The Library

“The remarkable wooden ceilings, doors and wallpaper etc. are of the most tasteful and artistic design, just like the rest of the castle”.
Drachenfels and Schloss Drachenburg near Königswinter on the Rhine, undated, c. 1904

In addition to its obligatory function as a study – and thus fitted with desk, cabinet and bookcase – the Library at Schloss Drachenburg was planned with a representative role in mind, hence the high quality and artistic design. Indeed, the “private” study was located on the first floor, which supports this interpretation of the Library on the ground floor as the “public” study.

Together with the adjoining Hunt & Billiard Room, the Library functioned as a kind of Gentlemen’s Lounge and social room. Since the furnishings and the décor owed a lot to the advice of contemporary experts, both rooms underline Stephan von Sarter’s susceptibility towards the latest trends in living accommodation. The highly praised wooden fittings were made from 1884 to 1885 by the Cologne-based firm of Pallenberg in the then popular style known as “German Renaissance”.

All the furniture items and furnishing elements were specially conceived for the Library. Even the glass paintings for the windows, which were made by the Munich-based Mayer’sche Institute of Court Art and which are now lost to posterity, were a part of the integrated spatial concept. They depicted the “various branches of knowledge” such as history, arithmetic, astronomy and geography as well as the North and South Poles (in a design by Anton Nepomuk Seder).

In other words, the Library was purpose-built and has maintained that function over time, which is why the original wooden wall fittings have survived to a great extent. The present movable furniture has been reconstituted on the basis of historical pictures and descriptions. In other words, the room on view is more or less in its original state.

Above the sofa, the oil sketch Handing Over of the Foundation Stone at Cologne Cathedral by the artist Friedrich von Keller was drawn circa 1884 as the draft to the same-named wall painting in the Main Staircase. It may, without a doubt, be considered one of the most valuable surviving testimonies from the construction years of Schloss Drachenburg.

The subject of the picture refers to an event from the annals of local history. However, it also bears witness to the strong nationalist awareness of castle-owner Stephan von Sarter.