July 02, 2012

Heinz and Hildegard Schönewolf, Burg Schönewolf/Schönewolf Castle

pictures (2011) from the website wandererzwo

Dudweiler, a community of some 20.000 inhabitants near Saarbrücken in Germany, has an art environment named Burg Schönewolf. This singular architecture was created by Heinz Schönewolf (1936?- September 11, 2019) and his wife Hildegard.

A project begun in 1975

It all began when part of the hilly area behind the house was excavated to make room for a garage. The resulting slope had to be shored by a stone wall, which was constructed by using a load of boulders remaining from a terminated local tramway. 

The sight of this retaining wall with its old stones, probably produced associations with old castles, which are not uncommon in this part of Germany. This may have triggered Heinz Schönewolf to transform that wall into a castle. It has been reported that he from childhood on dreamed of owning a castle, 

Like so many other constructors of singular architecture the couple just began, and nowadays (2012), almost 40 years years later, visitors can admire a fairytale castle with towers and tilts, some 15 meters wide and 15 meters high (49x49 ft).  

Due to the vertical wall  that started it all, the creation has a somewhat décor-like two-dimensional appearance, but nevertheless the three-storey building has indoor stairs and rooms, like it also has a small pond and an aquarium.

Apart from building the castle, Heinz Schönewolf also has been active in making small sculptures from concrete, which -mainly depicting animals- decorate the exterior of the castle. 

Actual situation

Friends of mine who visited the site in June 2016 reported that the Schönewolf couple was still daily active in enhancing their singular architecture. They welcome music performances, wedding parties and comparable activities to the castle grounds.

However, three years later it was reported that Heinz Schönewolf passed away on September 11, 2019

* Article (June 2012) in popular German daily newspaper Bild, republished world wide
* Video by the Central German Broadcasting Company, shot in 2014 (5'21", added to YouTube December 2015)

first published July 2012, revised August 2016

Heinz and Hildegard Schönewolf
Burg Schönewolf
Hofweg 152
66125 Saarbrücken, Saarland Federal State, Germany
can be visited, May-October


  1. Great background research, Henk! I really enjoyed reading more about Schoeneburg Castle.

  2. Hi Henk, long time...

    This one looks a bit like an overgrown "Playmobil" project, from the photos anyway.

    Hope all is good with you, and plenty of outsider sites to research still. Will you be out travelling to one or two this summer ?

    Best wishes...

  3. Hi Owen,

    @ Owen. HI Owen, all is good here, new sites popping up regularly. Travelling for us is more an off-season activity, and I like web-travelling by following others when they make real-life trips, like you did in Italy.

    Best wishes

  4. hola Heinz y Hildegard Schönewolf. mi nombre es jerry schoonewolff.soy de Barranquilla Colombia sur america los queria felizitar por ese hermoso castillo. que ustedes han hecho. muchas felizitaciones.