Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Burgruine Thierstein

Ever drive up or down A93 near Marktredwitz, to see a tower and castle staring at you? We must have drove past Burgruine Thierstein countless times. Taking advantage of the fact that there was no snow during winter break we decided to head up to these ruins.

 The castle ruins Thierstein is located on a highly visible basalt rock. well-preserved, 24 m high made ​​of granite rubble. The origins of the town are closely linked with the construction of the castle. After the founding of the manor, the first farmers and artisans to settle, which were responsible for the care of the castle dwellers and were used for defense in wartime. Thierstein was built in 1343. The Spur castle was on a narrow, directed to the northeast basalt spur built by an in southwest moat is separated from the inland side terrain. A second moat, of the elongated outer bailey from the main castle separated, was filled in the 19th century.

The highly visible ruins are a popular tourist destination. From surviving donjon, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire interior of Fichtelgebirges well into the Egerland.

We parked in front of the Tourist Information and followed the signs to the Burgruine. There was a sign with a key on it, which I took to mean that we had to pick up a key to the castle. (How cool would it be to be the Key holders to a castle?) Unfortunately, when we got to the top we had no idea where to go!

We talked about heading back to the car, and heading home, when I noticed that the gate was unlocked! There was a German family already inside, we were lucky enough to catch them as they were heading out. They even took time and explained some of the castle information to us. They gave us the key and told us where to drop it off. For future reference--the white house on the left before you reach the castle, in their newspaper mail slot, you can find the key--if not ring the door bell and the key keeper will be happy to bring it to you. They do ask for a 1.50€ donation per person for up keep of the ruins.

We walked around the inside of the ruins--the ruins it self is pretty small. There is a stage in the center of the ruins, during the summer they hold a week long concert there! I love finding ruins that do this. One day I'll be able to say I've attended a concert in a castle ruin!

The main focal point of this ruin is the tower. Since you can see it from the Autobahn, we figured it would give us the best views. The top of the tower didn't disappoint. The only problem--I'm afraid of heights! We started climbing the stairs and by the time we got to the second landing, I told Drew I couldn't go higher.

Luckily Drew isn't afraid of heights, and he took Rylie off leash and let her run up the stairs. It was the perfect place to let her run around since there was only one way up and down. They seemed to have a good time. Drew called it the never ending tower, apparently the tower went up for 4 more floors! I'm glad I stopped when I did. 

But if you're pretty brave I'd keep climbing, there are medieval weapons, maps of the old floor plan, info about the castle (for those who can read German), but the best part is the top floor. It is a little tight, the opening was barely big enough to fit Rylie (and she's only 40 lbs). 

Drew said he basically had to lay down on the steps in order to get through the opening to the top. Drew said that at the top floor there were windows that faced out in all directions, and even had the compass directions (N, S, E, W), the windows were able to open and there was even a sign that told you what town you were looking at.

Drew and Rylie had a great time up there. Rylie even tried to look out of every single window. The views from the top were apparently amazing. It makes me kinda wish I was able to get to the top. But I happily stayed at the bottom enjoying  my view of the Autobahn.

But if you're like me and heights aren't you're thing, still take the time and visit this ruin Since we pass this ruin all the time while driving home, I was glad we were finally able to see it! Plus, it is a well-preserved ruin.