Art historians count the former summer residence, Callenberg, as one of the most important secular monuments of the Coburg region after the Fortress. The name "Chalwinberch" has been officially documented since 1122. At the end of the 16th century, Duke Johann Casimir took ownership of the property and affectionately called it the "little fortress". Ernst I had the castle redesigned as of 1827 and put in the landscaped park. His son Ernst II is responsible for the neo-Gothic façade from 1856 to 1860. The widow of Ernst II, Duchess Alexandrine, lived in Callenberg Castle occasionally as of 1842 and exclusively as of 1893. Carl Eduard, the last reigning duke, resided in the castle until 1945. Today it is owned by the family foundation of the Coburg ducal family. With great devotion, Prince Andreas of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha took care of preserving it in line with historic monument regulations. To its visitors, the castle tour provides a remarkable experience in many ways. Not only the collection of ducal art treasures of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha attract the attention of guests. Even the architecture of the castle, its interior furnishings and naturally the beautiful court and castle garden make it possible for a long bygone era to flourish once again. In the west wing of Callenberg Castle, there is the German Rifle Museum. The sponsor of this facility, which was opened in 2004, is the German Shooting Federation (DSB). With 1.6 million members, it is the fourth-largest association within the German Sport Federation. The fact that the museum is in Coburg is not a coincidence, because the DSB was founded in 1861 by Duke Ernst II.
The erection of the castle chapel is attributed to Duke Johann Casimir. Built between 1610 and 1618, it is one of the first consecrated buildings of the reformation era. In the three-bay room with a pulpit altar, Gothic, late Renaissance and Baroque style elements are combined. The most outstanding pieces in the church include the pulpit and the font, both of which were probably manufactured around 1615 in the mason's workshop belonging to Hans Werner and Veit Dümpel. The decorative chapel is still a popular location today for services, weddings and baptisms.
The rooms of Callenberg Castle, which are accessible once again today as a museum, were restored as they looked in the middle of the 19th century. The wall decorations of the rooms were - if somewhat damaged - kept in their original form. The furnishings of the rooms include precious furniture and art objects covering four centuries. Especially worth highlighting are the rococo paintings by Antoine Pesne (1683 to 1757) in the red salon. Besides numerous paintings, the castle also has precious furniture from the famous manufacturer David Roentgen (1743 to 1807).
The rose garden of Callenberg Castle is an enchanting gem. A fountain, historical varieties of roses and a dreamy view will cause the visitor's pulse to race. Among the historical rose varieties, there is also the world's first cultivation of a rose without any thorns. It was named in 1986 by Queen Silvia after today's crown princess Victoria.
The castle opens its doors Tuesday to Sunday and on holidays from 11am to 5pm. Tours are given on Saturday, Sunday, and on holidays at 3pm and 4pm. Furthermore, tours are also possible by prior arrangement.
Callenberg Castle has a very unique style. It is hard to decide whether it is more a fortress or a palace. The former well-fortified castle complex was extensively redesigned over the past centuries. In 1831, new construction of the upper castle was completed following plans from Carl Alexander von Heideloff. In the years from 1856 to 1857, the lower castle complex was redesigned under Duke Ernst II into a neo-Gothic style. The castle is one of the most outstanding architectural creations in the style of English neo-Gothicism in Bavaria.
During your visit to the castle, you will gain an impression of the passion and expertise with which the Coburg dukes collected art objects. Besides the paintings, the castle has a number of handcrafted items like the marble bust of Prince Albert and the "Ernestinian welcome goblet", a drinking goblet made of four bowls stacked on top of each other, which was made by Wenzel Jamnitzer, the most significant goldsmith of German mannerism, in Nuremburg around 1540.
Medieval Curtain Wall
Surrounded by an English-style landscaped park, the medieval curtain wall borders the three-winged castle complex. The park spills over amply into the Callenberg Forest, the popular former hunting grounds of the dukes.
German Rifle Museum
The oldest exhibits of the museum date back to the Stone Age. Many weapons have also been preserved from antiquity and the Middle Ages. The "Coburg Room" with its exhibits from the 650 year old Schützengesellschaft (Shooting Club) is one of the museum's highlights. A series of shooting portraits guides the visitor through several stations from the Baroque era up to the 19th century.