Schloss Broich in Mülheim
The oldest late Carolingian castle complex in the German-speaking area
A lot has happened since the original complex was built in the 9th century. The most important secular architectural monument in the city of Mülheim was the residence of dozens of aristocrats. These included the later Prussian Queen Luise, who spent a number of years at the castle in her youth. Today, a room in the historical museum is dedicated to her.
Wars, conquests, renovations and expansions as well as changes of ownership all feature in the history of the oldest castle complex dating from the late Carolingian period in the German-speaking area. Schloss Broich in Mülheim an der Ruhr could tell many tales about the buildings that still exist and the foundations of the old fortresses. It is the most important secular architectural monument in the city of Mülheim and an impressive sight set in the heart of the picturesque MüGa Park.
It originally dates back to 883 and 884, when the castle probably served as an outer fort against the Normans after it was built – a strategically equipped defensive facility on the historic Ruhr ford of the old ‘Hellweg’ or main travel route. At the end of the 11th century, the von Broich noblemen expanded it and turned it into the seat of a noble family. Various aristocrats such as the Counts von Limburg later claimed the place for themselves. Parts of the castle were destroyed by conquerors such Archbishop of Cologne Dietrich von Moers in the 15th century; some residents carried out expansions and restoration works.
Nowadays, history buffs feel as if they have travelled back to a different time, especially when they enter the historical museum in the high castle, which in turn is bordered by the original ring wall. Documents, paintings, models, weapons and excavated finds bear witness to the different epochs. The “Luise room” is dedicated to the most important personality from the castle’s history, Prussian Queen Luise, who strolled around and lived in the castle in her youth from 1787 to 1791. The city archives and the historical society offer regular guided tours with one or two thought-provoking anecdotes.
There are opportunities for anyone who would like to experience more culture at or around the castle to do so several times a year. Music festivals like Castle Rock and the Ruhrbühne await. Cabaret fans are in the right place at the Broicher Schlossnacht. The absolute highlight of the calendar, however, is the Whitsunday Spectacular, during which the green car park around the castle provides ample space for jugglers, knights and minstrels. Craft tents, military camps and the large jousting arena erected for the occasion invite visitors to stay a while. The nearby camera obscura at the railway water tower in Broich can only be visited on these days.