As a huge castle lover, I hit the motherlode of all castle towns: Zierenberg in northern Hesse.
However, I didn’t say they were all intact. Devil’s in the details, Friends. ;-)
Awww, check these babies out. I’m starting off at the Burgstall Blumenstein, a castle built in the 13th century but ceased to exist after 1430. Hmm, gone a helluva lot longer than it stood.
Same goes for the Burgruine Malsburg. At least this early 12th century number still has some of its walls and tower standing.
You gotta go through some dense woods to see the Burgruine Falkenberg, but its 13th century walls and old grave are worth it.
Burgruine Schartenberg is the most interesting. If you come to this 11th century castle ruin in the summer you won’t see the mountain gorge through all the trees — so use it as an excuse to come here in the winter too.
The 11th century also gave Zierenberg the Kloster Hasungen. This monastery lasted until the Protestant Reformation — but today there’s a museum to tell you all about the medieval Benedictine monastery.
One last castle, the Schloss Escheberg, this too was a medieval castle, but changed over to a Rococo design with its own English Garden. There’s a park and a golf course if you’re so interested.
No, make the Schloss Laar the last castle — and the village has an Old Mill that was built in 1599.
Ugh, no… there’s another one. Better be in some short of shape to get to the Burgruine Großer Gudenberg, since you gotta go up a steep trail to get to it. In case you can’t, here’s the short version of its history: it was built in 1209 and destroyed less than 70 years later.
What? Did the engineers fail Castle Building 101?
And damn, every time I turn around there’s another castle somewhere. How about we move on to something else — otherwise I’ll make myself nuts. ;-)
Zierenberg lies within the Nature Park Habichtswald, a quiet place to reflect on one of the hiking trails.
What else can I tell you? How about its said that Zierenberg has the oldest Gothic Framework Town Hall in Hesse? Don’t know how true that is, but it was built in 1450.
I’m thinkin’ that’s something to discuss during Zierenberg’s Wine Festival that’s held every September, or the Kirmes (Church Festival) in both May and July.
Ahh, dag-gonnit — I forgot to tell you that Zierenberg has also the Schreckenbergturm (in the Habichtswald), an observation tower that literally translates to something like “Scary Mountain Tower.”
At least the castles are not that scary… ;-)