Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Burgruine Hohenberneck

The day after Christmas, or boxing day, is usually spent either lounging at home or off shopping. In Germany, December 26th is a Holiday. So of course what else could we do on a beautiful day, but check out castle ruins?Google is such an amazing tool. I wanted to check out a new castle ruin so in Google Maps, I typed in Burgruine, and Burgruine Hohenberneck popped up. Actually a bunch popped up, but Hohenberneck was the one that caught my eye, and the best part about it, it was only 35 minutes away from me! On Google it says that the Ruins are only open until 12:30 pm, by the time we figured out where we had wanted to go, it was already 12:30 pm We decided to take a chance and check it out anyways. Luckily it was open! That the best thing about ruins, they're usually always open. I'm not sure why Google tells you it's closed, It's open every day, unless there is an event going on, but that's only during the summer.When looking up an address for the Castle ruins, I had to put in a nearby resturaunt, since there was no real address for the ruins. Luckily, we parked right next to the entrance of the pathway. (Side note; there is a little parking lot at the entrance, and during the weekday you will have to pay for it.)The hike up to the ruins is pretty easy. Once you get to the top you'll see the Tower Castle, or Alt Berneck. Don't stop there, keep walking! The ruins are located on castle hill in Bas Berneck. There are actually 3 ruins located next to each other. The Hohenberneck, the "Old castle", and the "Tower Castle" or Alt-Berneck.Burgruine Hohenberneck is the furthest away. We checked out the Old Castle on our way to Hohbenberneck, but at the time had no idea which was which! There are of course some signs and information placard at each of the three ruins, however, it is only in German, so they won't help if you can't read German.The Old Castle is a simple ruin consisting of a single structure with a few rooms. Although it looks, today, nothing like it did in it's prime, it is easy to see that the building must have been very beautiful. Interestingly enough, the "Old Castle" is where the Chapel used to be located, and during the height of the castle's reign, was located within the castle's defenses.

Hohenberneck is located in the North. To enter the castle ruins, you have to cross a small wooden bridge that stands where the original drawbridge once stood. The drawbridge itself clearly shows the late Gothic style of the castle. It is probably one of the smallest castle ruins we've ever visited, but it was unique in that the ruins themselves were a little unique. Just by looking at the pictures, you can see how the castle is slightly different than other ruins we have visited. One interesting feature that you can't see in pictures is that in 1506, the castle was fitted with tubular wells. Meaning the castle had running water! This is a very interesting feature, and actually helped to provide some historical records of the castle.In the east, the circular tower was incorporated into the construction of the wall. There are two circular bastions at the sides of the eastern tower, which are all that remains of the former towers in the castle ramparts. The powerful cannon tower in the northwest is popularly known as "the dungeon", but in fact, it never served as a tower dungeon, but was instead incorporated into the base of the wall as a defense structure. The most prominent building on the castle was the "Palas", or residential building. It is worth note that the unequal arrangement of the window and door openings, which corresponded to the taste of medieval nobility. The relative comfort of a castle of the late Middle Ages can be seen today by the beautiful bay window above the entrance on the south side, and the two embedded wall openings on the ground floor, which historians interpret as former fireplaces. The beauty of this castle can still be seen today. In comparison to other Castle Ruins, Hohenberneck is relatively new. The castle period is considered to be mid-15th century.The views of the town are absolutely beautiful. The sun was not cooperating with me when I wanted to take pictures. I was half joking that the sun is only out when I didn't want it to be. Since all the best photo opportunities involved staring the sun in the face, we didn't get as many good pictures as I would have hoped. But at least the sun was out! I got to use my fancy new USF sun glasses! :)
After checking out the ruins, and letting Rylie run off some energy. We headed off to the Tower. There is a seating area, and a stage. I wondered why, after doing some research I found out that during the summer they host open-air concerts!
What an awesome view!

Drew caught Rylie and I taking selfies!
Here's the picture! haha
This is the third ruin we've visited where they hold concerts during the summer. I think it's such a a great idea. I would love to attend an outdoor concert as a castle ruin! Unfortunately, we haven't had the opportunity, yet. One day though. If you ever get the opportunity, make sure this castle ruin is on your list!--Additional Info:GPS Address: Hofer Str. 12, 95460 Bad Berneck in Fichtelgebrige (Address to Hotel, you will see the ruins next to it)Cost: FreePet-FriendlyKid FriendlyParking: Next to the Hotel, pay to park during the week