Mespelbrunn Castle is a wonderful example of German Renaissance. It was built over six centuries ago, right in the center of a pond. The history of its emergence is as follows: in 1412, Archbishop of Mainz Johann granted land to knight Hamann Echter for his service as a forester. Seven years later, Echter built the first castle in the shape of a horseshoe and surrounded it with moats filled with water. In those days, the Spessart was a dense forest, where robbers often hunted, and the knight often gave shelter to travelers. Hamann Echter II’s son transformed the castle into a fortress with high walls. His descendants gradually expanded their ownership and transformed the estate into one of the most romantic castles in Germany.
Mespelbrunn Castle got its modern view at the end of the XVI century under Peter Echter von Mespelbrunn and his wife Gertrude von Adelsheim. Because the fortress stands in a secluded location, it survived to this day almost unchanged. In 1648, Maria Ottilia, the last representative of the Echter family, married Philip Ludwig von Ingelheim from Rheingau. Their descendants, the Counts of Ingelheim, still live in the castle’s south wing. In 1950, they opened the north wing to the public.
Mespelbrunn Castle’s finest hour came in 1957, when the comedy "The Tavern in the Spessart" was filmed there with Liselotte Pulver and Carlos Thompson starring. The movie was a success at the box office and made Mespelbrunn a popular tourist destination. After that, the castle owners have pledged to preserve it as a monument of culture and keep available to the general public.