September 17, 2014
castle - first mentioned in 1247 - sits on a hill above the town Bensheim-Auerbach. With its distinctive triangular design it was the first of its kind at that time.
Coming up the castle road you can see the first glimpses of the old stone walls as soon as you cross a bridge that spans a ravine.
Through a gate that's adorned with ironwork you enter the castle grounds.
In the first court there are a pillory and a dragon. The dragon is part of the "dragon activity" campaign of regional Lions Clubs.
Across a bridge and a stone arc a narrow corridor leads further into the castle towards the inner courtyard...
... that is often used as the perfect location for medieval feasts.
In a corner of the yard is the old well that has been hewn 62 meters deep through the rocks.
On the wall in a "side yard" is the coat of arms of the nobles of Katzenelnbogen - the family who built the castle.
The wall above shows the impressive depth of the castle wall.
Here some impressions of the walls around the main and the side court.
Following several stairscases - passing beautifully carved windows and openings on the way up - you reach the battlement.
Here is also where the winter pine grows on top of the wall. It is over 300 years old and due to the harsh conditions it stayed relatively small.
Across the wall is the entrance to the north tower. There you can climb a circular staircase to its top.
On the way up the north, but also the south tower, there are quite a few arrow slits that also provide views of the surrounding landscape.
Upstairs this vista greets you.
From here you also have a good view of the south tower that has a flag waving on top of it.
Climbing up a lot of staircases - the last being a very narrow one...
... you find yourself on top of the south tower. On the way up there is a doorway to part of the wall that leads to a turret.
These are the vistas from both towers.
Looking straight down from the south tower you can see part of the Fuerstenlager Statepark.
Down again there is a narrow path you can follow to the moat - which was dry due to lack of rain.
Along the outer wall are tables and benches that belong to the castle pub that invite visitors to sit down and enjoy the scenery while having a hearty meal.
This is the view you get for free with your food.
Following the outer castle wall there are several really nice sights of old things that are now mere decoration.
Part of the back wall was decorated with banners - most likely in preparation for a feast.
One last look back at the north tower on the way out.
The way to the exit led past a forest staircase, the meeting rock of snails and a mystical path leading behind the castle.
The proof that castle walls are not as barren as they look at first glance.
Two of the castle's inhabitants.
As usual - to show the often dramatic change in mood - here some black and white pictures.