If I understand correctly, there are multiple Frankenstein castles. There is the ruin in the village of Frankenstein in Rhineland-Pfalz, and there is the castle in Hesse where the (from what I hear) amazing Halloween festival is held. We visited Burgruine Frankenstein, the castle ruins in the village of Frankenstein.
Something I’ve noticed about the Burg’s of Germany, is that they are often built into the stone that inhabits the area. Whether it was meant for concealment, defensive measures, efficiency or cosmetic, I think it nicely ties in all of these purposes. As we climbed the trail up to the site, the walls of the castle weren’t readily seen until we stepped around the cliff wall and were faced with the entrance.
Thankfully, the site is open for the public to visit at any time, so we were able to climb around the site and explore. Much of the outer walls remained, windows intact, which made for an easily imagined ideal of what it would have been like to live or walk around in the castle while it was standing tall.
According to Pfalz.de, the castle was built before 1146 by the Counts of Leiningen. Much of the castle was destroyed during the Peasants War in the 1500’s, and since then it has been uninhabitable.
As always, the view from the top of the castle was lovely. The village below is small, but the church below the castle makes for a lovely site to see. The Schloßberg train tunnel sits under the castle.
I think one of Tristan and I’s favorite little details of the castle was what we deduced was a drain pipe that directed water outside of the castle. We attempted to image where it may have originated and what flowed out, but couldn’t really picture as it was directly to the right of a staircase. We often think of our Medieval counterparts as simple and lacking of ingenuity, however they were quite the opposite. Just because Tristan and I couldn’t idealize the intricacies of this drainage system, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t architecturally significant. Deutschland is a wet, rainy place during the winter months, so directing water outside of the castle would be imperative.
We sat in what appeared to be maybe a great hall, pointing out where one could clearly see the hearth had been, and wondering what it may have been like when the castle was in its prime. I don’t know that I will ever tire of that.
Behind the castle, there was a sheltered area that spoke of the common trees and wildlife in the area, as well as the history of the castle.
Trails lead off along the hillside, but we didn’t have the appropriate walking shoes and it was starting to look like rain. As we walked back down the mountain, Tristan commented that all the castles we had seen had been ruins. “Are we ever going to see a whole castle again?”
Apparently, I need to step up my castle planning game.
I hope you enjoy the photo collage below! Are there any castles you’d like to see us visit?