This is like a fary-tale...
"The magnificent ruins of Montfort
resting on a mull -,
the most beautiful that I ever set my eyes upon."
This is how Annette von Droste-Hülshoff described the ruins of Montfort in her letters. The ruins of Montfort, however, were torn down in 1861 to make way for a "fairy-tale castle".
Today's Montfort Castle, which was built in the Moorish-style in 1866, is the magnificent landmark of Langenargen. Located on a promontory, almost a peninsula, jutting boldly into the lake, it is now a place to dream, celebrate, eat, drink and enjoy.
History of Schloss Montfort
Castle, Residence, Ruin - From the 14th to the 19th century
The walls of Montfort Castle, a prime landmark of Langenargen with a wonderful and unique location practically in Lake Constance, bear witness to a long and eventful history. Even in the Roman times two mighty watchtowers stood close together on an island in the lake. In the 14th century, the Counts of Montfort built the former construction of "Argen Castle" on the site. The Counts of Montfort redeveloped the castle in baroque style in the 18th century, and they also cultivated an orangery in the castle gardens. After selling the county to Austria in the year 1780, however, the castle gradually fell victim to dereliction. The castle ultimately served the people of Langenargen as a handy stone quarry and the observer as a romantic ruin.
The Moorish-style Montfort Castle - an oriental flair at Lake Constance
After Langenargen became a part on Württemberg in 1810, Wilhelm I of Württemberg decreed that the old castle ruins should be torn down in 1861 to make way for construction of a new castle on the same site. King Wilhelm, however, died in 1864 before the completion of "Villa Argena", as Montfort Castle was originally intended to be named. His son and heir apparent, King Karl I, ruled that the name should be changed to "Montfort Castle" (or "Schloss Montfort" in German). After the completion in 1866, King Karl relinquished the castle to his mother Pauline to be used as a summer residence. The royal castle, of course, required a royal holding of court, which made it necessary to construct a building for the cavaliers in close proximity to the castle itself. Because Queen Pauline only made use of the castle in the summer of 1867, it was sold in 1873 to Princess Luise of Prussia, a niece of Emperor Wilhelm I. Until her death in 1901, she regularly spent the summer months in Langenargen.
A special feature of the castle are the Moorish details, such as the striped effect created by the yellow and red coloured brickwork, or the terracotta relief design on the outside of the building; an attractive design that can also be seen on Wilhelma Castle in Stuttgart. The building is a significant example of the orientalised architectural art of the 19th century. In addition to the Moorish-style and the neo-classical elements, the tradition of the medieval castle architecture are brought to bear, for instance with the battlement style crown of the castle.
Montfort Castle today
Montfort Castle today belongs to the municipality of Langenargen, which authorised a fundamental renovation and redevelopment of Montfort Castle in 1978. The concert hall in the upper floor, with its wonderful lakeside terrace, is used for various events, the ground floor restaurant is the perfect setting to celebrate, dream and enjoy.
The new location is the "Weinbar" (winebar). The location in the ground floor is the perfect place to meet friends and have a good evening.
Climb the castle tower
A narrow spiral staircase inside the castle tower takes visitors up to the viewing platform. The platform provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the lake, the Swiss Alps on the opposite side of the lake and the hilly hinterland. The view of the historical town centre of Langenargen and the picturesque Gondola Harbour are also a fascinating sight.
01. March to 31. October
daily 10 a.m. – 12 noon and 13 pm. – 17 pm.
Adults 2,00 €, children 1,50 €
Free ascent with the guest card "Schwäbischer Bodensee" and the BodenseeErlebniskarte (Lake Constance Experience Ticket),
National and international chamber music
Gems of national and international chamber music at Lake Constance
The Langenargen summer concerts have taken place in the concert hall of Montfort Castle for the past 40 years. Numerous international artists and renowned ensembles delight audiences, some of whom have travelled from afar, year for year, from June to August. The beautiful concert hall on the first floor of the castle with a view over the lake provides a worthy ambience for the concerts. During the break, concert visitors can enjoy the amazing view of the lake and the Swiss Alps while enjoying a glass of Sekt (sparkling wine) from the lakeside terrace. Music, nature and architecture are harmoniously combined here.
If you buy tickets for four concerts of your choice, you will receive a 10% discount, and for 6 or more tickets a 20% discount. Price categories are arbitrary.
Information / ticket sale:
Tourist Information Langenargen
Overall organisation and programme arrangement:
Konzertdirektion Peter Vogel, Lindau
Further information: www.langenargener-schlosskonzerte.de
Dr. Günther Grzimek's private art collection
Precious paintings from the 16th to 18th century
The rooms and halls of Montfort Castle are adorned with paintings from the 16th to 18th century originating from Günther Grzimeks' private collection, which are now owned by the municipality of Langenargen.
Dr. Günther Grzimek (1887-1980) began his acquirement of a private collection of paintings in Berlin during the first quarter of the 20th century. After the end of World War II, he continued his art collecting activities in Ravensburg and Friedrichshafen. The history of the collection began in Langenargen when paintings were loaned for exhibition in Montfort Castle during the fifties. In the year 1983, the municipality of Langenargen purchased 35 paintings from the collection, and hung 31 of those in Montfort Castle. The paintings display 24 biblical scenes and holy depictions, 4 mythological depictions, a landscape and an allegory.
In the mid nineties, the paintings were examined by experts and evaluated for restoration in accordance with priority, and the collection is undergoing restoration, piece by piece, since 2002.