The Scale of Damage

The western façade of the building on the Rhine side suffered heavy damage during the Second World War as the result of Allied Forces artillery fire. The central cupola of the Art Gallery was virtually destroyed, bullet holes dotting the walls are still visible today and the priceless stained-glass windows that once decorated the Art Gallery and the castle's function rooms were completely shot to pieces. Luckily, the large staircase window on the eastern side managed to survive. The furnishings belonging to the historical interior rooms were also badly affected. Allied troops and refugees were bivouacked here and, after they had left, large sections of the mural paintings were found to be missing, having been ripped from the walls and stolen.

The first protective measures were initiated in 1948. The Art Gallery received a makeshift roof, damaged windows were repaired and interior rooms were made habitable again. However, by 1960, more decay had set in as the building stood empty for ten years and underwent even more damage through vandalism and adverse weather effects. If the maintenance carried out in the 1970s rescued the castle from total demolition, it would be fair to say (at least from today's point of view) that the work carried out then was neither thorough nor adequate in terms of monument restoration considerations.