The Messerschmitt Foundation, established in Munich in 1969, is Germany’s largest private foundation devoted to protecting historic landmarks. Its founder, Wilhelm Emil ‘Willy’ Messerschmitt, pursued a clear vision of promoting science and research in the aerospace field and preserving and caring for German artistic and cultural monuments in Germany and other countries. The foundation’s current chairman is Dr Hans Heinrich von Srbik. For choosing projects which deserve support, he works with a board whose members possess outstanding expertise in relevant fields.
For planning and carrying out restauration work, Dr von Srbik also relies on the know-how of the head conservators of the German states. Priority is placed on the many midsized and smaller historical monuments, which are attracting increasing attention but lack adequate funding. These account for the lion’s share of Germany’s exceedingly rich cultural landscape. The foundation’s work focuses on facilitating buildings’ use for modern-day purposes.
Hotels and inns
Schloss Meseberg reopened in 2007 after being thoroughly renovated by the Messerschmitt Foundation. The German government now uses it to accommodate foreign dignitaries from all over the world. Located in a picturesque setting near Lake Huwenowsee north of Berlin, this Baroque palace and its gardens are regarded as a pearl amongst Prussia’s historical monuments.
The Hotel Schlosswirt Meseberg is located right next to Schloss Meseberg. Featuring an exquisite ambience, it hosts both official events attended by government personnel and visitors from Germany’s capital in search of peace and quiet who also appreciate its delicious regional cuisine.
Hotel Messerschmitt Bamberg
The four-star Hotel Messerschmitt Bamberg is centrally situated on Schönleinsplatz in Bamberg’s old town. The house was acquired by Willy Messerschmitt’s family in 1832, and he spent his childhood there. It has become a local institution as a place to enjoy fine wines, and its guestbooks contain entries by German presidents and chancellors, aristocrats, prince-bishops and other prominent individuals of past and modern eras.
The historical part of the building, which includes the restaurant, has been owned by the foundation since October 2020.
Leitheim Castle, which features a Rococo architecture and includes a church and vintner’s house, is without a doubt one of Bavaria’s most picturesque building ensembles. Perched atop a hill, it provides a breath-taking view of the Danube wetlands. The castle’s own vineyard exudes peace and tranquillity. Leitheim Castle has belonged to the Messerschmitt Foundation since 2014.
A luxurious four-star hotel, the Hotel Schloss Leitheim, features elegant double rooms, suites and a premium wellness area and is a popular destination for conference attendees, holiday-goers and honeymooning newlyweds.
Orlando house in Munich
The Orlando House was built in 1900 according to plans drawn up by architect Max Littmann of Munich. It is located right on the ‘Platzl’ or little square between the Viktualienmarket (a daily food market and square in central Munich) and Maximilianstrasse. Its name refers to Orlande de Lassus, a famous Renaissance composer who had a house at the same location in the 16th century.
The Messerschmitt Foundation acquired the five-storey building in 1997. Its interior and exterior shapes were inspired by Renaissance Revival architecture. The ground floor in particular is richly ornamented. The structure has been entered in Bavaria’s official catalogue of monuments as an architectural monument.
Nestled in the idyllic landscape of East Tyrol, Anras Castle was originally erected in the 13th century to serve as a summer residence for the Bishops of Brixen and later rebuilt in a Baroque style in 1754. Its rich cultural and artistic heritage continues to fascinate visitors today.
The Messerschmitt Foundation acquired the building in 1991 and the adjoining country house a few years later. Since then it has endeavoured to preserve this treasure trove of Alpine culture. The ensemble continues to evoke the history of past centuries.
Hotel Goldener Engl
This four-star hotel, occupying a Baroque building which has protected status as an historical monument, is situated in the charming old town of Hall just 10 km from Innsbruck, Austria. It ideally combines the building’s 700-year history with modern comfort.
In the late 1990s it was bought by the Messerschmitt Foundation, which proceeded to thoroughly renovate it. The Hotel Goldener Engl is a distinguished member of the ‘Historic Hotels of Europe’ association.
The Mellaunerhof is Tyrol’s oldest inn, dating back to the 13th century, and enjoys protected status as an historical monument. It was purchased in 2008 by the Messerschmitt Foundation, which renovated it in two phases while paying enormous attention to detail, converting the interior into high-quality hotel rooms and suites.
The Mellaunerhof provides traditional Austrian hospitality in cosy dining rooms, impressive wine cellars and a peaceful garden.
The House with the Deer Antler / Casa cu cerb
This house in Transylvania in Romania is one of the oldest and architecturally most interesting buildings in the town of Sighișoara, which was settled by German craftsmen and merchants in the 12th century. The earliest document mentioning it dates to the 13th century. A wooden stag head with real antlers is embedded in the north-eastern corner of the first storey, accompanied by picturesque depictions of a stag towards both sides.
The Messerschmitt Foundation acquired the building at the start of the 21st century. The interior is decorated by frescos and a wooden ceiling from the 16th century. The house was extensively restored between 2001 and 2004.