Even though the SummerMusicAcademy marks only a rather brief chapter in the long history of Hundisburg Castle, it is an important one. The medieval Hunoldes castle (first mentioned in 1140) was fundamentally transformed twice: First prior to the Thirty Years’ War, when a Renaissance castle was built within the old castle’s walls. After 1693, the structure was expanded to the Baroque castle we know today. The second fundamental change occurred at the beginning of the 18th century, when a spectacular terraced garden was added, to which a 100-hectare park was subjoined in the 19th century.
A large part of the castle was destroyed in a devastating fire in 1945, after soviet troops were accommodated there. Despite several attempts to restore the damaged buildings in the 1960s, the entire estate was left to deteriorate. Part of the castle park was even used as a football field.
Castle Hundisburg was saved in 1991 when its restoration began thanks to the civic involvement and financial support of the European Union, the State, and the German Foundation for Monument Protection. The Baroque garden and accompanying park were also included in the reconstruction efforts. But it was not until the SummerMusicAcademy was brought to life by Rolf-Dieter Arens and the »KULTUR-Landschaft Haldensleben-Hundisburg« society in 1993, that this ongoing construction site was accepted by the greater public — the region’s cultural highlight was born.
Ever since, the castle is gradually being restored, opening more and more of the site as a venue for the SummerMusicAcademy. Doors have been added to the ballroom and the garden hall, the academy and lecture rooms located in the estate’s ring complex have been completed, and the construction of the Paris gate and fountain have added a finishing touch to the Baroque park. The restoration of the Baroque stucco ceiling in the Main Hall has without a doubt been the main event of the renovation efforts. It was unveiled for the SMA’s 20th anniversary in 2012. The painter Christoph Wetzel utilised photographs from the 1930s and colour slides from the Führer archive of monumental paintings (»Führerbefehl Monumentalmalerei«) for the restoration.
The SummerMusicAcademy has long since expanded its reach beyond the castle grounds to a number of special sites and buildings throughout the town of Hundisburg, which now form an inherent part of the annual summer festivities. In addition to practicing a passion for high-class music, the SummerMusicAcademy Hundisburg Castle is a celebration of the venues where this music is performed.