Situated in the town of Grevenbroich, Schloss Hülchrath is a beautiful Renaissance-style castle surrounded by lush greenery. Its well-preserved architecture and idyllic setting make it a popular destination for visitors.

Around 900, the foundation of Hülchrath Castle (actually Hülchrath Castle) took place in the lowlands of Erft and Gillbach as a palisade-reined flat settlement with wooden houses, to which around 1000 AD a tower castle, so-called motte – French la motte = the hill, with a wooden guard and refuge tower was added.
In 1120, the first written mention is made as a very old and heavily fortified castle. During this time, the stone round tower, which was still preserved in the courtyard of the high castle as a rudiment, was built.

After the victory of Philip of Swabia over Otto of Brunswick in the Battle of Wassenberg, the castle is mentioned. During this time, the family of the counts of the Gillgau, who were actually based in Hülchrath Castle, is extinct.
During the following, multiple change of ownership (Counts of Saffenberg, Sayn and Sponheim) in the Staufian period between 1200 – 1255, the mighty wall ring of basalt and tuff was built with palas, keep, gate tower, 3 shell towers and northern shield wall.

In 1255, Hülchrath is in possession of a subsidiary line of the Counts of Cleves, who sold the castle to the Cologne Archbishop Heinrich von Virneburg in 1314.

His successor, Wilhelm von Gennep, strengthens the castle according to the building inscription available here in the years between 1349 and 1362. The existing wall ring of the high castle and the Gothic gate tower were raised and reinforced, the forecourt was rebuilt in brick with the addition of a laterally attached gate.
The Gothic gate tower has cantiler stones under its top floor, which were made of tombstones of the Jewish community expelled from Cologne in 1349. Until the dissolution of the Kurstaat in 1794, Hülchrath Castle remained the administrative seat of the Cologne archbishops and they had their office Hülchrath administered from here.

After the Cologne Archbishop Truchsess von Waldburg tried to transform the archdiocese into a secular rule and introduce Protestantism, the castle was besieged and occupied by Habsburg and Spanish troops under Frederick of Saxe-Lauenburg in 1583. Subsequently, the considerable damage caused by cannon shot was repaired.

Archbishop Ferdinand of Bavaria, who came from the House of Wittelsbach, had the place newly built on the east side of the castle in 1609 and connected it to the forecourt by a 50 mtr. long bridge. In the courtyard of the stronghold, he built a double-storey, open arcade with a lateral star observation tower and provided the facade of the palace with building elements in the Italian late Renaissance style. As the last expansion phase of the fortification, a powerful round tower was built next to the Gothic gate tower, which could be equipped with cannons.
In the Thirty Years’ War, Hülchrath was besieged for 1 month by Hessian-French troops in 1642 and then, after reaching the castle through a secret access.
During the Franco-Dutch war, the castle was again besieged, captured and desolidated in 1687. Although parts were still inhabited, they were increasingly de-disrepaired until 1794 due to a lack of entertainment.
After the invasion of the French revolutionary armies, the dissolution of the Kurstaat and the secularization of the ecclesiastical small states in 1803 as a result of the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss, the last Cologne official, Baron von Pröpper, bought the castle complex. Only the forecourt was now inhabited and large parts of the stronghold were demolished in the following years.
After the last descendant of the von Pröpper – the family came from one of the best-known cookbook authors of the 19th century. Century, Ludovica v. Pröpper – had died, bought
the princes of Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck in 1874 the castle, but sold it again a few years later.

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