In the erstwhile lobby of today’s Hessenhof, located on the ground level, scenes from the Iwein-Epos of Hartmann von Aue were painted in secco-technique on the barrel vault at the beginning of the 13th century. The pictures tell of the adventures, battles and the love of Knight Iwein, and are today the oldest example of secular mural painting in Germany. At the same time they are authentic evidence from the time of Holy Elisabeth. The Hessenhof used to be the official residence of the Thuringian landgraves. And only few years after the pictures were painted, Elisabeth bid goodbye to her husband Ludwig IV., who went into the crusade.

Unfortunately, this spectacular find could not be made accessible to the public due to conservational reasons. In Schloss Wilhelmsburg, however, the paintings can be admired as a faithful copy. Moreover, a 3-D-animation – which is singular in the German-speaking world - carries you away into the mythology of King Artus and Knight Iwein – also in the palace. On a seven-metre broad screen, state-of-the-art computer technology makes the painting scenes of the Iwein-cycle alive.

Opening hours:

April-October: daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
November-March: Tue – Sun 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Meditation and organ music from June to September, every Saturday at 5 p.m., in the Schlosskirche


Schloss Wilhelmsburg
Iwein Malerei
Schlossberg 9
98574 Schmalkalden
Tel. 03683 - 403186