The first member of the family Solms was mentioned in 1129. It was Marquard von Solms, he was a witness of the founding of the monastery Schiffenberg near Giessen.
The name “Braunfels” was mentioned the first time in a document January 3rd, 1246 as “castellum brunenvelz”. At that time the castle was already possessed by the Counts of Solms, who were resident in the area of the Lahn valley.
The family has its name from the small river “Sulmissa”, which flows into the river Lahn. It still flows through Burgsolms, where the ancestral home of the family was located. They had built a moated castle, of which, however, today nothing is to see any more.
In Braunfels, on top of the basalt cone on the site of today’s castle, there initially was just a simple watchtower.