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Kempen castle-fortress is the main and almost the only attraction of the small German town of Kempen, located in federal state of North Rhine — Westphalia. The majestic building of the castle is perfectly complemented by the picturesque area, which is covered with pine forests and corn fields.
The castle is built of red bricks, has rectangular in shape and has powerful walls, cylindrical towers with battlements at the top, as well as wide gates with the coat of arms of the old owner above them.
The Kempen Castle dates back to the end of the XIV century, when a castle was built in the city of Kempen by the archbishop of Cologne Frederick III von Saarwerden, which was intended to symbolize his supremacy over these areas. It is his coat of arms in the shape of a cross that still flaunts over the main gate of the castle.
Another function of the castle was defense against the Duchy of Cleves , located in the neighborhood (hence the name of the castle is also a fortress). In peacetime, the Archbishop's viceroy was in charge of all the legal affairs of Kempen.
During the 16th century, during which Kempen Castle remained without attention, the building is badly destroyed and is not in the best condition. Archbishop Zaletin von Isenburg decided to breathe new life into the castle in 1570. After the restoration, the appearance of the castle is complemented by a wide moat of water, which surrounds the fortress walls in a ring.
During the Thirty Years War, the castle was rebuilt to a more secular way: instead of loopholes, wide windows appeared. Since then it has been used as a residential residence. For example, the archbishop often stopped here during his hunting trips.
Nevertheless, in 1642, after a long and painful siege , as well as shelling from artillery weapons, the castle was captured by the Hessian army, which stayed here for about 7 years. When they left, they left the building in a terrible state. At the end of the 18th century, the castle even managed to be in the power of the French revolutionaries, but not for long.
Another test for Kempen Castle was the fire of 1851, which left almost one foundation from the building. The building, which tourists can see today, was restored in the pseudo-Gothic style in 1856-1863. The author of the project – architect Vitase.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the castle became the site of the Thomas Kempis Gymnasium, a famous Catholic monk and priest, whose personality is immortalized in a monument next to the Cathedral of St. Mary. In 1929-1984, the city municipality was based in the castle, and today the city archive is located there.
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Topic: Kempen Castle in Germany.