The castle at the beginning under the Wittelsbacher served as save heaven during times of the Black Plague (a perilous pain in the neck at that time) and senior residence of emperors Ludwig der Bayer’s mother Mechthild.
Wittelsbacher Albrecht IV. rebuilt it and gave it it’s today look. Wittelsbacher Max Emanuel, with his new built castle had no longer use of it and turned it into prison.
First and most known inmate of the prison was Domenico Manuel Caetano, from the area of Napoli, Italy clever fraudster who as alchemist, who called himselfe Count of Rugiero, pretended he could make gold. He fooled several well educated, aristocratic leaders all over Europe, rulers who always desperately and greedily were looking for profitable sources of income in times, when wars required a lot of Investments.And when it was necessary to impress others (rulers, women) and to be able to match.
He travelled and „worked“ all over Europe. Among the victims was Wittelsbacher Elector Max Emanuel (the blue king) 1697. Who was fooled and had to blame Manuel for that but was fooled a second time after Domenico escaped from prison Grünwald, moved to Vienna and then returned some years later and received a second chance (no excuse this time). Of course he failed again but was freed again after Austrian troops invaded Bavaria. A lot of money was lost. Later he tried his luck in Prussia under the rule of “Soldatenkönig” (Soldier King) Friedrich I. (Frederick William), who, after realizing the fraud, caught him in Frankfurt after Domenico could again flee, this time from Berlin. He executed him on golden colored gallows 1709 (All that glitters is not gold).
During Domenico’s time in prison Grünwald, Domenico painted some pictures on the walls of his cell, which are still visible.
Funny is, that it happened before to the Wittelsbacher. Marco Bragadino form Cyprus did the same to Duke Wilhelm V. Who was deperatly looking for money too. Marco was exhecuted in Munich 1591. His decaptivation did not go well as the executioner needed three strokes to kill poor Marco in front of a huge crowd which wanted to enjoy the very few entertainment events of that times.
Sheila helping the Double Headed Eagle in the castle’s tower to stay in balance. Under the Double Eagle (unter dem Doppeladler)
Famous Comedian and musician “Karl Valentin” composed the famous song “Ja so warn’s die oiden Rittersleut” (this is how the old knights used to be at their lifetime) in an inn next to the castle.
Sheila had to push the knights hand to start the song to be played.
The song has been covered and altered in many versions ever since.
Castle Grünwald appears in the video of this popular song and the spot below the castle, at the Isar river crossing (since roman times) is a popular stop (with toilets) for river raft tours through the green Isar Valley in summer. Which come with Oompah Band Music and lots of beer.
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