Trausnitz Castle and Wunderkammer – Landshut, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Trausnitz Castle and Wunderkammer

Landshut, Germany

This impressive castle looms over small German town. 

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The history of this castle dates back to 1204. It soon became a center for both local politics and Staufen culture, with many important guests and cultural figures visiting and staying in the castle. From 1255 to 1503 Trausnitz was the residence and seat of government for the dukes of Lower Bavaria.

The castle kept its importance as a cultural venue after the political changes and unification of Bavarian states. The building was reconstructed and extended many times, it was decorated with colorful frescoes and paintings resembling Italian renaissance and was the meeting place for festivals and celebrations.

In 1691, a fire broke out that resulted in most of this magnificent palace being burnt down. It was built up and restored, but most of the frescoes were lost for good. Still, some peculiar and beautiful decorations luckily survived. The most notable of them is the Fools Staircase representing life-sized figures of Italian Comedia dell’arte. It depicts a man on a donkey going up the staircase with another man behind them giving an enema to the animal. Some cabinets in the Italian Extension of the palace were saved featuring beautiful stucco-decorations in the ceilings and walls.

The castle nowadays works as a museum. In 2004, a beautiful Wunderkammer exposition was opened in the castle. A tradition to collect various art and curiosity items was a common practice in the 16th century. Local dukes also had their own rich collections of everything exotic and unusual. As a typical Wunderkammer, this museum includes artistic objects, natural items, measuring devices, and other exotic artifacts.

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