Last Thursday marked the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, and during those days my husband usually stays in the mosque. I knew in advance that we would not be taking any exploring trips for two weeks, since the weekend during the last ten days of Ramadan my husband would be in the mosque, and the weekend after would maybe be Eid (Religious holiday marking the end of (fasting) the month of Ramadan). On Eid we usually do something with the family like a BBQ or going to a theme park, so no exploring trips to fascinating castles there. I had to take advantage of the weekend before the last ten days, which I did!
It was already past noon when I had made up my mind to take a small trip. Yes a one hour drive is considered a small trip for me. I just couldn’t go three weekends without going on a trip. So there was this castle, Hornberg Castle, that I had found a couple of weeks ago when I was searching for a different castle. However, since there are two other castles in between where I live and Hornberg Castle, we had decided to take a trip to one of those castles first. The other castle is privately owned, and I thought it would be a waste of time driving there just to be turned around by the owners, gas in Germany is not cheap.
Anyways Hornberg Castle was on my list to see, and on that day past noon I grabbed my camera, and we were on our way. As usual we had the option to take the scenic route to the castle, or the Autobahn (Highway). Since the Autobahn route was about 20 min shorter, we took that way. The last stretch of the way we drove through what seemed a forest area, it was very beautiful.
Upon arrival we drove into the court yard, since it seemed to be the only place to park at. This was strange for me, since usually a castle or ruin has a designated parking area somewhere outside the castle grounds. We parked and walked into the small gift store right across the entrance gate of the court yard. We usually don’t visit such shops, since they are a bit expensive; however, the castles court yard seemed a bit busy, and I was afraid to walk into an area we were not allowed in. So I went to get some information. The lady was very friendly, and she explained that we could walk around the castle up until a certain point, and after that point we would have to pay entrance. We figured we would walk around first, and if we deemed it worth it we would go back and pay for entrance. We didn’t get very far until we stood in front of that point, where a coin machine stood in front of the entrance. I looked at my husband, and he said something like, we drove all this way we might as well go inside. So we walked back and paid for the entrance.
We put the coins in the machine, walked through the rotating metal gate, and figured out very quickly that the entrance was for the outside, as well as what one could call the inside of the castle. The castle was quite big, and there were many parts in ruins. The walls with it’s windows were still standing tall, and the floor plan was still very much visible, especially from above. Signs hung on walls describing the areas or rooms, and what time they dated back to. So you would read “Horse Stable”, “Chapel”, or “Tower” and the date underneath it. We walked into an upstairs room that still had a metal door in it’s frame. The room was small, gloomy, and very cold due to the stone walls. I imagined it could have housed a servant. We also walked into a room that could either be the solar or the bed chamber. Since the room was somewhat bigger, they had put what looked like the original gate in that room as a show case, and some stone figures depicting people from that era. This room was also missing the original roof, so a modern metal roof was protecting these artifacts.
It was quite fascinating walking into all those rooms and imagining the people living there four, five hundred years ago. Of course by that time the castle was in great shape, and probably filled with people. I walked into a room with a fascinating roof, and I thought it was the chapel. Nevertheless, it had a canon next to the window, which told me otherwise. Right after leaving that room I heard my son calling me. I was walking towards his voice, and when I finally found him, I stood at the entrance of the chapel, and he stood inside. He was standing somewhat on the side pointing to the ground in the middle of this very small room. There were two stones on the ground engraved with names. There was also a tomb on the far left corner of the chapel. The chapel had two or three old benches, and according to its size it looked like a family chapel, and not a community one.
After walking through multiple other rooms that were overgrown with grass and had no roofs, we walked up a small watch tower. The structure was so fragile that it had to be held up by metal rods in the middle of the tower. The wood above and around it looked extremely old. We walked a bit further down, and there was another tower. This one, however, had a metal door still attached, and a metal gate on the floor. Upon hitting a light switch on the wall the light underneath turned on, and one could see that the metal gate on the floor was depicting the dungeons (I say depicting because I am not sure if that was once really the dungeons), a fake skeleton was laying below.
This castle was extremely fascinating. I am sure the tour, which they do offer, would provide a lot of information on life in that castle during that era. It was definitely worth the entrance.
Below are some pictures of our trip. If you are interested in the 60+ pages picture eBook click here.
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