7/08/2013

Castles & Palaces: Germany/Austria/Denmark Part 3A

I tried to narrow down the pictures, but it was so hard!  All of the castles & palaces were so beautiful and had such gorgeous views, that it was next to impossible.  So, I decided I'd better split the posts up into Part 3A (Castles) and 3B (Palaces).  (To see a bigger picture, click on the picture.)
I hit on Neuschwanstein in my "Getting There" post.  I couldn't write a castle post without including it one more time:
Within view of this castle is Crazy King Ludwig's father's castle, Hohenschwangau.  This is where King Ludwig II spent part of his childhood.

Unfortunately, we didn't tour this one, but the outside was just gorgeous.  Guess I'll have to go back, darn it!
The next castle on the trip was Ehrenberg.  There are actually 2 castles' ruins here:  Ehrenberg & Schlosskopf.  We could see them from our room in the Austrian Hostel:
I hiked up to the lower castle, Ehrenberg.  The castle dates back to the 1200's.  Part of the group hiked on up to Schlosskopf, and they said the views were magnificent.
The hike up:
Finally I could see the castle:
The ruins:





The castles are lit up at night, which make for a really nice view when you're at the bottom of the mountain.  (No pictures, though!)
The views from the ruins:



Looking at Schlosskopf from Ehrenberg:
At the bottom of the mountain, there is a museum which the kids seemed to enjoy:
Another castle we visited was Wartburg (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the WiesKirche).  This castle is on a mountain outside of Eisenach.  We rode a bus to the parking lot, but then we had to hike up the rest of the way.  It's a very good thing that we didn't have to hike up the whole mountain, because just half of it was plenty!
The building of Wartburg Castle began in the 1000's.  St. Elisabeth of Hungary lived there in the 1200's, and in 1521 Martin Luther hid out in the castle and translated the Bible.
The tour began with some artifacts:
A lot of the castle had been reconstructed according to the time period.
The outside of Wartburg:


If you look closely just behind the gutter, you can see where there may have been a window or door that has been covered up:
Fireplace
St. Elisabeth's Chapel:
The mural in the Chapel that survived a fire in the 1300's:
The hallway to the Chapel, which has paintings from St. Elisabeth's life on the wall:



The doors were magnificent:




King Ludwig II (from Neuschwanstein) modeled his Grand Hall after this one, where concerts are still held:

And the views from the castle:




We even had the privilege of sleeping in a castle that has been turned into a hostel!  From what I could find, it was the residence of a baron in the 1700's, but the architecture suggests it was built in the 1500's.  We stayed in the tower, which was quite a walk, since the Europeans don't have the Individuals with Disabilities Act, and aren't required to make sure there is handicapped access everywhere.
The Entrance
The Door
The Stairwell




Sunrise from my window
Come back tomorrow for Part 3B:  Palaces!

11 comments:

  1. Absolutely fascinating! My kids enjoyed the photos of St. Elisabeth's chapel...since they've studied her. I would have been walking around with my jaw hanging open the entire time. History just fascinated me, especially now that I'm an adult!

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  2. Oh my word! How beautiful! I always thought I had no desire to travel to Europe, but seeing your photos (and hearing about what you've seen ad done) is changing that! ;-)

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  3. Love castles! Especially Neuschwanstein, it was my favorite part of my middle school trip to Europe! Did you know Cinderella's castle at Disney World is modeled after it? I have a snow globe with Cinderella's castle and a replica/model/statue/I-don't-know-the-right-word of Neuschwanstein side by side in our house.

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  4. Very interesting post ! I haven't seen any of these castles or places. Although I am German (on my passport) I don't know the country very well. I was 14 when I moved to Brussels with my parents.

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  5. No wheelchairs back in castle time so no need for wide doorways!

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  6. It blows my mind to think that REAL castles exist..

    Yep - I'd totally would be singing Beauty & the beast songs & looking for enchanted objects in there! :)

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  7. The Europeans have something similar to ADA but it only applies to new construction. Actually -- our ADA was originally designed that way as well -- limited to new construction but it also directed all Federal installations to become compliant. That's why we're so spoiled with accommodations at tourist locations.

    I loved visiting Bavaria when I lived in Europe.It was easy to see how people got caught up in the romance of it. I found it important to also visit places like Dachau to keep it all in perspective.

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  8. I am such a huge castle fan. It was one of my favorite things in Ireland and England. Love them. Your pictures are amazing.

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  9. Just magical; all that history. Love them all...even the 'ruined' ones. LOL. Ruins.
    And here, I thought palaces and castles were the same!

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  10. Great pictures. We were in Austria and Germany about 10 years ago and saw Neuschwanstein. Such a cool place. Really neat that you got to stay in a castle.

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  11. I went through each photo blown up and they are amazing. Thank you so much for showing them. I love the doors!

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