Inside crumbling abandoned palace once home to King Charles’ family that was left to rot by new Russian owners | The Sun

A CRUMBLING abandoned palace that was once home to King Charles' family has been left to rot by its new Russian owners.

Dubbed "Rapunzel Castle" a building in Germany once used by the royals now needs to undergo a whopping $30million restoration project.

Reinhardsbrunn Abbey sits in the little town of Friedrichroda, part of the State of Thuringia and has been there for almost a thousand years.

The current King of England, Charles III, has an unlikely link to the palace as it is rumoured to be one of the first meeting places of his great, great, great grandparents Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.

First built in 1085, after arguments in the church caused a power struggle over who could choose and install bishops into their position, the abbey was founded by ruler of Thuringia, Louis Springer.

From there it became a respected monastery and the home to a group of monks from Hirsau Abbey.

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It was reportedly also used as an eerie burial site for the rich and wealthy up until the early fifteenth century.

But after disaster struck and the abbey was looted and left in turmoil during the German Peasant War of 1525, all of its monks disappeared and left the building in disrepair.

It took another 47 years until Duke Friedrich Wilhelm I carried out work to transform it but it wasnt until 1706 that the main part of the castle was restored still under the Wilhelm family name.

It then became a timid hunting retreat before becoming what we see today.

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The Neo-Gothic castle constructed in the mid-19th century by Duke Ernest I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha turned the former abbey into a castle to be used as his English-style summer house.

The Duke was the father of Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert and became the young mans favourite holiday destination.

The castle was surrounded by a beautiful park and had an elegant bell tower and tall spire hence the Rapunzel nickname.

Queen Victoria even made up a series of photos in 1858 for her husband, knowing just how much he loved the place.

World War II could've sparked trouble for the castle due to its height and expert views but the Duke held onto it.

However, just weeks after the devastating war ended, the residence was taken over by East Germans, who used it as a military hospital for Soviet Red Army troops.

After the hospital was shut down in 1953, the state used Reinhardsbrunn Abbey for a wide range of things including a police and firefighting training facility and later in the 60's a classy hotel.

The hotel theme seemed to stick as a now reunited Germany was passed around the tourism industry and had a number of new owners from hotel companies.

Projects were constantly floating about with the Reinhardsbrunn expected to get a makeover sooner rather than later.

Plans for a flashy five-star hotel were rumoured but nothing fell into place and by 1991, Reinhardsbrunn Abbey was in a seriously neglected state.

The building became a historic monument in the region in the early 90's after already being listed in 1891 as a landmark of the duchy and as a place of national significance in East Germany in 1980.

As it slipped further away from its former glory the property was bought in 2008 for $12million by a Russian investment consortium called Rusintech.

Rusintech left the palace to rot away and after several more looting's the building was left trashed.

The purchase was believed to be related to a suspected money laundering fiasco, according to the state.

Thuringia performed urgent repairs to the palace as structural failure was imminent and a genuine worry clouded over the culturally vital building.

Later in July 2018, they repossessed the palace to ensure its safety, making even more history as the first of its kind in the Federal Republic to legally get back a property for negligence.

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It is still undergoing repairs today and has been rumoured to need up to $40million in investments to make it a building that's both safe and practical in a modern world.

So far around $1.9million has been put aside way below the believed amount needed.

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