Emhild, the Abbess of Milz and a relative of Charlemagne, gave the village to the Counts of Henneberg. In 1354, upon the marriage of Countess Elisabeth with the Count Eberhard von Württenberg, the village was sold to the Bishopric of Würzburg. Twenty-two years later the bishopric transferred it to Berthold von Bibra. Since that time it has been greatly enlarged and been one the main seats of the Bibra family. Parts of the castle were previously taller but during a remodeling in 1854, the half-timbered sections were lowered to the present height.
Until recently it was the site of the family archives. Fortunately, the family archives were moved to Irmelshausen prior to the Peasants Rebellion. Through diplomacy, it avoided being attacked and destroyed in neither the Peasants War of 1525 nor the Thirty Year War of 1618-48 when almost all of the surrounding castles were taken and sacked. It is said that the first enemy soldier to enter the castle was on April 8, 1945, during World War II. American Col. Vennard Wilson was served tea, noted the contents of the castle and ordered it off-limits to troops.
Old photo of Irmelshausen
Perhaps about 1900, certainly before WWII.
Besides the five-sided castle, the late gothic church with its numerous and beautiful Bibra gravestones from the 16th and 17th centuries is worth visiting. Among the graves at the church is that of Hans von Bibra (1547 1581) who is the common ancestor of all living Bibras.
Check out our Irmelshausen church page.