You couldn’t pick a more perfect country to celebrate Halloween. Germany, with its many castles and half-timbered villages is like a stage setting. Last October I had the pleasure of taking a friend, who was visiting from the U.S., to a “Halloween” castle. My friend has lived and traveled extensively but this was her first castle – and it was close to Halloween. We practically had the castle to ourselves which made for quite an impression. Here is a sampling of some of the scenes we experienced.
This is Burg Ronneburg. It sits on top of a hill overlooking a pastoral landscape. The oldest parts date from the 13th century. For most of its history, ownership of the castle remained with the noble dynasty of zu Ysenburg-Büdingen. It goes without saying that the castle survived centuries of ups and downs.
This type of tower was common in castles of the Middle Ages. They all seem to be called Hexen Turm (Witches Tower). Here’s what you see at the entrance.
A nice little study; a bit chilly though.
This room looks much warmer don’t you think?
And what is a castle worth without an apothecary? The alchemist can fix a nice little potion for you.
You wouldn’t have wanted to ever end up on this contraption.
The café-restaurant is more to my liking.
Burg Ronneburg is a favorite place for hikers who like to stop here for a break. But Burg Ronneburg has much more to offer. Medieval Fairs take place throughout the year as well as cooking courses of the era, and other middles ages events for all ages plus a unique Historical Christmas Market when all of the rooms are opened and costumed artisans demonstrate, and sell, their trades and wares. The castle can be booked for private events too.
The most interesting part of the castle’s program is its falconry reserve which includes a bird nursery. The sanctuary is a refuge for various species birds of prey such as hawks, eagles, owls whose lives are endangered during the winter months when they cannot find enough bugs and insects for food. The birds have scheduled daily flights which visitors can book to see. This is a draw for photographers and the reserve can arrange special programs for photography clubs, small groups or hobby photographers.
The closest town to Burg Ronneburg is Büdingen, the city of frogs, about 40 km east of Frankfurt/Main, also a medieval town full of charm, fortified walls, half-timbered structures and a delightful frog myth.
Feature photo: courtesy of Frank Meitzke.
All other photo credits, unless otherwise noted: Dorothy Garabedian