February 24, 2023

Günther Herr, Schloss Fischbach / Fischbach Castle

this picture and the next two courtesy of Gwyn Headley

On October 13, 2014, Gwyn Headley, a Welshman who published a lot about follies, added an article on the fotoLibra weblog From Harlech & London, describing how he, driving his car near Fischbach in Germany, came to a halt in a traffic jam and, when looking around through the brush along the road, catched a glimpse of what appeared to be some kind of castle, 

As a lover of follies, he did not hesitate to turn around and he managed to approach the building via a side road. It turned out to be a folly indeed, made by someone with the initials GH according to a designation on the gate around the building. The gate was closed and there was no one around to talk to about this singular architecture.

The two photos above and the one below give an idea of what kind of creation mr Headley found near Fischbach. In his article he asked if anyone knew more about this special structure, but it remained silent. just as I in 2014 could not find any further information.
However, I saved Headley's article for future reference and in 2022 I found the information about the site I used to edit the now following text.

Life and works

The initials GH represent Günther Herr, born in Fischbach in 1927, now in his mid-90s and -as far as I know- still actively involved in the creation he began to realize in 1967 at age forty. Mr Günther Herr is described as someone a little special, but very warm and open. Apart from his construction activities, in his spare time he likes to play the violin and make paintings

When young Günther left primary school in 1944, Germany was still at war, and just 16 years old he was called up for military service. After Germany had capitulated he was made a prisoner of war, from which he was released in June 1945. 

this picture and the next six, 
screenprints from the video in the documentation

As a young man, Günther wanted to be a forest ranger, but he was unable to realize that dream and instead trained as a carpenter, to work in construction for many decades afterwards.

Günther Herr settled in Kelkheim, the municipality of which Fischbach, with about 5900 inhabitants. is part. 

Near a creek that crosses Fischbach, Günther Herr acquired a piece of land. Around 1977 the B455 through road would be built close to that site or perhaps partly through it, because it is mentioned that Herr's site was reduced in size.

In any case, there was enough room left for the castle and adjacent structures Günther Herr was building.

Inspired by the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany, Günther Herr built his creation from stones he collected in the area and transformed with cement into building elements of washed concrete. The proximity of the creek was very favorable for this washing. All kinds of other materials, such as unused old household objects,  unnecessary furniture, old car parts, whatever, also got a new destination during construction.

The fairytale appearance of Fischbach Castle is also reflected in the slender towers that adorn the structure and the use of colorful elements in its construction.

Günther Herr's creation is a fine addition to the modest range of art environments known in Germany, compared to France, for example. With a single article in a regional newspaper. this site got only modest publicity.

Gunther Herr at age 94

* Article (October 2014) by Gwyn Headley in weblog fotoLibra
* Article (August 2016) in newspaper Frankfurter Neue Presse

Günther Herr
Fischbach Castle
Fischbach, municipality of Kelkheim, dept Main-Taurus, federal state Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
can be seen from the road

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