Tuesday, July 12, 2016

6 Favorite Castle Ruins near Grafenwoehr

I love castle ruins. Sometimes I even prefer them to in-tact castles. For those with little ones you'll appreciate the fact that with castle ruins your little ones can run, climb, and touch whatever they want. I do love castle ruins for several reasons, it's free, you usually have to hike (keeps you active), it's pet friendly, and it's open all year round. It's the perfect Sunday activity when you want to do something, but you don't want to venture too far from home.

Here's a list of my top 6 favorite castle ruins (in order of distance) for those of you in the Grafenwoehr area.

+ Waldeck Ruins (20 mins)
Am Schlossberg 40 Kemnath Germany 95478

I might be a little biased with the Waldeck Ruins. Located 3km away from my town Kemanth, every day I see these ruins in the distance and it brings a smile to my face. 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.

Gaisthalweg 2, 92696 Flossenbürg

The 3rd largest castle ruins in the area. It is in a relatively good state of preservation, the unique location and the beautiful view from the living tower make Flossenburg to a worthwhile destination. The "castrum flozzen" was originally one of the main strongholds of Nordgau.
You could also tie this ruin in while visiting the Flossenburg Concetration Camp, it is located less than a mile away.

Waldershof 95679 Germany 
Follow the Brown signs that say Burgruine Weissenstein to the parking lot

The ruins were built on a high rocky cliff and are in danger of collapsing, There is only about a four foot high wall that remains visible. More wall traces were discernible at the wall-like elevations. The Company Steinwaldia Pullenreuth e. V. restored it between 1996 and 2000. With significant time and expense the remaining parts of the building and provided for the preservation of cultural and historical monument. It is a 4km hike/bike ride to the ruins. The pathway is perfect for those looking for a biking adventure.

+ Kurnburg Ruins (50 mins )
Kürnberg, 93491 Stamsried
(This will get you into the town, follow signs it will lead you to the parking lot.)

Burgruine Kürnberg is tucked upon a wooded forest, approximately 1km north-east from Stamsried. The late-Gothic castle ruins Kürnberg is one of the youngest castle ruins in the area, and is a sprawling castle that has a moat, three courtyards, two gatehouses, a main palace, and several partly semicircular towers. There is also a fire pit in the courtyard below the castle. What I enjoyed most with the castle was the lack of people. If you're looking for something to visit where you are able to check it out on your own, this is the place for you.

+ Neideck Ruins  (1 hr )
Am Freibad 7 91346 Wiesenttal

These ruins were a bit of a hike to get to, but I just love the look of the castle and the view from the top was worth it! 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.

Wolfenstein 1, 92318 Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz

I love these ruins for the simple fact that you don't have to hike, you literally park and walk 5 min and you're at the entrance. The ruins of the hilltop castle is located in the central part of the Franconian Alb on the highest point of the Wolf Steinberg. Today, the ruins of Wolfenstein are in good condition. Since the mid-1990s, the association leads Wolfenstein visitors through extensive excavations and renovations in the main castle. Among other things, the ground floor has been exposed. The dense tree and vegetation in the ruins has been removed, so that the walls will get more light and will prevent damage due to moisture. 

Are any of these on your favorite's list? Do you have a favorite that I missed? Let me know. I'd love to hear from you!