The Deutschherrenhof: Important late Gothic secular building of the Moselle valley
The vast possessions of the Teutonic Order in Rachtig and Zeltingen trace back to an endowment of Count Henry of Sayn, whose widow Mechthild transferred numerous estates and vineyards to the order in 1247. The Deutschherrenhof was first testified in 1254. After several acquisitions in the 15th century, the Teutonic Knights became the most influential land owners of the region. It was supposedly already in the 14th century that the Deutschherrenhof gained today’s basic shape. It was managed by an official of the royal court and served as a regional commercial and administrative settlement, too. The two-storied, four-winged ashlar building centres the estate, which is valued as one of the best examples of late Gothic secular buildings on the Moselle. In 1737, it was remodeled in baroque style and concurrently enlarged by the north and east wings. The south wing facing the Moselle as well as the west wing largely trace back to the 14th century. The windows of the west wing are crowned by late Gothic trefoil arches. Between west and south wing, a hexagonally projecting, three storied tower was erected. Next to it, there is a round arched passage to the inner courtyard. The east wing used to display a pedimented gateway, which dates back to the 18th century and formerly faced the inner courtyard. The north wing, which was originally set up as an attachment to the barn, was destroyed in 1945. In the cause of secularization processes, the “Deutschherrenhof” was declared national property by the French and auctioned in 1809.
The blazon above the arch, dating back to 1737, was presumably removed for that auction. Thereafter, the owners changed quite frequently. Temporarily, the estate was divided among four different owners. In 1957, the south wing was purchased by Peter Schmitz, who was the first to renovate the building in 1965. The Deutschherrenhof has served as a hotel and wine estate since 1981.