Rolandseck/Königswinter Frank Boor from Rolandseck has a laborious but spectacular hobby. He has recreated Schloss Drachenfels using 45,000 Lego pieces. But the 49-year old has never visited the original castle.
Lego is more than just a word. Thousands and thousands of enthusiastic fans would agree. As children they built simple houses, or racing cars with gearshift. But what Frank Boor from Rolandseck has created in his assembly space would amaze not only die-hard Lego fans. The 49-year-old has built Schloss Drachenburg. Using no less than 45,000 bricks, he has recreated the splendid former villa, which was built in the 1880s on the Drachenfels in Königswinter for Stephan von Sarter. Today the castle belongs to the North Rhine-Westphalia Foundation, it has been extensively restored and can be visited.
Boor recreated his 2.15-metre wide and 1.15-metre high castle using the "Lego mini-figure scale, which is about 1 to 45". In the base alone, he used more than 4000 1 by 2 bricks in dark tan colour. "I have laid over 6000 Lego tiles, so you can see how quickly 10,000 parts are actually installed", he says.
500,000 pieces in stock
There were no problems with procuring the many special bricks for the building which dazzles in various styles. The well-organised 49-year-old has 500,000 parts in stock alone: "150,000 of them are stored in one system. So I can find every brick quite quickly. But there's always something missing." However, the price is considerable when you are paying unit prices of 0.35 to 1.50 euros for colours such as dark flash and nougat, depending on the piece.
As a passionate builder, whom other Lego enthusiasts have already dubbed the "Hero of the bricks", the Bergheim/Erft-born man has no choice. With breaks, he has been using the blocks from an early age. "I discovered the joy of playful construction with my first Lego bricks." A lot has happened since then.
Numerous Lego projects to date
Boor has already created, for example, a diorama book shop, a Chinese restaurant, an old tavern, a Christmas diorama, Rolandseck train station, Tower Bridge, Yoda from the classic Star Wars as Santa Claus and vehicles such as a dark red and white VW bus. "There have been countless things," sums up Boor. He describes the Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle, built in 2018, as an elaborate project. Some of Frank Boor's buildings can also be seen on the "Lego Ideas" website.
Schloss Drachenburg took a good 250 hours to build. The architecture is enchanting with its sophisticated brickwork, central tower, turrets, oriels, windows, and the surrounding terrace with the wall. Boor has taken everything into consideration, including the design of the Venus terrace in front of the southern castle facade with its fountain and box-shaped lime trees. Even the golden stags here, which show the way to the open staircase at the entrance, are made of Lego.
Online pictures used as a model
The trained lathe operator and businessman, who has already held a variety of jobs, used pictures from the Internet as a model. He found a 3-D image extremely helpful. It's hard to believe that he does not make any other preparations: "When I have an idea, I just start building. I choose the colour and then I just start ordering; parts that I imagine I can use."
Is it lonely to have such an intensively practiced hobby? Boor, who has been "very happy" with his partner for 20 years, can only deny this. How does he feel when such a construction is completed? "It's a great feeling." And there's something else that makes him happy: "At exhibitions, it's nice to see how people from toddlers to grandparents are simply amazed and have a smile on their faces. That's the best thing for me." And Schloss Drachenburg is not Boor’s final project. He is already working on the next one: a Star Wars spaceship.
The real Schloss Drachenburg may well bring him even more gratification: "I am currently in negotiations. I'm talking about putting my Lego castle on permanent display in the real castle." There's also a curious side note. Just as Stephan von Sarter never lived in his prestigious residence (he lived in Paris) - Frank Boor has never visited Schloss Drachenburg. "But I will make up for that," he assures.
(Original text: Hildegard Ginzler, Translation: Caroline Kusch)