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Isenburg Castle – a Cultural and Political Center

The majestic towers of the Isenburg Castle overlookthe river in the center of Offenbach. The building of the Renaissance era wasbuilt in the XVI century as a residence of the Counts von Isenburg. In the olddays, the castle was an important cultural and political center. This is theplace where progressive economic ideas germinated and key social decisions weremade. For instance, the Counts von Isenburg opened a city for the Huguenotrefugees in 1698, that prompted the development of crafts and trade inOffenbach and allowed the city to get ahead of its competitor, the city ofFrankfurt, for long.

The Isenburg Castle is known by the fact that renowned historicalfigures lived and worked here at different times. Thus, during the ThirtyYears' War (1618-1648), King of Sweden Gustav II Adolf lodged here, and in the lateXVIII century the Isenburg Castle was taken on lease by a rebellious Polishreligious leader and founder of the Shabtai Zvi sect Jacob Frank for threemillion guilders. He arranged a pilgrim center in the castle, collecteddonations and lived in such a grand style, that it was rumored in Offenbachthat a Russian emperor settled in the Isenburg Castle. Later, in 1883, a Germanpainter Leopold Bode arranged his workshop in the castle. It was here where manyof his paintings and prints with scenes from the history of Europe werewritten. In the ХХ century theIsenburg Castle lost its significance, having been ruined. Only in the late90-ies of the last century, the castle was completely renovated. It was thenthat its walls acquired a bright-brick color, which makes the castle readilyrecognizable today. Graceful cast-iron grates, a gallery with a suite ofsemicircular columns and medieval furniture are still preserved in the castle. Thebuilding currently belongs to one of the educational institutions in Offenbach.

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