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Royal Hunting Lodge Castle Hotel of Darmstadt

Hotel and Restaurant Jagdschloss Kranichstein  Darmstadt photoOn the edge of the sylvan woods, not far from the bounds of the city of Frankfurt and a suburb of Darmstadt, the Jagdschloss Kranichstein is one of the most beautifully set castle hotels in the Rhine-Main region. This historic 4-star hotel takes up a wing of a 16th Century Baroque country castle with ten spacious and stylish double rooms and four elegant suites. The name in German essentially means “hunting lodge palace of the Crane rook”, taken from the elegant birds which nested in the small lakes of the woods. The grounds offer a quiet romantic getaway, but very near to major city and business centers in the central region of Hesse.

Jagdscholoss Kranichstein  Baroque Palce photoThe land was first granted as a fiefdom to Georg I of Darmstadt in 1399, but first mention of the name of Kranichstein was in 1549. The castle itself was built between 1578 and 1580 as the hunting lodge of the Duke Ludwig (Louis) VIII, designed by the royal architect Jakob Kesselhut. In 1826 the property became the country hunting lodge of the Grand Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt Ludwig I. After the war and the last of the royal grand dukes in 1917, the castle was opened as a museum of hunting. The heraldic icon of the crane from which the woodlands take their name can be seen with spread wings from a stone perch on the central building which links the two wings of the castle, and houses the museum.

Kavaliersbau Restaurant photoThe hotel offers two lovely restaurants. Lunch is available in the Kavaliersbau Restaurant with its outdoor terrace, while the Landgraf Ludwig VIII Restaurant, taking its name from the first royal occupant of the castle serves dished created with a regional flair from head chef Thilo Hanke (except on Sundays) with a fine selection of matching wines. On Sundays at 6pm the chef offers a special cooking class in the castle kitchen including the meal, and drinks. The kitchen will pack a basket lunch for a picnic on the edge of the lake in the park or for a trip away. Featured public rooms in the castle hotel are a lavish locksmith hall, two lounges for anniversaries and family celebrations, the castle chapel for romantic weddings, the stables, now converted for receptions, and the round tower room in the museum part of the castle for hotel guests and corporate events. The grounds afford casual walks or hiking in the nearby Odenwald.

For visiting Germany castles see Favorite Castles of Germany.

Interior Jagdschloss  Kranichstin Hotel photoThe Hunting Museum of Jagdschloss Kranichstein presents an overview of the history of hunting from earliest times up to the Baroque period, with much of the focus on the 18th Century, with an impressive collection of weapons, from crossbow to cutlasses. The upstairs rooms illustrate the splendor of a Baroque period pleasure palace, with trophies, hunting themed paintings, tapestries and hunting accessories. The Hotel Jagdschloss Kranichstein, with free parking on the grounds is perfect for exploring the Rhine region, the location offers the peace and tranquility of the countryside but is only 10 minutes by car from the old town center of Darmstadt, 20 minutes from Frankfurt Main Airport, 30 minutes from Frankfurt downtown and 20 minutes from Aschaffenburg. Or tTe a steam train ride at the nearby Darmstadt-Kranichstein Rail Museum. Even the infamous ruins of the Frankenstein castle of Darmstadt is only a 15 minute drive, but you’ll find no angry villages with pitchforks in Kranichstein. © Bargain Luxury Travel

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