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HISTORY

Foto: Didier Morin
Foto: Didier Morin

About the building
The three-floored villa was built as a grand place of residence in 1867 on request of the Russian lord of the manor, Basile von Miahkoff from St. Petersburg. Von Miahkoff named his property the »Villa Diana« after the Roman goddess of hunting. The neighbouring Swiss-styled half-timbered house is still called that today, and was, at one time, a part of the property. The spaciously designed building, built in an early Italian renaissance style with neo-Gothic influences, is dominated by an octagonal centre tower and is flanked by two side towers, which face the Lahn river. A surrounding battlement gives the grand building added character, and its grandiose overall image is highlighted by a flight of outdoor steps flanked by lions and cast iron balustrades with adornments. 

In 1872 the property was put up for sale by Miahkoff, and it changed its owner several times up to 1882. The complex was finally bought by Georg Lang. Coming from a family of hoteliers he constructed one of the finest noble hotels in the spa town of Bad Ems, it was called »Schloss Balmoral«. King Alexander of Serbia, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakow, Richard Wagner and Francisco d' Andrade all counted among the most prominent guests in the house. The health resort existed until 1935, after that the owners used it as a tenement building.

The villa became a place of architectural conservation in 1983, before the district of Rhein-Lahn bought it in 1989 and completed a use and occupation contract with the »Foundation for Culture in the federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz« in November 1994. As an institution for sponsoring visual artists the residence Schloss Balmoral is unique among the places of cultural interest in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. As a consequence of this, the house has become a regional and international forum for cultural events.