Wilhelmsburg Castle towers above the town of Schmalkalden as its main landmark. The castle was constructed in the late 16th century as the second residence of William IV, Landgrave of Hesse, and was officially inaugurated in 1590.
The building has remained extremely well preserved right through to the present day and is one of the most important monuments of Renaissance architecture in Germany. The four-winged building looks rather simple from the outside but its interior is full of extravagant wall paintings and stucco work. Its original rooms, which are well worth a visit, include the Landgrave's Chamber on the ground floor, a number of different richly decorated ballrooms and the cellar vault, an extremely authentic-looking copy of the vault from the 'Hessenhof' building in Schmalkalden with wall paintings depicting the Iwein epic by Hartmann von Aue that date back to the 13th century.
Another highlight of Wilhelmsburg Castle is the organ that can be found in the castle chapel. This instrument, which was built in 1589, is more than 400 years old and is therefore one of the oldest functioning organs with wooden pipes in the whole of Europe.
The castle's permanent exhibition on 'The Awakening of a New Era' takes visitors back to the times of Martin Luther, the Reformation and the Schmalkaldic League, which was the ultimate defensive power of the Protestant movement.
Monday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
November to March: Monday: closed, Tuesday to Sunday: open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm