„Das Graue Haus“ – the most ancient stone house in Germany: on the Rhine, in the vine, near Frankfurt am Main

 

Overview

Object: House in Eltville (Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis)
Living space: ca. 380 sqm
Estate: ca. 954 sqm
Available from: Upon agreement
Purchase: 1,550,000.00 EUR Property ID: 1504a

Property description

PROPERTY:
In the course of an existence of more than thousand years, the Grey House in Winkel has experienced manifold uses: its probable first use was that of a country house for Rhabanus Maurus, the “first preceptor of Germania”, who died in Winkel in the year of 856. Then, from about 1100, it became the ancestral home of the noble family of Greiffenclau – later the residential seat of the widows of the family – towards the end of the 20th century a Michelin-starred restaurant – and after the suicide of count Matuschka-Greiffenclau in 1997 a vacancy.

Since, for centuries, the Grey House has shown that it can re-invent itself the Bochmann-Stiftung foundation has decided to restore the building in close cooperation with the Hesse state office for the
preservation of monuments: as a retreat for mediation or meditation, as location for seminars and workshops, as the headquarter of a company/an association/or foundation, as a place for celebration, for presentation and representation, for reflection, action and play.

All these are uses to which the Grey House can be dedicated. It offers an open space for presentation, discussion and meditation, an area for dining/group work or co-work, another area for a small management team, for outdoor seating in the garden, a professional kitchen with a separate walk-in fridge building - and in addition as the dot on the i: the outstanding beauty which arises when pre-roman/carolingian architecture is combined with modern light, art and design.

After entering the inner courtyard from Grey Lane, you become witness of Roman-Carolingian architecture: vine-covered natural stone walls and Pre-Roman windows. You then step into the Grey House via a glass door within a round arch stone portal. From there you turn left to the upper floor, straight ahead towards a second glass door to the kitchen and right to coat racks and toilets.

The kitchen offers everything a professional chef needs, and a hobby cook can dream of: combi-steamer, gas stove, electric hob, griddle plate; cooling tables, ice cube maker, bottle refrigerators; dishwasher, glasswasher; grease-separator, fridge building with two cooling chambers; plate warmer and service-lift. The kitchen has been professionally planned, is in absolute mint condition, ready to use and included in the price.

The kitchen staff can dispose of a separate staff room, a separate toilet and staff lockers.

Via the stairways, you move from the main entrance to the gallery in the upper floor. In ancient times the gallery has been the part of the palas that was open to the outside – with the heated hall in the back. It allows a magnificent view via Carolingian round arch portals to the inner courtyard and the Rhine river. It is well suited to be used as reception room and – due to its refectory long table – as meeting room or catering area.

The hall in the back of the gallery is entered via a large wall opening. It can be used as a restaurant, for group work, for lectures and meditations, but also as a co-working space. Ventilation, beamer, roll-up beamer screen, sound-system and appropriate controllers are all in place. Tables and chairs as well. The hall stands out thanks to its proportions, its windows, its masonry which is partly rendered and partly bare. The westside of the hall has - as an annex, unusual with respect to compass direction but not without example - the oratory that has been revived with much sensitivity.

The hall has also direct access from the outside. A direct access became necessary as response to the requirement of an emergency exit. It was realized in close cooperation with the state office for the preservation of monuments. Historic drawings, photographs and ruptures in the masonry provided proof that access from/or exit to the outside had already existed in the past. Today, the “emergency exit” leads towards the northern vineyard and to the seating on top of the fridge building. Thus, due to the engagement of all parties involved, a requirement could be turned to an advantage.
You reach the top level of the Grey House via the Gallery. Looking down allows you to see the gallery, the life scene on the gallery and - past this life - the courtyard garden. Looking towards the east side allows you to cross a window that is a carolingian masterpiece. Looking up allows you to see the downside of the high saddleback roof.

The top level is ideally suited for workshops, group work, as a working space and seminar space.

All essential technical equipment is available: LAN, internal/external WLAN, beamer, roll-up beamer screen, media-control. Lighting controls allow finetuning of brightness levels. Ventilation controls ensure fresh air supply. Chairs can be arranged at your discretion.

The top level captivates by its openness – looking towards the top, downwards, sideways. It is the ideal space to let your thoughts curve around and to share them with others.

The side building of the Grey House has been built around 1660 – after the Thirty Year’s War. This has been proved with the help of the old wood beams between upper level and roof level. Being completely conserved, they have been exposed to the open in order to become visible beauties.

The side building is ideal to accommodate management and team and/or to moderate group discussions. Is can also be used as guest house. The ground level houses a mini kitchen, WC + shower, workspace and storeroom. The upper level is one space only, with much headroom, ideal for small groups to discuss or for single persons to live and sleep.

The stone walls of the side building are partly exposed. This produces, in conjunction with the old wood beams, an ensemble of high aesthetic quality. New oak floorboards have been aligned to the stone wall. Floor heating provides comfort. LAN and WLAN provide the necessary connection to the outside world.


RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE GREY HOUSE
There are 2 types of risks to which we would like to draw your attention to:
1 - The Grey House is located in a flood area
The proximity to the river Rhein leads to the fact that flooding can affect the Grey House. The last flooding events of category A since world war 2 happened in years 1955, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1988 and 1995. In order to protect itself against flooding the Grey House has backwater protection connected with two high performance wastewater pumps. In addition, it is surrounded by stone-walls east, south and west. As a last resort, it is taken care that flooding cannot cause any long-lasting harm. The ground-floors will simply dry out again. Conclusion: The grey house has survived floodings for more than 1000 years. It should continue to do so.

2 - The parking spaces in front of the house – in Graugasse – are public and often occupied.
The Grey House has made a redemption payment for 12 parking spaces. The same number of such spaces is located in Graugasse, in front of the house entrance. However, the mapping of those spaces to the Grey House is contested. Presently, those spaces are considered to belong to the city of Oestrich-Winkel and are – as a consequence – often occupied. The issue is still pending in front of the court. However, there are more parking spaces in close vicinity – along Rheinstraße. This makes parking less comfortable but solves the parking problem in almost all cases.


SPECIAL FEATURES:
4 core areas: 1 – Dining room/groupwork or co-working room plus gallery; 2 – Open-space for presentation/discussion/meditation; 3 – Professional kitchen; 4 – Management & team.

Windows with double-glazing; underfloor-heating; LAN at 100 Mbit everywhere, WLAN; central alarm system, programmable multi-media system, professional kitchen with staff-room, staff-toilet, underground grease separator, separate walk-in fridge building, service-lift, outside sitting areas in the garden, in Graugasse (Grey Lane) and on top of the fridge building, operation level approved for 12 parking spaces, corresponding ladies and gents toilet facilities, high performance wastewater pumps, ventilation system with heat recovery, fire protection system – and in addition:

Roman-carolingian oratory with the sculpture of a consecration cross above the entrance, roman windows, carolingian-roman columns, capitals and stone friezes, bear head sculptures, properly styled but distinguishable supplements of antique elements, masonry inside and outside partly in Opus Spicatum, plaster structure partly in Pietra Rasa, outdoor floodlights to masonry, red sandstone well shaft, Hildegard von Bingen healing plants and more.


LOCATION:
The Grey House is located at Graugasse in Winkel, a district of Oestrich-Winkel. It is surrounded by fields of vines and very close to the river Rhine, only separated by a local road and a main road which are running in parallel. The distance to Wiesbaden and Mainz is about 30 car driving minutes, the distance to Frankfurt is about 45 minutes.

Oestrich-Winkel is located in the middle of Rheingau, one of the largest wine growing regions in Germany. Castles, monasteries and vineries shape the landscape. The surrounding cities of Eltville and Rüdesheim form – together with the Rhein – a prominent tourist attraction.

In close vicinity to the Grey House is Brentano House which will be part of the German Museum of Romanticism which is planned to open in Frankfurt am Main in 2020.
But there is more than wine and romanticism in Rheingau: This is shown by the existence of the European Business School (EBS) in Oestrich-Winkel. It has been the first private university for business administration in Germany. And next to EBS, located west of Oestrich-Winkel, we find Hochschule Geisenheim University (HGU) which has – among others – faculties for viniculture, horticulture and landscape architecture.


DISTANCES:
Wiesbaden: 20 minutes by car
Airport Rhein-Main: 32 minutes by car
Mainz: 22 minutes by car
Rüdesheim: 10 minutes by car
Eltville: 9 minutes by car


INFORMATION ON THE ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE:
Not applicable. Listed monument.


MISCELLANEOUS:
This property is sold free of commission for the buyer.

The details provided above are based on information provided by third parties. Peters & Peters Sotheby´s International Realty does not assume any liability for the completeness and accuracy of that information.

In the event that we have aroused your interest in this stunning property, please call Jennifer Peters at our Wiesbaden office or write us an e-mail.

Contact

Peters & Peters Sotheby`s International Realty
Danziger Straße 50a
65191 Wiesbaden

t: +49 (0)611 89 05 92 10
f: +49 (0)611 89 05 92 29

E-Mail: jennifer.peters@ppsir.de

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Gallery
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Contact

Peters & Peters Sotheby`s International Realty
Danziger Straße 50a
65191 Wiesbaden

t: +49 (0)611 89 05 92 10
f: +49 (0)611 89 05 92 29

E-Mail: jennifer.peters@ppsir.de

 

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