Dining Room

“… in addition to the paintings in the Dining Room, we are also captivated by the immaculately fashioned wood carvings on the ceilings and walls”.
(Drachenfels and Schloss Drachenburg near Königswinter on the Rhine, undated, c.1904)

Hunting themes were the chief source of inspiration for the ornate decoration in the Dining Room, which is at once imposing and domestic. In five paintings, the Munich artist Ferdinand Wagner (1847-1927) illustrated the course of a hunt carried out by the Knight of Drachenfels Castle in the 14th century, the scenery that of the Rhine embankment. A picture entitled Riding out to the Hunt to the north east of the room acted as the introduction to the cycle of paintings. To the east, you see The Climax of the Hunt in which the distressed stag – harried by the hounds – flees into the Rhine whilst the knight riding on the riverbank is poised to throw his spear. The Boar Hunt to the south east also captures the decisive moment as the boar, cornered by the hounds, is finished off by the thrust of the huntsman’s spear. To the south west, you can see Taking a Rest near Godesberg. For its part, the Return from the Hunt was originally placed on the north-west side.

The only mural to have survived is the south half of the east wall with its main painting of a stag hunt. The others have been missing since the end the Second World War. Lacunae in the east wall were reconstructed after 1947 and during the 1970s and the lacunae on the south and north walls were augmented in the 1970s – at times with great imagination due to the lack of original templates. In 2009, in the wake of the general restoration, the overpaintings (which in parts meshed with the original artwork) were removed, the actual paintings were cleaned up and the overlaps between original and augmentation lightly retouched so that the wonderful artwork as created by Ferdinand Wagner can be displayed in all its former splendour. The paintings of the 1970s in the south and in the north of the room have also been cleaned up and re-instated.

Similarly, the original windows to the Dining Room were embellished by glass paintings with hunting themes. These glazings were made to measure in 1883/1884 by the Royal Court Stained Glass Manufactory of Franz Xavier Zettler, based in Munich, to sketches by Ferdinand Wagner and drawings by Alois Brunner. But they too have been missing since the Second World War. Most of the original woodwork preserved – such as ceiling, panelling and buffet, with all their intricate carvings – was carried out by the Hanover-based firm of Rümann. It was restored and partly reconstructed in 2009.