Disaffected crusaders founded a community in the Carmel Mountains around the middle of the 12th century in Palestine in the tradition of desert hermits. But the advance of the Saracens forced the young Carmelite order to flee back to Europe. In 1262 they were invited by Count Heinrich I to settle in Kassel, bought a house from the Jewess Rachel, and in 1298 commenced to build the Brethren Church and Monastery – today’s Renthof and where our hotel is located.
The Reformation forced the Carmelite Monastery to dissolve in 1526. Count Moritz der Gelehrte (the Scholar) – art lover, composer, alchemist, and architect – had the monastery converted into a Court School and Technical School. The young and since then composer of world-renown Heinrich Schütz was trained here.
Picture: Original handwritten timetable ca. 1595
The Court School was subsequently converted into an Academy for Knights.
Picture: A historical report on the Academy for Knights in a magazine published in 1918
In the middle of the 30 Years War, the University of Marburg / Kassel was officially inaugurated in the north-west wing.
Since the second half of the 17th century, the building complex, which is now called Renthof, accommodated several Hessian higher authorities and Court of Law as an extension of the adjoining office building on the Fulda.
Picture: Land Register photographs ca, 1898 – Present-day hotel entrance
During World War II, Allied bombers drop around 400,000 firebombs on Kassel in the space of 90 minutes. They destroyed around 80 % of the buildings, including almost the entire old town. About 10,000 lost their lives. The “only” partially destroyed Renthof was set up by Verein für Volkswohl (the Association for People’s Welfare) as a living environment for senior citizens, and it served this purpose until 2012.
In 1995, the “Foundation of the Old Brethren Church” renovated the early-Gothic period church after it was abandoned by the parish in 1970 and had became increasingly dilapidated. Since then it has serves as a special event venue administered by Rainer Holzhauer and the Grischäfer catering business.