Ahlden: Ahlden House (Aller)
A Guelph castle in the Aller-Leine valley
The two-storey building that we see today dates back to different eras. A water castle was originally built on this site around 1290. The half-timbered south wing was built on in 1579. The main wing – a brick and half-timbered construction – was added in 1613, followed by the north wing around 1700. The remains of Bunkenburg castle, which had been destroyed, were used to complete the house in the 17th century.
Ahlden House became known as the place of imprisonment of the Duke of Celle’s daughter Sophie Dorothea, wife of Elector Georg Ludwig of Hanover (later George I of England) and later known as the Princess of Ahlden. The unhappy marriage and the resulting affair with the Swedish count Königsmark earned her a lifelong exile (from 1694 to 1726). This place was the scene of a real tragedy, which made the castle famous.
The house later became the official residence of the Landdrosts, before becoming an official seat and prison in 1788. Justice was administered in Ahlden from 1310 onwards – outside in the early days, then inside the district courtrooms at Ahlden House up until 1972. Today, the historic building is home to an auction house for fine art.
Visitors who are keen to hear about the history of the castle can book a guided tour with the Lüneburg Heath tour guides.