I’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!
The 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.
The 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.
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.
When 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.