Climbing to the castle at the top of the hill that dominates the Black Forest town of Badenweiler I had the feeling that this was h sort of place J.R.R. Tolkein was envisaging when he wrote about the walled city of Minas Tirith in The Lord of The Rings: a castle on a hill with multiple ring walls before you get to the top.
The schloss (that’s German for castle) stands out above the spa town. It’s an easy walk up a paved pathway to get to the ruins. It must have been a mighty fortress at one time and is still impressive in its ruined state. From the towers you can see Switzerland and France as well as Germany.
The lack of signage though means I can’t tell you anything about the pictures I took. I really don’t know what sections of the castle I was in – but I do know the view was spectacular. The town though does have information about the castle in English on its website, so I am able to tell you that the castle dates from the early 12th century (which makes it older than the Magna Carta, the topic of yesterday’s post) and was originally built to protect silver mines in the area.
It was expanded over the years until its destruction in 1678, when it was left in ruins at the end of the Dutch War. (The Dutch War wasn’t in my high school curriculum, it is the first I have heard of it.) The ruins were renovated in 1982 and 2004 to make them appealing and safe for tourists. They certainly are appealing. You can see them from wherever you are in the town. They look interesting so naturally you want to see them up close.
I took a lot of pictures on the sunny May morning that I visited. I’ll give you some samples now, and give you a few more, including the view from the ruins, tomorrow.