Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Schlossberg Waldeck

One of the things I love about living in Kemnath, is the fact that 3 km down the road, in the town of Waldeck, there's a castle! They may be castle ruins, but none the less; once upon a time... it was a remarkable castle!
It was the first castle ruin we went to explore after arriving in Germany.

We spent our 2nd anniversary hiking to the top. When my brothers were here for a visit in July, I took them to the top and they had a great time!
You can even see the castle from my house! I combined pictures from the first time we went, and when I took my brothers to the top. In the 2 year gap, nothing really changed.

There isn't a physical address for the castle, so when we got to the town, we just followed the main road to the top and parked where the road ended.

There are two ways to get to the top of the hill. You can go up a steep hill, or you could follow the path a little bit around the ruins, and climb an easier path. The first time we went, we climbed the steep hill. When I took my brothers, we climbed the easier path.

The steep hill, the picture is a little deceiving. 

The view from the bottom, of the easier path

The ruins are surrounded by a curtain wall that is about 10-15 foot high with rounded turrets defending the most vulnerable parts of the wall. Waldeck, sits on top of a fairly steep hill that rises about 300-350 feet. There are a couple of cisterns at the base of the hill that had tunnels. 

There is no entrance is free. There is no tour. It is just castle ruins on the top of a hill, with an informational board. You can pretty much wander wherever you want on top of the hill, although a couple of spots are blocked off.

The ruins itself are pretty impressive. But my favorite part about the ruins, is the view! Nothing compares to it. You can see all of Kemnath, all the way to the town of Neustadt am Kulm.

The castle itself was originally constructed in the 12th Century and was in almost continuous use until its destruction in 1705, at the end of an unsuccessful seven month siege. The castle was besieged several times in its history and passed back and forth in possession between Bavaria, Franconia, and the Swedes. Much of what exists today are reconstructions completed by the local historical society.

The castle ruins are open all year round. During the summer, they even have parties going on up there. Gotta love Germans. They never waste an amazing view!