Wilhelmsbad Castle Ruins
The castle ruins in the Hessian state park Hanau-Wilhelmsbad once formed a scene in the midst of an artfully designed landscape on all sides of the spa buildings. Today it is a walk-in princely residence where time has stood still. Anyone who visits it is surprised above all by the contrast between the exterior and the interior.
But this was the wish of the creator and builder of the Wilhelmsbad, the hereditary prince and Count of Hanau, William (1743-1821): the outer appearance of the building suggests a worn-out and decayed state. The edging of the building with oak trees was intended to reinforce the effect. The count, on the other hand, had the interiors decorated with art and splendour. For it was there that he withdrew from his obligations at the nearby Hanau Residence.
Pseudo-Castle with Family Pictures
This remarkable retreat represents the earliest European example of a pseudo-medieval castle in ruins in a landscaped garden. One is amazed at the size inside. On the second floor level is a hall that William had decorated with grisaille portraits of his ancestors and his family members living at the time.
Below is the portrait of his wife, Princess Wilhelmine Caroline of Denmark (1747-1820), whom, however, he cheated on with a mistress in the same rooms. Landscape paintings by the painter Anton Wilhelm Tischbein hang in the bedroom. They document an early state of the complex, when tourists from home and abroad flocked to the popular Wilhelmsbad for health and amusement.