June 13, 2014
Today I visited Sooneck Castle in Niederheimbach. It is located on a hill that's looking down on the Rhine. In 2002 Sooneck Castle became part of the World Heritage site "Upper Middle Rhine Valley".
Following the forest road the first glimpse you get from the castle is framed by leaves.
Even before entering the castle you can see some of the omnipresent roses. Those are especially beautiful due to their contrast to the rough stonework.
Through a wooden gate that is set into the stone wall and is adorned with iron ornaments you enter the inner courtyard.
In here the roses grow everywhere - be it directly on the rough stones or in beds throughout the castle. They are also the natural decoration of several stone arcs.
In the courtyard is also a bronze model of the castle with a description of its history.
Up some steep stone steps I met the regrettably less than enthusiastic guide for the tour through the interior of the castle.
Despite his complete lack of humor he gave an interesting overview of the castle's history.
This painting is quite special, because it contains a rare so-called painting-clock. The church clock is actually a real clock and it sounded the time with a variety of chimes.
While going back down there were quite a few beautiful vistas.
And speaking of vistas - there are quite a few vantage points that give stunning views down on the Rhine.
Following the path down to the castle tavern there were more sights to see.
For example crenels that show just how thick the stonework is (approx. 2 meters).
There are also a few turrets that have no real windows but rather arrow slits.
There was also this fountain with an angel that had a quite weird facial expression.
All along that path are a multitude of flowers and plants - some of them make for a nice play of light and shadow.
Sitting outside the tavern there is once again the familiar contrast of roses against stonework which makes this a place where one can sit and just enjoy the peace and the view.
Walking around the castle I came across this beautiful gazebo with its stunning view across the Rhine.
And so ended the visit of this wonderful piece of history.
One last view while driving through the valley. I think the castle looks quite majestic - even from a distance.