Princes, Palace & Butterflies  

Erstellt am 24. February 2020 von

In March 2020, Sayn opened its gates to two truly fascinating worlds.

The Butterfly Garden: an Exotic Paradise

Housed in two large glass pavilions, the Butterfly Garden is located just opposite the neo-Gothic palace of the Princes of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. Discover this beautifully enchanted world while strolling in between lush plants, rippling waterfalls, exotic reptiles and vivid birds. The colourful butterflies, which come from all the world’s tropical regions, fly past you while taking you to sunnier places.

The delightful Butterfly Garden is located in the centre of Sayn palace gardens, which was designed in the 19th century in the style of an English landscape garden by the renowned garden architect Heinrich Siesmayer. The upper part of the gardens houses a mediaeval complex containing the Sayn fortified castle, at the foot of which visitors can discover a variety of rare trees, a pond with a fountain and a hidden grotto. Cast-iron Stations of the Cross are beautifully placed throughout the grounds. This idyllic spot, framed by the Sayn and Brex rivers, can be enjoyed by nature lovers, photographers or those looking to relax.

The Neues Museum Schloss Sayn: Behind the Scenes of the Princely Family

In winter 2019/2020, the palace underwent a number of considerable changes. The Rhenish Museum for Ornamental Cast Iron, which was housed at the Palace Museum for twenty long and proud years, has been relocated to the neighbouring Sayn Foundry. Prince Alexander and Princess Gabriela took this opportunity to redesign the palace rooms for an exciting new exhibition, showcasing 200 years of family history through the biographies of the great Centenarian Princesses Leonilla (1816-1918) and Marianne (b. 1919). The museum shows the great splendour of bygone times, the destruction of the palace at the end of World War II, its recent reconstruction, and today’s princely family.

Outstanding photographs by Princess Marianne, the legendary “Mamarazza” and Grande Dame of the Salzburg Festival, tell of her time in Sayn, the “Sayner Zeit”, as well as her life near Lake Fuschl in Austria where she hosted famous luncheons attracting the likes of Sean Connery, Margaret Thatcher, and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

 Car racing scenes from the 1950s, captured through Princess Marianne’s lens, are shown in a room specially dedicated to gentlemen. The sport greatly inspired the Princess and her family, so much so that her eldest son, Prince Alexander, became a committed racer until his marriage to Princess Gabriela, whose father made him promise never to race again. 

When entering the “Blue Hall”, you feel immersed in the life of the princely household of Prince Louis and his wife, the beautiful Russian Princess Leonilla, who lived in Sayn in the 19th century. Gold dishes, crystal glasses and silver cutlery on view were used while receiving emperors and kings. The cabinet next to the Blue Hall is dedicated to their earlier life and work in Russia.

Young guests have their own kingdom in the palace with a fairy tale workshop and a small butterfly cabinet of curiosity in which delicate butterflies can be examined under a magnifying glass. 

The tour through the new museum can of course be altered to suit young visitors. 


Butterfly Garden (Garten der Schmetterlinge) Tel +49 2622 15478,

New Museum Schloss Sayn (Neues Museum) Tel +49 2622 902424,

Open daily March – December 

Schloss-Str. 100, 56170 Bendorf-Sayn