19th century was detrimental to the condition of the castle complex, which had already started to fall into disrepair in the Thirty Years War. Only an order given by the sovereign at the beginning of the 19th century put an end to the unauthorised use of the double castle as a “quarry”. During the four decades when Germany was divided any kind of public use or rehabilitation of Brandenburg Castle was out of the question as it lay directly in the border zone. Immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 a society took care of the castle, which was completely overgrown and had fallen into a long sleep. Since the Palace, Castle and Gardens Trust took over the castle in 1994 extensive stabilisation and rehabilitation work has been carried out. From the castle which is open to the public once again splendid views of the Werra valley and the Thuringian Forest can be enjoyed.