Finally…my jaunt to a German castle

by JoslynChase in Challenges, Travel

Weißenstein Castle RuinsI’m so happy to report that I finally got out into the countryside and hiked to a German castle!

Many of you know something about my challenges over the last several months. It’s been a grueling year for just about everyone, and I was by no means spared—stranded for over a week in the desert with a broken-down car, a trans-Atlantic move, quarantine, death in the family, trip back to the States for the funeral, another quarantine, husband with Covid, another quarantine, me with Covid, another quarantine, daily snow for months, pipes bursting (there are still big trucks and city workers in front of my house trying to repair the damage) and constant lockdowns and curfews.

I thought I’d never be able to get out of the house and see some of the beautiful country I’m now living in!

Panorama from Weißenstein CastleThe Castle Jaunt

But it finally happened, and I’m thrilled to share a bit about our adventure. A couple of German friends took my husband and me to visit an old castle ruin called Weißenstein (White Stone), north of Regensburg in the Oberpfalz. The hike from the parking lot to the ruins is about six miles and we didn’t arrive until late afternoon, so we cheated and drove most of the way on a dirt track.

The castle remains are at the top of a mountain and once we climbed about a hundred steps to the top of the tower, we could see over the entire gorgeous landscape and clear into the Czech Republic. The castle was built around 1100, but was burned down during a battle in 1468. It was later rebuilt and stood until 1633 when it was attacked by the Swedish during the Thirty Years War.

Inside WeißensteinThe castle has lain in ruins for hundreds of years, but here’s a fun little writerly fact: During the eighteenth century, the official residence and some of the outbuildings were restored, and in 1918, a writer by the name of Siegfried von Vegesack bought the house. He called it Das fressende Haus, meaning “the house that eats,” and that’s what he titled the novel he wrote while he lived there, published in 1932.

It’s haunted!

Of course, there’s a haunting legend associated with the castle. The story goes that the Lady of the Castle, a knight’s wife, wanted to drown her newborn children but the knight returned from battle and prevented it, taking the children away to be raised in a monastery.

Looking up from WeißensteinWhen the sons returned to the castle as full grown men, the Lord of the castle asked his lady what punishment fitted someone who had their own children murdered. She replied that such a person should be walled in alive. So she suffered the fate she prescribed and was bricked up alive. Some claim she can still be seen today, wandering the ruins, the “white woman” of the castle.

There’s a story in that—maybe someday I’ll write it!

Thanks for coming along on my castle ruin adventure. I appreciate my readers and how they support me with reading, purchasing, reviewing, sharing, and so much else. But mostly, I appreciate when they enjoy my stories ; )

How about you? Have you visited a castle ruin? Seen a ghost? Tell us about it in the comments.


10 Responses to “Finally…my jaunt to a German castle”

  1. Bryan Smith says:

    Hi Josyln,
    Haven’t seen a ghost but my wife did when we visited a village pub in Kent. Having returned from the toilet she told me how, when looking in the mirror, a white lady emerged from one wall and walked across disappearing through the opposite wall. In describing her experience, we decided to have a quiet word with the Landlord. His initial reaction was to smile, after which he related how on several occasions, early morning, he had seen a white lady standing in front of the fireplace in the lounge. He had not told his wife for fear of her insisting on giving up the tenancy of the pub, which would have caused financial hardship. He urged us not to say a word to anyone about the experience. A couple of months later we returned to the pub to discover that there had recently been a change of tenancy.

    • JoslynChase says:

      Hi Bryan, very cool story! What an interesting experience. I wonder what happened in the interim between your two visits. I hope your wife wasn’t too freaked out. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your own story.

  2. JUDITH DICKINSON says:

    Yesterday we visited Beeston Castle in Cheshire, UK. This is atop a hill for defensive purposes.
    This medieval fortress has one of the deepest castle wells in England. This is said to be the hiding place of Richard II’s lost treasure.
    The walk up the hill casts views over the surrounding countryside, including another castle on a distant hill. Although mostly a ruin the castle still has sufficient remains to be an interesting taste of history. There is also a woodland walk that takes in an ancient Bronze Age site where a roundhouse has been reconstructed to allow visitors to get a real feel for life in that era.
    The castle and grounds are well worth a visit if you happen to be in the vicinity.

    • JoslynChase says:

      Awesome, Judith! Thanks so much for sharing that. It sounds interesting indeed! I’d love to visit Beeston Castle if I’m ever in the area. I appreciate your reading and commenting. Thanks so much!

  3. Joy Shelden says:

    I’ve never seen a ghost and hope I never will, but I would like to visit a castle some day. Many playhouses are said to be haunted. In my hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Historic Atlas Theatre is said to be haunted. There are at least three ghosts! Also, F.E. Warren Air Force Base is said to be haunted as well. I now live in Santa Fe NM, which also has some haunted sites, but I’m too scared to learn about them!🙀

    • JoslynChase says:

      Hello Joy,
      Thanks so much for reading and for your comments. I can’t honestly say whether I’ve seen a ghost or not. There have been a couple of times when I saw or felt something unexplained and I leave it at that. Though interesting, ghosts are not something I really want to explore too much. I think you can maybe relate. I graduated from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, and I remember traveling to Cheyenne for competitions. Never saw any ghosts there, however 😉
      Enjoy your time in Santa Fe. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful city.

  4. Kathleen D Anderson says:

    Hi Joslyn
    While visiting family stationed at the US military post at Darmstadt, Germany my husband and I went for a hike along the ridge line near Zwingenberg. We climbed to the top of the tower at the castle ruin located there. It was a very picturesque view. I can’t recall what the name of the castle would have been. This adventure took place in 1984.

    • JoslynChase says:

      Hi Kathleen,
      Yes! That sounds very much like the sort of adventure we’ve often had as a family in the military. We’ve visited many castle ruins and I unfortunately cannot remember the name of most. But very interesting and great way to spark the writer’s imagination!
      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your experience. Great fun!

  5. PRISCILLA FLEISCHER says:

    Thanks so much for the adventure. I love seeing castles and knowing their history. I am only sorry you had so much misadventure during the past year! Hopefully, things will be better from now on. I think you should write a story about the castle some day! i bet it would be good!

    • JoslynChase says:

      Thank you, Priscilla! It was a fun day. What a beautiful and interesting area we live in. I’m happy and grateful to be here. Maybe I will write that story. I’ll get it bubbling on the back burner! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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