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"A cleansing fire always burns little Mandus, but it purifies and it makes anew."
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Brennenburg Castle is the location where Amnesia: The Dark Descent is set. The castle was heavily damaged, and some portions of it were crumbling, by the time that the Shadow chasing Daniel made its presence known.[citation needed]



The castle is presumed to have been built in the Medieval Period. Brennenburg Castle was rebuilt centuries before the game takes place by Alexander of Brennenburg in the late 16th century CE, after it was consumed by a fire.[2] After Alexander rebuilt it, he made it his home. The castle is located deep in the woods of eastern Prussia (most likely in today's northeastern Poland or the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia, i.e. near historical Königsberg), near the town of Altstadt.[2]

Events of Amnesia: The Dark Descent[]

The castle's history is again shrouded in mist up until the early 19th century, when the events of Amnesia: The Dark Descent took place. With Daniel 's arrival and Alexander's acquisition of an intact orb his centuries long plan to return home is put in motion. As the events progress the castle is continuously assaulted by the Shadow. Large portions of the castle which hasn't been tended for centuries begin to collapse as the Shadow consumes more and more infrastructure in pursuit of Daniel. Finally after the confrontation in the Inner Sanctum the castle appeared partially or mostly collapsed.

After the events of The Dark Descent[]

It is unknown what became of the castle in the next few decades. However the experiments of Oswald Mandus, which are based on those from Brennenburg might imply that the castle was not entirely forgotten and that the ruins were excavated and explored. It is also implied that Oswald had the body of a Gatherer sent to him, which was most likely found in the remains of Brennenburg.


The castle is built of large flag stones and has many stone columns. As expected of the time period, it is lit by candles and decorated with paintings and tapestries though, as mentioned before, the castle's wards have fallen into a state of decay and ruin. When the immense Shadow arrives, it causes parts of the castle to collapse entirely forcing the baron's servants to reinforce weaker structures. While this means that many of the wooden structures are crumbling, much of the stone that makes up the walls and ceilings seems to remain intact, specifically in the back rooms as Daniel draws closer to Alexander.

On the other hand, the exterior appearance of the castle is unknown. The only instance when the outside is glimpsed is in the Study, when the player jumps from window to window. There is also a concept art depicting the castle as having numerous, large towers and walls.[3] The castle is perched atop a forested mountain with Altstadt below.


Amnesia Archives

One of the Castle's many rooms, the Archives.

Brennenburg Castle is a large, labyrinthine, and dilapidated compound. At the time of The Dark Descent, many areas of the castle have fallen into ruin.

(S) denotes the area is mostly Safe. No encounters with any kind of monsters will occur in these areas.
(LR) denotes the area is of Low Risk. Non-hallucinatory encounters with monsters may occur in these areas.
(HR) denotes the area is of High Risk. Encounters with different kinds of monsters will occur in these areas.
(H) denotes the area is a Hub. A hub is a large, safe area with doors leading to several other rooms you will have to traverse to to reach your goal.

For the first part of the game, you will not run into any monsters, as the Old Archives and the Entrance Hall serve as a tutorial of sorts to familiarize the player with the controls. However, in the Archives and Wine Cellar, you have the possibility of seeing your first Servant Grunt without actually having to risk being ripped apart, as it is walking away from you and is not scripted to attack regardless of your actions. The sound of an unseen Servant Brute can be heard in these areas. The first potentially dangerous encounter with a Servant Grunt occurs in the Refinery. Once you escape the water lurkers (Kaernks) in the Cellar Archives, you should prepare for a myriad of encounters in Storage and the Southern and Northern Prison blocks. A Servant Brute is visible in both blocks of the Prison, but they are not a genuine threat until you reach the Morgue. They become a greater threat in the Sewer.

There will also be a Grunt appearance in the Guest Room, before or after going to Storage (depends on your actions). However, it is not a forced encounter with the Grunt in the Guest Room. If one chooses to not approach the open wardrobe in the room where they key is found, then the monster will not appear at all.


  • The Castle is said to be located deep in the woods of Eastern Prussia (German: Ostpreußen, or Ost-Preussen)[4] near Königsberg, as the name was mentioned in one of the Notes found in the game.[citation needed]
  • The Castle's interior bears a strong resemblance to the castles built by Teutonic Knights in early medieval times. Brennenburg may be inspired by Malbork Castle, a fortress of the Order of Teutonic Knights, which is called Marienburg in German.
  • The location of the castle Brennenburg might have been inspired by Brandenburg; A German state located in

    Eastern Prussia with possible Brennenburg location highlighted.

    the north-eastern part of the country. Another reason that might support this is Order of the Black Eagle; An organization Alexander is a member of was founded on January 17, 1701 by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg who later became Frederick I of Prussia.
    • "Branden" is the German word for "surge", while "Brand" means "fire." The word "Brennen" can be translated to "burn" or "firing." Although the word "Schloss" is more common, "Burg" can also mean "castle" in German, making the use of "castle" after the name redundant. Therefore, "Brennenburg" can be roughly translated to "Burning Castle," which may be related to the castle's history, as it was rebuilt following a fire.
  • The village nearby, Altstadt, translates to "old city" and is a term used to describe the historical part of a city.[5]
  • Nave, Choir, Transept, and Chancel are all traditional terms used to describe various sections of a church.[6]
    • This might or might not be a reference to the medieval era inquisition made by the Roman Catholic Church, as there are torture devices found in these sections which may have been used by the church to punish heretics. It may also simply be an example of a historical chapel, as many castles included their own private chapels for nobility or full parish churches for exceptionally wealthy or important nobility, as well as for bishop-princes.[7]
  • In the Revenge Ending, the fate of Brennenburg Castle, while not directly shown, is implied to be its destruction, as the structure audibly falls apart — once Daniel has left safely.
  • As Daniel flees, he does not encounter any Grunts, Brutes, or otherworldly monsters; it seems the entire place is deserted. Alexander's servants and the Kaernk(s) most probably died after direct contact with the Shadow passing through or cave-ins.[citation needed]
  • How Daniel managed to escape the castle is unknown, as some parts of the way were either blocked or crumbled, especially the elevator section, but presumably there was another way to get back to the surface. Whether either Daniel found the way out by himself or the Shadow provided him a hidden path to escape is unknown.
  • It appears that Oswald Mandus is well aware of the castle's existence and location as he was able to procure a body of a gatherer to use as template for his manpigs.
  • In a deleted note in Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, Oswald Mandus states that local peasants set fire to the castle some time after the first game, badly damaging it. However, Oswald was able to recover Alexander's travel journals, which inspired his own hunt for Orbs in the America. [citation needed]
  • In most hub areas, the inscriptions denoting the purpose of the rooms beyond are in Latin. Examples of this are the cella vinaria for the Wine Cellar and the fabrica eliquatoria for the Refinery. In addition, many areas have their sub-spaces divided by Latin terminology, such as the instrumenta for the equipment room in Storage, or the Historia Loci and Libri Rari for specific rooms in the Archives.



  1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent — English credits
  2. 2.0 2.1 Local Folklore, 'The Immortal Baron' (TDD) – "Researching the history reveals little before the castle was consumed by fire in the late 16th century. It was rebuilt by Alexander, a nobleman from the Rhinelands claiming the role as protector of the Prussian State."
  3. Picture, Castle Brennenburg
  4. Wikipedia: "East Prussia"
  5. Wikipedia: "Altstadt"
  6. "Churchbuilding"
  7. Wikipedia: "Castle Chapel"