In 1131, the parish of Arolsen (or 'Aroldessen' at the time) was first mentioned on the occasion of the foundation of the Augustinian monastery in Aroldessen. As with many castles, the predecessor of the residential palace was a monastery and was converted by Philip III van Waldeck in the period 1526-1530 and remained in use as the ancestral castle of the Counts of Waldeck until 1710. This castle and the remains of the monastery were finally demolished in 1710. George Frederik van Waldeck-Eisenberg was born here in 1620.
Frederik Anton Ulrich van Waldeck-Pyrmont had the old Schloss Arolsen replaced at the beginning of the 18th century by a Baroque pleasure castle designed by Julius Ludwig Rothweil after the model of Versailles from 1710 to 1728. The main building was completed in 1728.
The construction of the castle put an excessive burden on the Principality of Waldeck-Pyrmont. Especially since the accession to the German Confederation, debts became so high that the principality concluded a treaty with Prussia in 1867, whereby the principality lost most of its independence. The last monarch resigned in 1918. The castle was taken over by the municipality; the royal family received the usufruct of part of it, Prince Wittekind of Waldeck-Pyrmont lives there with his family. The castle is largely used as a museum and library.
The Dutch Queen Emma was born here on August 2, 1858.