The last adventure on my adventure page was the first castle we toured while living in Germany. This time it’s the last castle we toured. It was the weekend we found out we had to vacate Germany within 30 days (another story for another time).
We decided we wanted to visit one last castle before the stress of moving began and we wouldn’t have time to do much sightseeing. This one is Castle Lichtenstein (not the country of Lichtenstein, of course.) It is in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg. That probably means nothing to you but it’s near Stuttgart—where Mercedes and Porsche have their headquarters (also another story for another time.) It’s about 40 kilometers from where we live but Julie (our GPS guide) was not helpful. I had printed out a Google map because I didn’t have an exact address. We knew it was west of Reutlingen. So we plugged in Reutlingen and then stopped when we got there and try to find it using the Points of Interest feature on the GPS. It worked. The GPS listed the castle. Thank goodness!
As expected, we traveled up a hillside to get to the castle, parked the car and trekked the rest of the way to the entrance. Enchanted by the German castles, as always, this last trek was no different. “Castle Hopping” which military personnel and ex-patriots (those who were in the military or civilians who live in Germany or any other foreign country) call visiting castles was our most favorite thing to do while living in Germany.
I’m always amazed at the size of the grounds and this castle was no different. The outer bailey had more out-buildings than the other castles we visited. They had converted one building from a lodge to a restaurant for visitors. The Tudor type building housed a museum of sorts and a place to buy cold drinks.
The castle itself is a “fairy-tale” castle. One that easily could have been the subject of a dark fairy tale given where it sits. It’s on the edge of a cliff and to get to it, we had to walk a bridge to the keep. It’s smaller than most of the buildings on site but the beauty of the rooms and the artifacts were amazing. Weapons mounted on walls along with various shields captured my husband’s attention. These remnants of the past are irreplaceable.
What surprised me was how small the rooms were but they were so ornate. Every available wall and ceiling was gilded or painted or a combination thereof. The detail and intricacy of the work made me stop and stare. I didn’t know where to look first. The other thing I noticed was how many stained-glass windows were in this castle but in the other castles, there weren’t many, if at all.
I didn’t have the heart to take the picture but our guide showed us bullet holes where the German army in WWII took over the castle and shot up the walls. They didn’t see the value in the castle. Such a waste and so sad.
After the tour, we had a bite to eat at the cafe. We sat outside under an umbrella. We split an order Maltauschen (a rolled up ravioli with spinach – the Germans call them ‘noodle bags’) with egg and a salad. It started to rain as we started to eat but we thought we could wait it out and sure enough, the rain was just a drop here and there.
Thank you for allowing me to share this adventure with you and taking me back down memory lane for an enjoyable and lovely day!