The light-flooded orangery is embedded in the delightful castle’s park. The single-floored classicistic orangery was built in 1827. It served as winter shelter for orange and lemon trees. Today it can be booked for exhibitions, concerts and events.
The draining of the artificial lake in 1962, 1969 and 2005 revealed the foundations of the Rüde monastery. It was founded in 1209 by Cistercian monks, and its model can be seen in the exhibition.
In 1582, the derelict monastery was used for the construction of the castle. Finds from that period testify to the high technical standard of the monastery. Examples are wooden water pipes, which can be seen behind the altar. Founded in 1209, the monastery even had a kind of floor heating system called “Hypokausten” stone.
The castle’s gardens, which were laid out in the French style in 1733, were later converted into English style gardens. The former lines of sight were maintained.
The chapel, being one of the earliest Protestant churches in Schleswig-Holstein, was redecorated in 1717 in the Baroque style under Duke Phillip Ernst of Schleswig-Holstein (1673-1729), the great-grandchild of the builder. The pulpit altar (typical of Northern Germany) and the baptismal font are works of the woodcarver Claus Gabriel. The organ, dated 1847, was installed by the renowned Danish firm Marcussen.
During restorations in 1973 the original Renaissance frescoes were uncovered. Until 1965 the chapel served as the official parish church. Nowadays, it is still used for weddings, baptisms, church services and musical devotions. Adjacent to the chapel is the crypt, where in 1811 a member of the family was entombed for the last time.
Since the edification of the castle, the Red Hall has remained virtually unchanged. The festive hall received its name from the original red linen wall coverings. It has a size of 300sqm floor space and 4m ceiling height. It is used as a ballroom several times per year.
The master-builder of the castle, Nikolaus Karies, was a true master of Renaissance architecture. When one takes a close look at the individual vaults, it reveals that they all have a different size and that the doors of the vault sometimes have an offset to the left and sometimes to the right. This is a deliberate effect to prevent hard lines. This is also reflected in the stucco work where some lines cross and others do not. Visitors will only notice these details when they are explicitly shown the deliberate faults which provide for the harmony of the whole.
The small angels and heads in floral rosettes symbolise the heads of the 23 children of the castle’s builder, Duke Johann the Younger of Schleswig-Holstein. He was married twice, once to Princess Elisabeth of Braunschweig-Lüneburg and then to the widow of the Elector of Saxony, Agnes Hedwig of Anhalt. The two marriages produced 23 children. The symbolisation of the children’s heads is repeated six times on the ceiling. Master-builder, Nikolaus Karies, depicted himself and his family. In the same way as artists sign their paintings, master-builders of the Renaissance depicted themselves in their works in this way.
As early as 1707, this room in front of the north-eastern tower was furnished and arranged as the dining-room and is still used as such on special occasions today. Of special interest are the southern idealistic landscapes painted around 1800 in the manner of the French landscape painter Claude Lorrain.
This room with its valuable Empire furniture was set up as a bedroom. It served as bedchamber of the last German Empress, Auguste Viktoria (1858-1921) on the occasion of frequent visits to her sister Caroline Mathilde (1860-1932).
The purpose of this floor after the edification has been discussed controversially. It was generally presumed that the second floor had been used as a granary. From the 19th century onwards, the children of the ducal family and their tutors lived in the dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms on the second floor.
The actual hall was set up as a dining room in the 19th century. The table with its 16 legs has a total length of 25m and can host up to 70 persons. The displayed fantastic Goblin-weaving collection is one of the most important in Northern Europe. These picture tapestries with imaginary scenes of peasant life taken from the drafts of the Flemish painter David Teniers the Younger were crafted about 1740 in the Brussels workshop of van der Borght and van der Hecke.
What makes the tapestries outstanding is the fact that they endured the times as a whole, which cannot be taken for granted because the tapestries have been repeatedly rolled up and been transported from castle to castle being subject to extreme climatic conditions. From 1975 until 1985 they were restored.
Since 1768, the vaulted entrance hall has been called Green Vestibule because the doors were originally painted green. A number of portraits of the ducal family are an important part of the hall’s furnishing. The hall was used as firefighting centre from 1862 until 1863 when King Friedrich VII resided here. The fire buckets which today can be seen in the staircase originate from that time.
The 18th-century chests also originate from the time of Friedrich VII. At that time, the chests were used as wardrobes. It is the oldest type of furniture to store belongings. Also, small ship guns from the 18th century can be found in the hall, which were taken from a Danish frigate that stranded at the coast of the Holnis peninsula (today Glücksburg). The flooring is covered with Öland flagstones (550 million years old). Some of the flagstones contain visible fossils of extinct fish species, seashells, etc.
Leather wall coverings have been commonly used in palaces and manor houses since the 17th century and are extremely rare. They were typical wall coverings of the Baroque period and almost essential in every festive hall or state room.