Monday, October 8, 2012

Burg Gößweinstein (Castle) - a short visit

On October 3rd, 2012 I went for a short visit to Burg Gößweinstein.
Sorry, the article is only in German! :(
But don't fret, as I have studied History for a few semesters, I can tell the tale in my own words, too, taking the information there and the ones given at the castle itself. :)

It was a nice Autumn day, cloudy, but dry and moderate warm.
View from the castle down over the valley behind the town.
So, this castle lies on top of a steep rock. It has been founded in the 11th century, just 25 km (direct air line) away from the big castle in Nuremberg.
Additions have been made over the centuries to it by various architects and users of the castle.
Some rooms have been restored in the last decade to show how it might have been furnished and used.
For a full description of the re-building and re-structuring of this castle, please check here:
Burg Gößweinstein

Most doors though were locked to  the public. (Entry fee only 2€ for adults - not much at all).
Coming up the hillside to the castle you are greeted by two signs:

The one on the left describing some of the folklore:

"Wer dich , o Goswinstein, erbaut,
verbrauchte manch Pfund heller,
Sigiza alte Knappenbraut,
Führt uns zum steilen Söller.
Wer hoch dort ob dem Abgrund schwebt,
Dem liegt die Welt zu Füßen.
Und wer vor Runzeln nicht erbebt
Darf die Sigiza küssen.

(Translation; as best as I can get it:
Who built you, Goswinstein,
Needed quite some money,
Sigiza old squirebride.
Leads us to the steep attic.
Who floats up high above the abyss,
has the world at his feet.
And who is not scared of wrinkles
may kiss the Sigiza. )

The other sign has been added just a few years back (maybe even just last year - I don't quite recall) and has some more historic facts on it (as they have been researched for now) Much knowledge has been lost about this particular castle):

There was a small chapel (two rooms) with a locked door leading to the main house (it actually  wasan attendance room and was turned into a chapel in the 1800's) - crossing over the dungeon. It had a (restored) painted ceiling showing the sky. Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of it as there were just too many people inside that small room.
But you can see it on this folder - the left lower corner photo. Interestingly, those metal gears are from a clock that had been in a tower that was torn down. There was also some color window paintings in the next room.
Here an impression of the dungeon. The actual hole in the ground was covered with a metal grid and surrounded with a railing. The bones you can see are not ancient.

The entrance was lower than a normal door, with a few steps leading down and in a half curve. It smelt moldy in there. But not scary at all.

In the main part of the castle, open to the tourists, were only two rooms. Both reconstructed: one showing the ladies sleeping/living room and the other the one for the men and visitors of the castle. Nicely done but not true to the way the castle was actually used. Anyway, here the photos I could get of those two rooms:
Woman's room:
Bench for clothes, and table with star painted ceiling. View over the town. 
Curtain covered bed and entrance door. 
Fireplace and wardrobe. The small bench looks as if it belongs there; the glass door cupboard surely not.  It only was there to show some more medieval utensils.
Men's room:
Table and comfortable chair. The description also mentioned some trinkets on the table, but they were missing. On the window sill you can see how thick the walls are on the South side of the castle; the rest were even thicker.

Stair leading into this room. Just outside this was the large stairs leading into the "tower", which too has been torn down and re-built numerous times.
Between those two rooms was a long stone staircase leading down, the official entrance to the castle; locked to the tourists.
After exiting the castle again I walked along the path between building and wall. Looked rather new to me; seems it was established only back in the 19th century as well. But from there I could get a good shot of the "window" of the woman's room:

And, of course a view of the other valley with the town below the castle. By now the weather had turned to more overcast and slight drizzling rain. Still good enough to explore the modern town though.
Direct south with sunlight still strong behind the clouds!
Town view (avoiding the church) with opposite rocks (and a free climber on the right one)

On the way back down, I shot these two photos: the first showing the castle itself in full view, the other some more steep rocks close by.

Now, this small historic excursion is through. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


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