Sunday, February 07, 2016

Burgruine Neideck

We've been meaning to check out this ruin for a while now. Unfortunately life likes to get a head of us and it was put to the back burner. I'm not sure I could always visit castle ruins, they're fun to explore, but it's not the only thing to see in Europe! But if you need something to do, and the sun is out shinning, there is nothing better to do on a Sunday than to go outside and explore... and this is the perfect place!

The ruin Neideck is one of the most famous sights of the Franconian Switzerland with beautiful views of the Wiesenttal between Streitberg and Muggendorf. The ruin Neideck is the largest castle ruin in Franconian Switzerland! Best of all it's FREE to explore! Neideck is even the emblem of the Franconian Switzerland. It was first mentioned in documents in 1219 and was inhabited at that time by the key Bergern.

From the parking area, follow the trail, it leads past the swimming pool and runs towards Weiler Hague. There are two pathways up to the ruins; One way, you could follow the bike path, if you have a stroller I would suggest taking this way. During the summer, they are many flowers and wild strawberries which offer up beautiful views of the castle,  again and again. The path runs as a broad road, which makes it easy to navigate with a stroller! The hardest part of the hike is at the base of Hague, the path branches off to the right and uphill. First, the incline is moderate, but the portion just before the ruined castle is steep (but this part is passable with a stroller).

When you get to this sign post, follow the sign to Ruine Neideck if you want to take the bike trail.
The second way is a shorter route (about 20 min.), which branches off to the right at the Swimming pool. At the fork in the road, the path zigzags uphill, leading you on a more direct route to the ruins. If you're not very athletic, older, or just don't want to work too hard, this way is probably not the way you want to take. Although it is more direct, it is much steeper, and a significantly more difficult route.
Following this sign will lead you to the ruins via the more... vertical/difficult trail.
We chose to take the bike path up, since that's where the signs say to go, but ended up taking the shorter route down hill. I would suggest doing it this way as well, as it made for an easy hike, with nice views.

In the ruins, there are individual areas that offer many places to make a break or even the perfect place to snap a few pictures. All around the ruins are signs about the history of the castle, which would be great... if you can read German.

The large castle complex consists of three deep neck trenches through separate sections. The outer bailey was secured at approximately 100 meters long, 22 meters wide and about 7 meters deep trench. The high defensive wall was built around 1300. From the other buildings are only small traces of foundation available. Up at the top of the ruins, there are trails that continue  over a wooden bridge, which leads to the interior of the ruins, where the tower can be climbed. Climbing the tower is safe for pets and those with children.

The main castle is located on a projecting northeast Outcrop. The mighty residential tower rises three stories high in the air. It was built after the destruction of the castle in 1347, around the still-usable older foundations and wall coatings.

From the 13th century the Neideck castle has played an important role as the main castle of the noble family of Schlüsselberger. Since 2008, the flag of Schlüsselberger has been flown again in the Neideck.

Some trivia, I found out after doing some research was that in 1737 a reddish and yellowish marble was mined of a break on the Neideck. This marble was used to build the Würzburg Residence and the amenities of Gößweinsteiner Basilica.

If you're looking for other things to do in the area about 400 meters above the ruins is the Neideckgrotte that was part of an earlier cave system. There are signs that show you the way.

We've seen a lot of castle ruins, and luckily there hasn't been one we haven't enjoyed visiting, this one included! We just bought new hiking boots and needed a place to try them out.

Opening times: 24 hours a day
Admission: free

GPS Address: Am Freibad 7 91346 Wiesenttal