Leopold Hoesch
Sebastian Dehnhardt
1 x 45'
Adelsdynastien in NRW
Die Grafen Beissel von Gymnich

Wasserburg Satzvey in Mechernich in the Voreifel: here the Count Beissel von Gymnich family has been staging knights' plays, children's theatre and medieval Christmas markets for over 30 years. Every year, thousands of visitors to Satzvey Castle find the illusion of a childhood dream come true, of knights in shining armour and damsels in flowing dresses.

But when Franz Josef Count Beissel von Gymnich and his American wife Jeanette organised their first knightly games at Burg Satzvey in the early 1980s, they were still smiled at behind closed doors in German aristocratic circles: A Hollywood spectacle at the traditional seat of a blue-blooded family? Medieval markets and show tournaments? But success has proven them right. The Beissel von Gymnich family uses professionally staged spectacles to maintain the estate.

As part of "Noble Dynasties in NRW", Julia Melchior visits the Counts Beissel von Gymnich at Wasserburg Satzvey. During a tour of the castle, Jeannette Countess Beissel von Gymnich gives her an insight into her everyday life between medieval castle romance and modern event marketing. She reports on how she settled into her role as lady of the house and the resistance she had to overcome in the process. As a trained advertising specialist, she has above all promoted the marketing of the knights' games and made a significant contribution to making Satzvey Castle a supra-regional centre of attraction.

In historical flashbacks, the film takes us through the exciting family history of the Counts Beissel von Gymnich. For example, it is revealed how the ancestors were involved in the "sex scandal at Grunewald Castle" in 1891. The family's private films, dating back to the 1940s, are also shown for the first time. The head of the house, Franz Josef Count Beissel von Gymnich, talks about his childhood at the castle, the challenge of taking on the family legacy and what finally gave rise to the first knights' games in Germany.

First broadcast: Fri, 22 June 2012, 20:15, WDR.

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