At first thought, I was sure that I had been to the Naumburg (Hesse) before. Turns out I was, on the Deutsche Fachwerkstraße — or German Framework Road.
Oh great, a second look at its historic Altstadt (Old Town); not to mention spending time in the Habichtswald and a Kneipp Resort town.
Oh no, not another toss up of tackling the outdoorsy stuff vs. the historical stuff. Because I’m a huge sucker for a fine German castle, I’m gonna have to do the history stuff first. But, then again, by walking around the 9.4 km circular route around Elberberg Castle I’m able to do both at the same time.
Just don’t be distracted from the amazing castle (that was once an abbey) by what remains of the the Baroque Italian/English Garden. The castle itself doesn’t look like its original Gothic design, but who wouldn’t love taking pictures of the neo-Classical design of it now?
Another castle is the Weidelsburg (over in Ippinghausen, part of Wolfhagen. Well, it’s a ruin these days. This is a massive castle, said to be the largest of its kind in all the region. The views from the castle are nothing short of outstanding, as is the handiwork of the castle’s original masons.
The castle is steeped in legend, by the way. You’ll have to come all the way over to the Riesenstein (a 9ft tall sandstone rock), said to have been thrown towards the castle by the giant, Goliath. I don’t know about all that, but I do know the Riesenstein was once used as a place of worship in prehistoric times.
Another one of Naumburg’s legends is found at the Weingartenkapelle, a pilgrimage chapel built where villages stood when the town burned many centuries ago. True, or not, I can’t be certain — but you’ll find the dark stones and black roof of the chapel to look much more sinister from the outside compared to the light and bright feeling of its interior.
Yes, I just said some chapel looks sinister, but you come see it on a dark and dreary day in late Autumn, and you’ll see what I mean.
You could hardly way the Fatima Grotto has a dark look to it. The grotto is a peaceful and serene place started by Portuguese pilgrims, known for its statue of the Madonna.
Naumburg’s St. Crescentius Church also has a famous Madonna statue, albeit this one from the 14th century. What do you expect, the Gothic basilica has been around almost 700 years, did you really think it wouldn’t have all kinds of old stuff in it?
Oh, I’m so glad to have gotten back to Naumburg (Hesse) to learn more of it, maybe if I come back a third time I’ll find even more.