After our night in the quaint little French village of Niederbronn les Bains, we entered Germany and traveled south into Bavaria. Along the way, we stopped at a castle called Lichtenstein
A castle was first built at this site around 1200, but it was destroyed in a war. In the 1800s King Frederick built a hunting lodge there, and the current castle was built a little later by Duke Wilhelm.
There were lots of outlying buildings, but only the castle itself was really on tour. The rest we only saw from the outside. It was a bit of a rainy day, but as you can see from my Geek's smile, we didn't let that stop us from having a great time.
I think Lichtenstein may have been the smallest castle we saw, though like I said, there were other buildings we did not tour.
The castle is built on a cliff (there's a better view of the cliff at the end of this post) which overlooks several villages built into the nearby hills and valleys of Bavaria. Those hills are so beautiful. This particular village is built in the valley, but many of them were built right into the side of a hill.
Aren't those little gnomes cute? I might have to find a couple of them to hide under a bench in my own garden someday.
This is the main entrance and bridge into the castle itself, where our tour began. Unfortunately they don't allow photos to be taken inside the castle so I have nothing to show you from inside.
Lichtenstein looked much like a hunting lodge inside. It was a little dark, lots of stone, and had a room dedicated to drinking beer, which also featured an emergency exit. There were collections of armor and weapons and photos of the king who built it and his descendents. A Duke from his line actually owns the castle now, but doesn't live there.
This was taken from the bridge in the previous photo, looking across to some of the other buildings.
Remember the emergency exit I mentioned above? In the drinking room? Take a close look under the bridge in this photo; hidden behind the ivy you will see an opening in the wall. That is the secret opening to which the exit leads.
You may have seen this view of Castle Lichtenstein before. You can see how it was built right into the cliff, almost like it just sprung up out of it. This really is a pretty castle – very classic fairytale look from the outside. My Geek was soaking up all kinds of inspiration (in the form of photos and memories) for his fantasy novels. Of all the castles we saw on our trip, this was one of our favorites, possibly second to Neuschwanstein which I'll show you in my next post.
Labels: Europe, vacation