Palace Chapel

In 1860/61, the Koblenz architect Hermann Nebel, on behalf of Prince Ludwig and Princess Leonilla of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, built a chapel to exhibit the precious arm relic of Saint Elizabeth. As a faint replica of the Sainte Chapelle, a double chapel was built in Gothic style, with the burial chapel of the princely family housed below.

Moritz von Schwind had designed the stained glass windows of the chapel. The cast iron choir screen is a work of the Sayn Iron Foundry. Wedding celebrations find an ideal ambiance in the polychrome neo-Gothic interior with its textile tapestry. The “Golden Altar” was made in Paris as a shrine to exhibit the valuable reliquary of St. Elisabeth, a direct ancestor of the Sayn dynasty (see family).

In the mensa there are enamel rosettes with images of St. Vladimir from the family of Princess Leonilla (left) and the Blessed Abbess Jutta von Sponheim from the Sayn Princely House. She was the educator of St. Hildegard von Bingen. The middle rosette was lost. It showed Gertrud, the daughter of St. Elisabeth, as abbess of Altenberg, holding the valuable reliquary in her hands.

The Arm Relic

When the castle was purchased a few years earlier, Princess Leonilla, a direct descendant of Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia, received the saint’s arm relic from the former owner Count Boos-Waldeck as a gift. Elisabeth’s daughter Gertrud, the abbess of Altenberg/Lahn, had the precious medieval reliquary made. It was kept in her monastery until it was secularized. The last abbess of Altenberg, which fell into Protestant hands, brought the precious relic to the care of her Boos relatives in Sayn in 1803.