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The History of Villa Breckenheim

The Constructor

The Villa Breckenheim is one-of-a-kind cultural monument on what was the edge of Breckenheim (now a part of Wiesbaden). The building was built by Karl Neidhöfer (photo) between 1894 and 1904 at the edge of Breckenheim
where he served as village teacher from about 1888 to 1907. The oldest photo of the villa that we have is this black-and-white photograph that most likely dates from between 1904 and 1907. At that time, the villa was still the only house on the edge of the village on the western side of the Klingenbach creek.

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Architectural Style

The constructor might have been inspired by the Solmsschlösschen (photo), a Gothic Revival villa completed by Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels in Wiesbaden just two years earlier. The teacher opted for an asymmetrical floor plan, a playful appearance, and the use of the red brick typical of Wiesbaden on the first two storeys topped with a rather unusual, rustic structure made of fir timbers and yellow brick. The overall appearance is thus reminiscent of another villa in Wiesbaden on Alwinenstraße, with its unusual Wilhelminian-era combination of urban and rural styles rarely found in Wiesbaden.

Innovative technology

Neidhöfer had the basement and the deck for the ground floor built with reinforced concrete, an innovative material for its era. The ground flow was then built in triple rows of bricks with sandstone window sills. The ground floor ceiling and the entire upstairs including the roof were then built using a simple construction method. The innovative (and therefore expensive) structure of the cellar and ground floor may have been responsible for the villa's relatively long construction period of ten years.

Reproductions of the original 1894 plans and documents for the villa are on display in the stairwell and guests are invited to take a detailed look at them.

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1928 Sale to Theodor Meireis

In 1928, the Neidhöfer family sold the villa to carpenter Theodor Meireis (1901 – 1945), who moved in with his wife Emilie (1901-1986) and a daughter Emmy (1923-1997).

Theodor Meireis was the great-grandfather of villa's present owner, Jasmin Kettenbach. The villa has thus been in the family's possession since 1928. One photo shows Theodor Meireis in the traditional folk costume for carpenters and another is a family photo with Emilie and Emmy.

After Theodor's early death at the end of the Second World War, his widow and daughter continued to live in the villa.

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The Kettenbach Family

Emmy Meireis married Heinz Kettenbach (1924-1985), who lent his family name to the villa. Jasmin Kettenbach is the daughter of Heinz Kettenbach and Brigitte Englert and she inherited the villa from her grandmother Emmy upon her death in 1997 and lived in it for a few years that followed.

For about fifteen years until about 2014, the villa was only occasionally used as a weekend or holiday rental.

As the number of issues with the villa's outdated technology mounted, Jasmin decided with her husband Volker to completely renovate the villa in 2014.

Since the completion of the renovations, rooms in the villa have been available for stays.

Find out more about the villas' apartments Mountains or Wine apartments on their respective pages. Or find out more about the owners and their philosophy.

Also check out our renovation page for more details about the extensive renovations done in 2015.

We've also put together the answers to some frequently asked questions.

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