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posted 01-20-2004 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Hi every one,

I have decided to start this topic to post and share with you all news and nice things about mansions and manor houses I find on the Internet, while surfing. Something like the castle book nook.

And ofcourse every body is more than welcome also to place some news or nice things.


The first nice thing, I found this week was that the city council of Braunschweig/ Brunswick (Germany) has decided to rebuild the old ducal residence of Braunschweig. Well rebuild, they have decided to rebuild the facace of the palace. This facade will be part of a big mall. I know this sounds at first horrible. Rebuilding a palace to make it a mall, but the council wants to put in the palace something with public/ cultural objectives. And as well they have chosen together with the builder two architects (Grazioli and Muthesius), who are knwon to be very good in joining new architecture with old architecture. So I have to say I as lost castle/ palace fanatic am very excited. They say the project will be finished in 2006.

The 'original' palace dates from the 19th century, and is a good example of neoclassical architecture. Some people say it has been an example for the wellknown front of Buckingham palace in London. Before the 19th century they were already other palaces standing on the place in Brunswick, but they all have disappeared through fire. The ducal palace was bombarded in the second World War, it burnt out, but not destroyed, the building could easily have been restored. But nothing was decided and the burntout palace stood as an shell until the 1960's, when they city government of that day decided to pull the palace ruin down. And now about 40 years later an other city government is going to rebuilt it.

You can find some info about it on (in German, but you can translate it with www.altavista.com):





posted 01-24-2004 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
This a very good site (in German):

It is about the mansions and palaces of the Dukes of Zweibrücken in the 18th century. The duchy is now long gone, and is part of the state of Rheinland Pfalz in Germany.

It mostly concerns lost palaces:

One of them Carlsberg palaces was one cilometre wide (!!!) and the biggest palace of Europe in the countryside. It was destroyed during the spread of the French revolution over Europe, which has destroyed many fine castles and palaces left of the Rhine.

The site is based on a book published about the Schlösser of the dukes of Zweibrucken. A very nice book, and I like it very much, because Carlsberg was the first lost house which caught mine attention

posted 01-24-2004 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Also I would like to make some attention for the site of the association for the rebuilding of the City Palace of Berlin:

(you can choice the languague: german or english)

The plan is to rebuild the exterior of the palace and some rooms inside. The government has already approved, but hasn't yet started with the rebuilding because of the economic situation. When the palace is rebuilt, it will mainly be used as museum for easten asiatec art, I believe.

posted 02-08-2004 06:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
And again they are going rebuilt a palace in Germany.

I have found out that besides the palaces of Berlin, Brunswick and Potsdam, the Thurn and Taxis Palace in Frankfurt am Main will be rebuilt.

The palace was once residence of the princes of Thurn and Taxis (who now live in the Saint Emmeram Palace in Regensburg), and it was designed by the French royal architect Robert de Cotte in the early 18th century. The palace was destroyed in WW II as so many palaces and castles in Germany and other parts of Europe. And now a Real estate developing company from Holland, MAB, wil now going to rebuilt the Palace, as part of a big real estate project.

(in german): http://www.welt.de/data/2003/10/06/178448.html

A model of the palace:

posted 02-22-2004 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
This site is about a charity organization who are trying to a save/ restore a 19th century 'castle' in wales.

posted 02-25-2004 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Just discovered this site about one of the greatest houses of Scotland: Hamilton Palace.

The loss of this house was one the greatest architectural disasters of the UK. But now you can rediscover the palace through this site. It is really great


The authors describe the site like this:

This website is the first stage of a longer term research project to provide more information about one of Scotland's most famous lost buildings, its magnificent contents and its occupants throughout the centuries.

The ultimate aim is to recreate the Palace in a virtual world and bring back together the unique collections of paintings, furniture and objets d'art which have since been dispersed to become the treasures of museums around the world and to set these in their historical and cultural contexts through a series of research projects and the publication of related archive materials.

This project is being undertaken by the Virtual Hamilton Palace Trust which includes experts in the field and representatives of a number of Scotland's leading cultural institutions. This website has been created with a grant from the New Opportunities Fund through the Resources for Learning in Scotland scheme in association with SCRAN. It has been undertaken with the co-operation of a number of institutions and individuals led by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland under the overall direction of the Trust.

posted 02-25-2004 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
re; Gwrych Castle.
This is not too far from me. Published a bit on it several Posterns back. Also have the booklet on it. If the booklet is still going would you like me to get one for you ?

posted 05-09-2004 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Here is again some news from the rebuilding front. Besides the rebuilding projects in Germany and Poland (the rebuilding plans of the 18th centuries Saski Palace and Bruehl Palace in Warsaw). They have started in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, this year or last year (Lithuanian isn't my strong side) with the rebuilding of the in the 18th/ 19th century destroyed/ declined Grand ducal palace in the lower castle of Vilnius. The plan is to finish the rebuilding before 2009, when the millenium celebrations of Vilnius are. The plan was controversial, but it started any way. It costs about $100 million.

You can find information on the following sites:

http://www.lvr.lt the official site in Lithuanian, I think, the pictures are nice and I hope that one day they will make an English version

http://www.post.lt/katalogas_en/item_details.php3?item_id=632&parent_id=147 the site of the postage service with an honorary stamp for the rebuilding

And thank God a good article in English from 1997 with the history of the building

posted 05-09-2004 03:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
Here is another article about the rebuilding in English

The article is as follows (I have put here, because I don't know how long it will stay on that website):

Most visitors to Vilnius are so charmed by its unique Old Town, its winding streets, the numerous beautiful churches that they do not notice that in fact something very important is missing. As should be expected in a city that is a historical capital, there is the "Pilies" (Castle) street, furthermore, it is the main street of the Old Town. It should, as the name implies, lead to the castle, however it ends abruptly in a park to the right, and a large open space to the left. Up ahead, where one would expect the main buildings of the castle to be, there was up to recently essentially nothing. Just a few trees.

That something is missing, becomes even more evident when one turns left from Pilies street into the Cathedral Square. On one side of the square stands the imposing classical colonnaded Cathedral. In front of it the tall bell tower, and, incorporated into the Cathedral, the ornate baroque St. Casimir' s chapel. But behind it to the right, again--nothing. The Cathedral stands all by itself and in spite of its imposing size it looks almost lonely.

Of course it was not like this in medieval times and many hundred years after. For all that time, right besides the Cathedral rose the Rulers' Palace of the Vilnius Castle. In fact, the Castle was there first, and religious shrines, either pagan or Christian, were built within its protective walls. The main buildings of the Vilnius Castle, including the imposing Rulers' Palace were dismantled after Lithuania was occupied by Russia at the end of the eighteenth century. Only a tower on the adjoining hill survived because it was used for signaling purposes. The reasons for the destruction were simple. The newly incorporated regions had to become part of Russia. Even the name was eliminated, officially Lithuania was called the "Severno-Zapadnyji Krai," or the Northwestern Territory. All reminders that Lithuania was for centuries an independent powerful state had to be removed. History was rewritten. Not just in the falsified textbooks, efforts were also made to rewrite it on the ground.

History, heritage, language, religious traditions. These are the components that add up to a national consciousness, that separate, for example, a Lithuanian from a Russian. In this list the Castle in Vilnius occupies a rather important part. It is truly the cradle of Lithuania's history. One might say its importance was decreed by the last ice age. The glaciers that extended somewhat south of Vilnius, left their indelible mark. Among uncounted other changes of the landscape, they pushed up a rather steep hill between two rivers, their melted water created extensive swamps but left a sandy spit which extended from the hill into surrounding swamps. The swamps are long gone by now, filled in over the centuries. But for many hundreds of years they provided protection. This was recognized very early, the site became a religious center, then, after a military aristocracy arose, also a fortified settlement and eventually a castle of the regional ruler.

The importance of the site is attested by two legends. The first legend has a religious significance and harks back to very distant times for which no written records exist. It decrees that it is here in the "Sventaragio slenis" (Valley of Sventaragis) that the important personages of Lithuania must be cremated. (Although literally "Sventaragis" means "Holy-Horn," more properly it should be called "Holy-Spit" since "ragas" refers to a sandy spit at the confluence of the Neris and Vilnia). The legend is an echo of a reformation movement of the Baltic pagan religion which included a change of funerary practices.

The second legend originated many hundreds of years later, at the beginning of the fourteenth century. By this time the castle of the local ruler had become the main fortification of a powerful state which had already lived through a turbulent history. One of its rulers, Mindaugas, had accepted Christianity about 80 years earlier and had built a church for his own coronation within his castle. Under pressure from the traditional religion renounced Christianity, but nevertheless perished with his entire family in an internal coup. Gediminas, the ruler of the new dynasty was an adroit politician who managed to build a pagan empire right within a Europe which by that time had been Christian for centuries. Gediminas established Vilnius as the capital of Lithuania. His progeny (the Gediminids became one of the most powerful dynasties in Europe) ascribed to him the founding of Vilnius. Though not strictly true, after all, settlements at the site had existed for centuries, the legend duly noted in the Lithuanian Chronicle, is both a historical document and an example of early image building.

One of the fascinating aspects of this long history is that right here, at the confluence of the Neris and Vilnia rivers, religious and secular power coexisted side by side for times which extend beyond recorded history. As the fate of Mindaugas shows, the coexistence was not always peaceful. By the time of Gediminas, the pagan religion was dominated by the secular ruler (note that in the legend, Lizdeika is referred to as "his seer" ). The baptism of Lithuania in 1387 emphasized this dependence. It was a baptism decreed by the rulers (in this case Jogaila and Vytautas) who, unlike Mindaugas, had sufficient power to make it stick. They ordered that the Holy Groves be destroyed, the Holy Fires extinguished, and Lithuania became officially Christian. A cathedral was built within castle grounds were the holy fire used to burn and were Mindaugas had built a modest church for his coronation. In the countryside paganism continued for a few hundred years more, but it had to be practiced in secret. However, in the capital, to emphasize Lithuania' s new commitment to Christian Europe, the cathedral stood right alongside the rulers' palace.

It stands in the very same place today. However, until recently, to the east of it there was just an open space. In essence--a void. A void not just in the urban fabric of Vilnius, but also in the history of Lithuania. Left all by itself, the Cathedral, as important as it is, represents just one half of the complex history that played itself out in this location over the centuries. Happily, as of this writing, this void has become a building site. The "Valdovu Rumai" (Rulers' Palace) is being resurrected.

The rebuilding of a structure razed two hundred years ago, a structure that has such a large historical significance is certainly not a simple matter. No wonder that it was preceded by over a decade of research and discussions (at times quite heated) about how to proceed. The issue is certainly not a simple one. A valid question that could be asked is---what structure to rebuild? The first brick foundations and walls found during extensive archeological research date back to the times of Mindaugas. They were built using the local "Vendic" or "Baltic" brick laying style. Not much of them remains, because Gediminas, and then Vytautas built considerably more extensive defensive walls and buildings at the same site. They were built in the then prevailing Gothic style. But time marches on. By the sixteenth century, the surrounding swamps were gone, the entire castle area was enclosed by strong walls, turrets and moats. A palace with huge defensive walls and small windows was not needed, and king Sigismundus I (Zigimantas Senasis), at the instigation of his new Italian wife Bona Sforza, had the palace rebuilt in the then prevailing Renaissance style. It was built right on top of the foundations left by Vytautas. Baroque components were added later, but basically it was this version that survived and was eventually razed by the Russians. This version has by far the most extensive documentation, including renditions by the artist Smuglevicius. It is this version which is now being rebuilt, however, all of the uncovered very extensive foundations of the earlier buildings on this site will be preserved and will be part of the historical exhibition.


So in a few more years the religious and the secular will again stand side by side on the "Sventaragio" site. During the discussions that preceded the decision to rebuild there were objections voiced that the Rulers' Palace will not be "authentic." In the purist sense this is true. However, it should be appreciated that even in old historical Europe truly authentic buildings are rare. They are by far the exception, not the rule. The fact is that many of the historical sites much admired and enjoyed by natives and tourists alike are not "authentic." They have been altered, restored and in a large number of cases rebuilt from the ground up. This includes practically all of the historical structures in Germany including such famous ones as the dome in Cologne or the castle in Wartburg. It includes entire "old towns" in Poland and Germany, for example, the old towns of Warsaw, Gdansk, Dresden, Nuremberg, Rostock and others. In the United States, Williamsburg and Sturbridge are not authentic. Even the White House was rebuilt after the British burned it in 1812. The point is that "authenticity" is but one characteristic of a historical structure. Others, no less important, are the symbolic meaning associated with it, their ability to represent, to inform, to educate.

One might thus in full justification say that the Vilnius Castle will be authentic. It will be an authentic twenty-first century structure which on the outside creates the image of the Renaissance palace that stood here for so many centuries. On the inside it will in fact be better. It will be built not to serve the needs of a king, but to serve our needs; it will use not sixteenth century, but twenty-first century technology and materials.


A very important issue associated with the rebuilding of the palace was public involvement. In the lively discussions that preceded the decision to rebuild, a very broad cross section of the Lithuanian public participated. Supporters joined not just to discuss, but also started various activities whose purpose was to raise funds, inform the public, and increase interest in the Vilnius Castle and Lithuanian history. The principal support organization is the "Valdovu Rum¸ Paramos Fondas."

The important closing point is that, yes, work has started, but MUCH remains to be done. And support is needed and greatly appreciated. Financial support, ideas and direct participation. As people in the United States know very well, and people in Lithuania are learning---without public support and public participation such projects will not be successful. When monsignor Vasiliauskas, the heart and conscience of Lithuania, was asked why he supports the rebuilding of the Vilnius Castle---after all it is a palace where kings and not the humble resided---he answered: "Valdovai, tai mes." Translated this means that in a democratic society, we, all of us, are the "rulers."

It is our history, our heritage, it is for us to rebuild, to cherish and to enjoy it.

posted 05-14-2004 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
Cheers Ipflo,
you havre more determination than me to seek all that out.
Not my field, but still very interesting.

posted 07-04-2004 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
One of the grand houses is coming for sale: Dumfries House. There is a great fear that the house and its content will be split.

Hopefully it will be bought by the NTS or a similar organisation, so that such a beautiful house and collection can be saved together.


IT is a time capsule of eighteenth-century Scotland at its finest.
One of the great country houses, it was commissioned by William, fifth Earl of Dumfries, who realised his imposing vision in the 1750s with the help of William Adam, the classical architect.
It contains the earliest surviving commission by Thomas Chippendale, Britain's greatest cabinetmaker, and houses the largest group of his documented rococo furniture remaining in private hands.
The house has remained little changed since then. But yesterday the twenty-first century intruded on the idyll when Lord Bute, or Johnny Bute as he prefers to be known, the former motor racing champion, announced he is to sell Dumfries House, raising fears its contents could be lost to the nation.
The 250-year-old ancestral home in Cumnock, Ayrshire, could fetch several million pounds when it goes on sale with its contents in September.
The move to sell the house and its estate follows a review of its financial viability by the seventh Marquis of Bute, who, as Johnny Dumfries, drove in Formula 1 in the 1986 season, before winning the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1988.
Last night, the National Trust for Scotland said it was interested in developing a consortium to bid for the contents amid concerns that the various pieces otherwise could be sold individually.
Robin Pellew, trust chief executive, said: "Our main concern is that the magnificent contents, including the Chippendale furniture, may be split up and sold piecemeal.
"The heritage significance lies not just in the intrinsic value of the collections in their own right, but that they were actually designed and created to be shown in their current setting in the house.
"For an entire collection of this quality to survive intact is extremely rare. It is the totality of the house with its original furniture in-situ that is of such international importance. If the contents are broken up then the loss to Scotland's heritage will be serious."
Johnny Bute, whose family is also affiliated with Mount Stuart house on the isle of Bute, said his decision to dispose of the estate had been reached with "a certain amount of sadness, but no regret".
He said: "Since my father's death in 1993, I have continually monitored the commercial viability of the Dumfries estate and analysed returns in comparison to other varied assets.
"The estate has always been well managed and the overall yield has been very respectable for a traditional agricultural estate. However, to retain such an asset in the long term, many factors must be considered – practical, management and inheritance issues."
He said his primary aim during the past 11 years had been to run his commercial businesses in an efficient and profitable manner, as well as the restructuring of Bute estate and the financial endowment of the Mount Stuart Trust, to secure the long-term future of Mount Stuart House and the Bute estate.
"With a view to devolving assets to the next generation of my family, I have therefore decided to dispose of the Dumfries estate. It is with a certain amount of sadness, but no regret, that I have reached this decision. I firmly believe that my decision is the correct one."
He added: "My family's stewardship over Bute land goes back to circa 1385, when John Stewart was appointed hereditable Sheriff of Bute. From that time until the present day, the Bute estate has continued to flourish.
"I was born on Bute and raised at Mount Stuart . . . I never lived at Dumfries House, which was my grandmother's home. It would be fair to say my heart has always been on Bute rather than in Ayrshire."
Mr Pellew said an initial estimate of the likely costs required for the acquisition and long-term maintenance of Dumfries House would place a massive burden on the trust if it were to go it alone.
Graeme Munro, Historic Scotland chief executive, said he had invited senior representatives of the trust, the National Galleries of Scotland, the National Museums of Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore the options.


Dumfries House contains a magnificent collection of furniture by Thomas Chippendale, Britain's leading cabinetmaker – and the only documented examples illustrating his Director style.
Dumfries House also contains a collection of contemporaneous Scottish furniture, supplied between 1756-1760, principally by William Mathie and Alexander Peter, the Edinburgh furniture makers.


Aristocrat set to make a stately pile


ONE of Scotland’s finest stately homes, which contains the largest private collection of Sir Thomas Chippendale’s rococo furniture, has been put up for sale by the Marquess of Bute.

Dumfries Estate, in Cumnock, Ayrshire, described as "one of the most important country houses in Scotland" is expected to fetch between £5 million and £8 million when it goes on the market in September.

Together with Chippendale’s masterpieces, the house also includes a distinguished collection of 18th-century Scottish furniture.

Charles Cator, the co-chairman of Christie’s auctioneers, which is advising on the sale, described the appearance of such an important collection on the market as "unprecedented".

"Dumfries House and its contents have survived unaltered and complete since the mid-18th century and so form one of the finest intact examples of a great mid-18th-century Scottish country house," he said.

A number of wealthy individuals will be interested in the estate but it is understood that the National Trust for Scotland has already been contacted to explore the possibility of a private treaty sale.

Yesterday, the 27th Earl of Dumfries, Johnny Dumfries said that the decision to put the estate on the market was taken with "a certain amount of sadness, but no regret".

"Since my father’s death in 1993, I have continually monitored the commercial viability of the Dumfries Estate and analysed the returns in comparison to other varied assets.

"I was born on Bute and raised at Mount Stuart. In contrast, I never lived at Dumfries House which was my grandmother’s home. It would be fair to say that my heart has always been on Bute rather than in Ayrshire. With a view to devolving assets to the next generation of my family, I have therefore decided to dispose of the Dumfries Estate."

Directly descended from Robert the Bruce, the man who helped Jaguar attain its first Le Mans victory for more than 30 years and raced with Formula One team Lotus has ruffled a few feathers since he inherited the title and a £120 million fortune.

He asked his stepmother, Lady Jennifer, to leave Mount Stuart, even though the will provided for her to continue to live there and also raised rents substantially among his 60 tenant farmers.

He is also not averse to selling off his family heirlooms, having sold his father’s yacht, King Duck, and more than £250,000 of items from Mount Stuart.

Plans for Dumfries House were discussed with William Adam in the 1730s for the 5th Earl of Dumfries. It was built by Adam’s sons, John and Robert, between 1751 and 1758. The house has changed little since then.

The Dumfries House commission is the largest group of Chippendale’s documented rococo furniture remaining in private hands. It is also his earliest commission to survive intact and the only group of documented examples that illustrates the full development of the "Director" style, with which Chippendale’s name is synonymous.

A spokeswoman for Christie’s said: "The sumptuous mahogany pieces, supplied to Lord Dumfries between 1759 and 1766, demonstrate the superlative confidence with which Chippendale combined technical excellence and complete mastery of design."

In addition to the extraordinary group of Chippendale pieces, Dumfries House also contains a large collection of Scottish furniture supplied between 1756 and 1760, principally by two of the finest Edinburgh makers, William Mathie and Alexander Peter.

It is understood that the marquess alerted the National Trust for Scotland three weeks ago of his intention to place the house on the market, thus providing the trust with an early opportunity to consider the possibility of acquisition.

Robin Pellew, the chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland, said that it is presently conducting an internal acquisition appraisal. "We are only too aware of the outstanding significance of the house and especially its contents, and their importance to the heritage of Scotland," he said.

"The trust would be very interested in developing a consortium of cultural heritage organisations in Scotland to explore a collective way forward.

"We are ready and willing to participate in a collective effort to save these treasures for the nation, but with the scale and size of such a task, we would have to look towards the Scottish Executive for a lead."

FPD Savills is advising on the sale of the house and the estate and expects to bring it to the market in September this year.

[This message has been edited by ipflo (edited 07-04-2004).]

posted 10-16-2004 07:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
In France there is a discussion started about rebuilding the Palace of the Tuileries, the 'fourth' wing of the Louvre. The palace was the residence of the kings of France and of the both Napoleons

A site about this rebuilding plan is under construction:




posted 08-27-2006 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message
As once said, in Brunswick, Germany, they are rebuilding the former residential palace, and as you can see on the following webcam, the outside is almost ready:

Just as with the Frauenkirche in Dresden: they are using parts from the original palace: the black parts in the building.


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