The building of the Margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach is one of the few well preserved estates of the German Early Renaissance. Margrave Georg “the Godfearing” built this impressive hunting castle from 1535 until 1538. Decision for the location was the abundance of game in the surrounding forests. He financed the new building through revenues that he raised in his Silesian principalities Ratibor and Oppeln. Therefore, he called it “Ratibor castle at the Retzet River” (Rednitz River). With the resignation of the last Margrave in 1791 Johann Philip Stieber bought the castle and set up a production of Leonian wires (i.e. fine wires made out of false gold and silver). From 1858 until 1892 the district court was in session in the western building. At the turn of the 19./20th century Wilhelm von Stieber employed renowned artists to redesign the interior of the castle in the German and Italian Late Renaissance style. Among those artists were Ferdinand Wagner, Rudolf von Seitz, Friedrich Wanderer and Conradin Walther: Elaborate stucco in the staircase with marble, artistically designed wood panels in the fireside room, conservatory and dining hall and the magnificent Prunksaal (splendour hall) with ceiling paintings depicting ancient myths and Gobelin paintings with scenes from the Odyssey. In 1942 the castle was donated to the City of Roth. The Museum Castle Ratibor was installed in the 2nd floor. The former royal stables now house of the public library as well as the city archives. The tourist-information is also situated at the eastern side of the castle.
The rooms in Ratibor Castle contain a diverse and sometimes curious collection of the city’s and castle’s history and its various aspects. Plenty of evidence is given to the spheres of life of the residents in Roth. You will enjoy a firsthand look behind the facades of town houses at the beginning of the last century by looking at a proper parlor decorated with many endearing details. It will not only be the younger visitors who will find the toy collection especially notable. A collection of Franconian Hafner ceramics of the 19th century, which has been praised by many experts, shows the typical utility receptacles to be found in each and every household.