The castle was built from 1720 to 1744 by the architect Balthasar Neumann. The impressive grand staircase with its unique, free-floating hollow construction is proof of Neumann’s genius - and that at the beginning of his impressive career. A large number of outstanding artists was involved in the construction. Among them the stucco artist Antonio Bossi and the best fresco painter of the day, the Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Above the grand staircase, Tiepolo created one of the largest ceiling frescos in the world. Neumann was assisted by Lucas von Hildebrandt from Vienna and Maximilian von Welsch from Mainz.
The WWII air raid on March 16, 1945 spared the staircase, the White Hall, the Imperial Hall, and the Garden Hall. The parade rooms, decorated in lavish Rococo style were recreated after their destruction. Furniture and wall hangings had been saved. The reconstruction lasted almost 40 years. Of the roughly 340 rooms of the castle, 42 are open for tours. Part of the space at the castle is rented by the local university and the Martin von Wagner Museum.