Walking through the ages
A flight of stone stairs leads us along the old castle walls and into the next courtyard. Only then do I realise how well all the additions that were made to the various buildings over the course of several centuries fit together, in spite of the different architectural styles. We pass the collection of arms, climb another flight of stairs and walk past a special tree of life: All castle owners and their coats of arms are painted on the walls of the stairwell. The tree starts at the very top with Konrad of Marlengo back in 1216, and the last branch down at the bottom of the stairs reads Cornelis Jan van Rossem van Sinoutskerke, the lady’s father.
After walking down the stairs, we enter the castle itself. The rooms are fully furnished and kept in their original style to show how people used to live back in the day. Crossing the first room, known as the farmers’ room, we reach an ancient parlour featuring one of the earliest folding beds made from wood, a fireplace and chests from the Gothic and Renaissance periods. The old wooden floorboards creak as the lady of the castle walks over them, leading us into the next room, the stately mirror hall. At Lebenberg Castle, stepping into another room is like travelling into a completely different era. The luxuriant furniture, ornate patterned wallpaper, oriental rugs and large chandeliers under a stucco ceiling are reminiscent of the Roccoco era. We move on to the next room, the knights’ hall with its dark and heavy wooden furniture. Looking out the window, you can see all the way over to the Lagorai mountain range. “I can see the peaks of Corno Nero, Corno Bianco and Pietralba from here”, she says while accom anying us to the next hall, the Empire Room. It’s much warmer in here. The room is located in the palas, and just like some other rooms on the upper floors, it was built into the rock. “This is how it was possible to erect a building that tall. We have cellars that are upstairs instead of downstairs”, the lady of the castle explains.
The last part of our tour takes us out to the well-tended French Rococco gardens at the foot of the castle. A large mulberry tree grows between the garden and the barn. “It is more than 200 years old”, Anouschka van Rossem says proudly, gently stroking the mossy bark of the tree. At night, she reports, when the sun goes down and you look up to castle from down there, the tree is illuminated in the most beautiful of colours. “Those are the moments when I truly enjoy living here”, she says.