Today’s castle and local history museum is located in the former servants‘ house of the castle complex of the city of Oebisfelde.
After several years of vacancy and the subsequent renovation of the old building on the ground floor, work began on the expansion of a museum in 1996.
Since 1997, the castle and local history museum has been established in this building of the castle complex, which is run on a voluntary basis by the Oebisfelder Heimatverein.
The museum offers something interesting for every visitor on more than 550 m² of exhibition space over 4 floors. There are 17 permanent exhibitions – such as numerous old handicrafts, grandmother’s household as well as contemporary history about the castle and the border at that time. In addition, the Heimatverein organizes annually changing special exhibitions.
It’s worth a visit. The opening times of the museum are from 01.05.-31.10. every year on Sundays from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. or for groups by appointment.
The large castle courtyard was the economic area of the medieval castle. Here was the activity and living area of the servants and craftsmen who were necessary for the operation of a functioning castle system.
This was where the kitchens, the bakery, the storage room, the brewery and the castle chapel could be found.
If you come from today’s main entrance to the courtyard, the first building on the left is the former chapel. It is one of the rare double chapels that safely contained the room for the servants in the basement. A barrel vault closes it off. The upper floor has a cross vault and is provided with a Gothic transition to the dominion area.
Next to the entrance is a small gate that is now walled up. Here was the entrance to a staircase inside the wall, so that the upper chapel room could be reached without having to enter the stately areas. It’s kind of a secret passage. The staircase had a window, which, with its cloverleaf shape, indicates that the building was built around 1220, the transition from Romanesque to Gothic.
Today the lower room is used by the Association of Expellees, and the annually changing special exhibitions of the Heimatverein take place in the upper room.
This is followed by the servants‘ house, which today houses the museum. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1556.
The crooked barn that followed was mainly used as a warehouse. How the intermediate floors were used there can still be seen from the many holes in the outer wall of the castle.
On the south wall you can see the coats of arms of the various lords of the castle who lived here with their families. The best known is probably the von Bülow family, who had the castle as a fief from 1485-1587.
The first building on the right of the main entrance contains storage rooms on the lower floors. The middle floor is part of the city archive. The knight’s hall, an event room for approx. 200 people, is located on the upper floor with the colored windows.
Right next to the gate you will find a large stone slab, an epitaph of the Kove family, which gained some importance for Oebisfelde.
Kove was the name of the first bailiff whom the archbishopric moved to Oebisfelde in 1587 when she did not renew the feudal contract with the von Bülow family. One was finally tired of the quarrels that the Bülows had with the city. He came to Oebisfelde from Einbeck.
Read the legend about how it behaves with the epitaph.
There is also a memorial stone for the division of Germany next to the gate. It was set up by a longstanding city council in 2020.
Thanks to funding, an elevator was only added in 2019, which now enables barrier-free access to the knight’s hall. The elevator facilitates or enables elderly and disabled citizens access to the knight’s hall.
The modern shape of the elevator cladding, with the natural-colored wooden cladding, corresponds in its appearance to a clad external staircase, which up until the middle of the last century opened up the upper floor on the outside wall of the building.
From the main entrance on the right, the second adjoining building is the former brewery. During the renovation of the castle, it received a council meeting room, heating, toilets, cloakroom and a spacious staircase.
This is followed by the so-called Palas, the medieval residential building for the castle owners. Along with the keep, it is one of the oldest parts of the castle ensemble. This part has not yet been renovated and has not yet found a new use. A renovation of this area is very costly.
On the facade facing the large courtyard you can see that the various owners have made renovations and additions. The cloverleaf windows are from the construction period and are therefore still Romanesque. The rectangular sandstone walls, on the other hand, are built into the Bülows and therefore come from the Renaissance. Dendrological examinations of wooden beams revealed a construction period at the beginning and end of the 13th century.
A passage from the large to the small courtyard, which is usually closed, enables direct access between the two courtyards.
The building has been gutted and the roofs have been re-covered so that it is protected from further decay.
Overall, it can be said that many parts of the castle’s building could be put to useful use today. This means that the castle can be preserved for the future. To do this, future generations must honor the venerable walls, know how to use them and make an effort to preserve them.