Sayn Castle was first of all merely a castellan’s house: in the second half of the 15th century, the barons of Reiffenberg had built it underneath Sayn Castle as a noble estate. It was only in 1757 that the palace began to be developed, a multiple-winged, Baroque complex, which was changed over to a Neo-Gothic style from 1848. For this, a certain François Joseph Girard entered into service as a planner - later he was the chief architect of the Louvre Museum. However, the Second World War demolished the entire core of the building; Sayn Palace was irretrievably destroyed, right down to the crumbling stonework. With the help of funds from the state, the Palace was restored by the princely house between 1995 and 2000. Sayn Palace is part of the Sayn Culture Park. Here, visitors can experience a variety of sights together with the castle building. The Butterfly Gardens, iron casting house “Sayner Hütte” and a climbing forest are only some of the attractions waiting to be discovered.
The Neues Museum Schloss Sayn: Behind the Scenes of the Princely Family
In winter 2019/2020, the palace underwent a number of considerable changes. The Rhenish Museum for Ornamental Cast Iron, which was housed at the Palace Museum for twenty long and proud years, has been relocated to the neighbouring Sayn Foundry. Prince Alexander and Princess Gabriela took this opportunity to redesign the palace rooms for an exciting new exhibition, showcasing 200 years of family history through the biographies of the great Centenarian Princesses Leonilla (1816-1918) and Marianne (b. 1919). The museum shows the great splendour of bygone times, the destruction of the palace at the end of World War II, its recent reconstruction, and today’s princely family.
Outstanding photographs by Princess Marianne, the legendary “Mamarazza” and Grande Dame of the Salzburg Festival, tell of her time in Sayn, the “Sayner Zeit”, as well as her life near Lake Fuschl in Austria where she hosted famous luncheons attracting the likes of Sean Connery, Margaret Thatcher, and King Juan Carlos of Spain.
Car racing scenes from the 1950s, captured through Princess Marianne’s lens, are shown in a room specially dedicated to gentlemen. The sport greatly inspired the Princess and her family, so much so that her eldest son, Prince Alexander, became a committed racer until his marriage to Princess Gabriela, whose father made him promise never to race again.
When entering the “Blue Hall”, you feel immersed in the life of the princely household of Prince Louis and his wife, the beautiful Russian Princess Leonilla, who lived in Sayn in the 19th century. Gold dishes, crystal glasses and silver cutlery on view were used while receiving emperors and kings. The cabinet next to the Blue Hall is dedicated to their earlier life and work in Russia.
Young guests have their own kingdom in the palace with a fairy tale workshop and a small butterfly cabinet of curiosity in which delicate butterflies can be examined under a magnifying glass.
The tour through the new museum can of course be altered to suit young visitors.
Butterfly Garden (Garten der Schmetterlinge) Tel +49 2622 15478, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Museum Schloss Sayn (Neues Museum) Tel +49 2622 902424, email@example.com
Open daily March – December
Schloss-Str. 100, 56170 Bendorf-Sayn