Music Room

The Music Room is the only social room on the second floor of Schloss Drachenburg. It has a neo-Gothic reticulate vault and lavish wall panellings (and designed by Franz Langenberg and made by J. Vershoven, a firm based in Bonn). As originally furnished and subsequently augmented, the room has always been in the service of music.

Now as then, the Music Room boasts a grand piano made especially for Schloss Drachenburg, thus recalling the era under Stephan von Sarter’s nephew when the castle was first opened for viewing purposes and the rooms were used as social rooms by the summer holiday guests staying in the Nordic Houses and Hotel Burghof.

In June 1909, the piano- and organ-making firm of Ibach from Schwelm near Wuppertal sold this grand piano – purpose built for the Music Room – to the second owner of the castle, Jakob Hubert Biesenbach. A unique piece, it had a special frame whose grapevine wood carving harmonised with the wall panelling of the room. Biesenbach bought this concert-standard instrument after returning another black lacquered Ibach Glockenflügel (Instrument Nr 42223) which he had previously rented. Historical pictures of the time after 1909 show that his unique Glockenflügel grand piano made of walnut wood remained in the Music Room from the early 20th century well into the 1930s and continued to be played. When the St Michael’s Catholic Boys’ Boarding School was closed in 1938, the instrument was auctioned off. However, thanks to a set of fortunate circumstances, it was found possible to re-acquire the grand piano for the castle in 2001.

The Glockenflügel grand piano is an extravagant and seldom-built “concert instrument with charm” (Ibach), a true historical rarity. In fact, Ibach only made six examples of this special model. It was called a Glockenflügel or “bell grand” due to the contours: seen from above, the shape of the instrument resembles that of a bell. It is also virtually “axisymmetrical” meaning that it can be designated a “symmetrical grand piano”. Its lid can be opened from the back while inside the long strings for the lower notes can be diagonally stretched across the shorter strings.

The Music Room also contains a neo-Gothic organ placed on the neo-baroque balustrade along the east wall. Again, this is reminiscent of the last owner of the castle: the quirky Paul Spinat, the proprietor from 1971 to 1989. It is reported that Mr Spinat would organise organ concerts for his guests – with the music, however, coming from a tape record. The organ itself is a dummy.

The stencil paintings of the 19th century along the walls of the Music Room have been uncovered and/or reconstructed. As in almost all other parts of the castle, the room’s original stained glass windows have disappeared. A central feature was the folkloric “Birds’ Wedding”.

The large window rosette once showed the Sarter coat-of-arms, encircled by the coats-of-arms of the eight cities which were home to the most important firms to have participated in the overall building and furnishing of Schloss Drachenburg – Bonn, Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart, Paris, Dresden, Düsseldorf and Berlin.