1942 – Destruction during the Second World War

The Adolf-Hitler-Schule (AHS 3) – a Nazi elite school – moved into Schloss Drachenburg in 1942. The most sustainable damage done to the building during this time was the destruction of the original Main Portal. Instead of the ornate double staircase that led to a gable-topped portico, the entrance vestibule was monumentalised by means of a broad set of stairs. The park also lost many of its landscape features due to the landfill utilised to position artillery. Added to which, the castle itself was bombarded – with nearly all the glass paintings being shattered and the Art Gallery heavily damaged in the process. On the side facing the Rhine, wind and rain could sweep in unhindered, thus causing the masonry to absorb damp. At the end of the war, US soldiers occupied the castle and afterwards it was commandeered as a refugee camp.