Towering on the second highest elevation of the Steigerwald, Schloss Frankenberg with its surrounding dense forests and lush vineyards presents itself in a majestic way and presents a picture reminiscent of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Frankenberg is a truly rare gem of Franconian history, but it lay in a deep slumber for over a century until it was acquired by entrepreneur Roland Belz in 2008. Particularly since the early 1970s, the structure of the castle has suffered considerable damage, but the loss of the centuries-old estates was also the result of massive neglect and inefficient management. When the last female heiress of the von Poellnitz family died in 1971, the estate, at that time an area of 500 hectares, went to the barons of Lerchenfeld. The last noble lord of the castle, Carl von Lerchenfeld (*1957), squandered his money over the years and finally had to file for private bankruptcy in 2006. Von Lerchenfeld’s economic situation also meant that he had to sell around eighty percent of all his real estate prior to being declared insolvent.
In addition, the desolate financial situation of the lord of the castle at the time meant that both the main castle and the outer castle suffered considerable losses in assets as necessary maintenance measures were not carried out for years. The only measure that was carried out under the administration of the barons of Lerchenfeld was the restoration of Amtshaus in the years 1978 and 79.
The dismal condition of the Renaissance palace was obvious in 2014; the sandstone showed massive damage throughout, the statics of the southeast wing were fragile, and the southwest and northeast wings were in an even more miserable condition. The brickwork was so friable that it was classified as acutely at risk of collapse. In addition, the massive wooden corpus of the ailing roof pressed on the already weak statics. The north wing had completely collapsed, but these were parts of the medieval fortress that had already collapsed centuries ago.
The historic Meierei at the foot of the Herrschaftsberg had become a ruin, as it had been fallow for over a century and large parts of the walls of the farm had been demolished for restoration work on the main castle. The classicist Monopteros on the castle cemetery is another fragile structure, which is hard to recognize today as it is supported by a wooden support corset. The acquisition by the private investor Roland Belz in 2008 resulted in the renewed restoration of the Amtshaus and the outer castle. Impressed by Belz’s previous commitment, the EUROPEAN HERITAGE PROJECT Frankenberg decided to acquire the company in 2014 and to continue with the restorations.
Remains of the castle Voderfrankenberg