Mespelbrunn – Moated Castle within the Spessart forest (Germany)

Categories: Travel reports, Europe, Germany

After looking at the sights of Miltenberg am Main in the morning, we went next to the water castle Mespelbrunn in spessart, about 30 km away.


The Mespelbrunn Water Castle

The water castle Mespelbrunn is somewhat hidden in a secluded side valley of the Elsava valley in the Spessart. Every year, about 90,000 to 100,000 tourists visit the Renaissance-style castle, which has become known as the filming location of the film “Das Wirtshaus im Spessart” with Liselotte Pulver and Carlos Thompson as well as the setting for the play of the same name.

Things to know about the water castle

If you drive along Schlossallee in Mespelbrunn in the direction of the castle, you will come to a larger parking lot on the right. Here you can leave your car for 2 EUR and have to pay for this at the entrance, because the barrier machine does not change. From the parking lot you walk about 5 minutes to the castle. At the entrance there is a small house at the gates where the tickets are sold. For the entrance fee you pay 5.50 EUR per person – including a 40-minute guided tour of the grounds. The castle is open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; from November, a winter break lasting several months begins.

Mespelbrunn Castle has more than 600 years of history. In 1412, the Archbishop of Mainz, John II of Nassau, gave his Elector forestmaster Hamann Echter the so-called “Platz zum Espelborn”. Echter built an unpaved house on this place on a pond. In order to protect the house from looters, In 1427 Echter’s son of the same name began to build a fortified house with walls, towers and a moat from the unpaved house. Through subsequent generations, the Wasserburg was transformed into a dreamy Renaissance castle. Due to its hidden location, the castle survived all wars unscathed and has been preserved in its original form.

The property has been owned by the Echter von Mespelbrunn family since the early 15th century. In the early 1950s, they decided to preserve the castle as a monument and make it accessible to the public. The family, which bears the official name “Grafen von Ingelheim called Echter von und zu Mespelbrunn”, lives in the south wing of the house, while the north wing was partially opened to the public shortly after the end of the Second World War.

Mespelbrunn Castle, Water Castle, Bavaria, Spessart, Germany, Travelreport

Mespelbrunn Castle in Spessart

A guided tour of the castle

As already mentioned, the ticket price already includes a 40-minute guided tour of the grounds. The guided tours take place about every 25 minutes, on weekends and public holidays there are about 3 to 4 guided tours per hour (depending on the number of visitors). Due to the current Corona situation, the maximum group size is 13 people. It should be noted that you can only walk across the terrain as part of the guided tour, not alone.

Our guide has received our group directly at the castle pond and has already told us a bit about the history of the water castle. Our way led us further into the castle courtyard and the adjacent knight’s hall. Unfortunately, we could not visit the upper rooms as part of the tour, as the Corona distance rules cannot be observed here. As a “replacement” we were allowed to go to the private park of the family, which was otherwise (before Corona) not accessible to visitors. From here we had a beautiful view of the back of the castle and the moat.

After the guided tour you can – if you like – stay a little longer in the Café Pferdestall, otherwise you have to leave the grounds directly.

After our visit to the castle we drove from Mespelbrunn about 23 km to Aschaffenburg to see the sights of the city.