Old Castle (Stone House)
The Old Castle, also called Stone Castle, is situated in the idyllic 2.6-hectare castle park right in centre of the small town of Neckarsbischofsheim. Today the Knights’s Hall is used for formal events and exhibitions, however, it is also available for wedding ceremonies.
The Old Castle dates back to the castle of Dieter von Helmstatt which had been recognized as a fief by King Rudolph von Habsburg in 1274. Within the course of the castle's expansion, the Old Castle was built as a Palas (great hall, the main residential tract of a medieval castle) by the brothers Raban III and Wiprecht von Helmstatt. Today it is the only building left of the former complex. The Stone House's present-day appearance goes back to rebuilding works carried out in the 16th century; the Staircase Tower with the Helmstatt-Neipperg Alliance coat of arms goes back to the year 1546.
In the Thirty Years’ War the Old Castle served as headquarters of the famous military leader Count Tilly from 6 March until 4 April 1622. From here he commanded the preparations for the siege of Heidelberg, however, he had to flee from the Palatine troops.
After the Bischofsheim lineage von Helmstatt had died out in 1966, the building passed into the possession of the town in 1975, and was extensively restored by them in the years from 1976-78. In the castle’s interior, in particular, in the Knight’s Hall, impressive mural paintings from the 15th century and the 16th century were exposed.
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