Sometimes life likes to throw you a curveball. You think for a minute that you’re going to some small town for some castles or what not — then BAM! You just found yourself wandering around the stars and other unknown places in the universe.
It’s just everywhere that this could happen in Germany, ya know. One of the few is the town of Katlenburg-Lindau, where you really can go from the medieval to the far reaches of space.
Let me explain…
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Katlenburg-Lindau is home to the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research. Their whole purpose is to study the planets, comets, the sun, and just about every other thing in space — and it’s all part of the Max Planck Society which employs some 13,000 people all over Germany.
Max Planck, BTW, was a German Nobel Prize winner for Physics (1918).
Long before Mister Planck won his Nobel Prize, the Castle Katlenburg (a castle/monastery) was built here sometime around the 10th or 11th century. Yes, that makes it a real medieval castle, but it’s biggest draw is its 900 year old book depository.
What’s funny is, there are so many books in the depository that the castle can’t tell you what it does or doesn’t have. You just to come see for yourself. Well, from 10:30am-12:30pm on Sundays, that is.
Your time really isn’t limited if you want to see the deserted village of Leisenberger. Its church ruins still hold special services on Whit Monday (the day after Pentecost — 50 days after Easter), and it’s a well-known picnic area.
Pentecost also marks the Murder Mill’s (yes, that’s its real name) Mill Day. And the last medieval site to see is the Mushaus, part of a 14th century castle with walls some 5-meters thick. The castle was destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War though.
Then again, if you’d rather hike or bicycle around Katlenburg-Lindau just to see a countryside originally settled by the Saxons (a Germanic Tribe) that’s now all about sheep farming, swimming, and other outdoor activities like enjoying the Nature Reserve Rhumeaue / Ellerniederung / Gillersheim Bachtal.
Yeah, that’s a long name, and we Germans love those, but the River Valley is meant to be enjoyed with your eyes, so don’t worry about trying to say it. ;-)