In 1129 the first member of the family Solms appeared. It was Marquard von Solms and he was a witness at the founding of the monastery Schiffenberg near Giessen.
Braunfels is first mentioned in a document on January 3rd, 1246 as “castellum brunenvelz”. The castle was already in the possession of the Counts of Solms, who were resident in the area of the Lahn valley.
The family is named after the small river “Sulmissa” that empties into the 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 there is nothing to see any more.
In Braunfels, on top of the basalt cone on the site of today’s castle, initially there was just a simple watchtower.