Guest-of-Honour Suite

The Guest-of-Honour Suite, a second private apartment, is situated next to the Private Apartment on the second floor of Schloss Drachenburg, to the north.

Its living room is impressive for its wood-grained stucco ceiling with stencil paintings. The ceiling also features several unrestored sections through which one can see the original coat of paint as uncovered. The room is now furnished in accordance with historical descriptions. The brownish wallpaper, the large buffet cabinet made of light oakwood by the Cologne firm of Pallenberg, the richly ornamented walnut chairs and the dark-red materials lend the room a subdued atmosphere entirely attuned to Wilhelmine taste. Of all the original coloured-glass skylights, one was rescued from the rubble of the Second World War and recently returned to the castle. It shows a youth “with his fondness for music and song” and a lute. The adjacent windows depicted childhood (fruit and sweets), adulthood (with the tools and weapons of the active full-bodied male) and old age (the Bible).

Next to the living room in the suite, the bedroom conveys a different impression, being painted in friendly, almost cheerful, bright colours. On the basis of the historical evidence available – the nailing system for the wall covering, the written records and a photo handed down from 1903 – the room has been refitted with a floral wall covering and white lacquered furniture. Johannes Proelss, for example, writing in the Frankfurter Zeitung in 1884; spoke of “a guest-room with brightly patterned furniture and light textured wallpaper in a Marie Tudor style”. Today, the ceiling radiates once again in white with blue & apricot coloured stencilling. The through door to the living room has also been returned to its original colour.

The oriel in the south-west originally served as a dressing room area – which invokes the charming notion of getting dressed or freshening up with such a wonderful view over the Rhine Valley! Like many of the rooms in the castle, the Guest-of-Honour Suite has had a turbulent history. From the 1930s onwards, it functioned as a classroom of various sorts. The last private owner of Schloss Drachenburg, Paul Spinat, set up a parrot aviary in the oriel with the guest-of-honour bedroom providing a fanciful brilliant ambience of baroque, rococo and Chippendale elements.

In line with written records and inventory catalogues, the “small guest-of-honour room” situated to the east of the side corridor is also furnished as a bedroom for feminine requirements. Yet in the early 20th century the room was not reserved for guests of honour but for girls – i.e. for the maids in service to the guests.

The corridor leads straight to the side staircase south which, like the staircase north, links all the floors together and through which the servants could directly access the house-keeping area in the basement.