You see, those noble people (I would say noblemen — but that’s not fair to the ladies) knew that by building these monstrous structures it would strike fear in their enemies, as well as make a display of their wealth and power.
History lesson over, I’ll just get on to tell you about Alsbach-Hähnlein’s Castle Alsbach. It was built around 1230 and is more fortress-like than a palace dwelling. Not too much of the original castle still stands (it was destroyed in the 18th century), but you can still see its “keep” and parts of its outer wall.
The castle ruins host one of the largest Arts & Crafts Markets in the region every Pentecost (sorry, you got to check the Christian calendar for the exact date, cause it changes). It’s also where the annual Wine Festival and Medieval Market are held.
Uh, can you think of a better place for a medieval market (complete with knights and jugglers) than a medieval castle? It wouldn’t be quite the same if they held it as some modern office building, right?
The castle also has its own garden with both roses and many herbs. Oh, the fragrant smells are just heavenly.
It’s easy to lose track of time wandering around Castle Alsbach. Good thing there’s a bronze medieval sundial to let you know the time. It’s thought to be one of the oldest in all of Germany.
You don’t want to be late for your tennis game or anything, right?
Some other sports you can enjoy in Alsbach-Hähnlein are horseback riding and swimming at the outdoor pool on Burkhardtstr.
For a proper museum experience, there’s the Museum Hähnlein at Gernsheimer Straße 36 which is only open by appointment — so call before you get here.
Come to think of it, maybe Alsbach-Hähnlein isn’t dominated by its castle. But, it sure does make for a good time while you’re here.