Tag Archives: castle

In The Footsteps of Vlad The Impaler – Hunedoara Castle

Unfortunately, this is another post where it is difficult to distinguishing fact from fiction. But first a word about Hunedoara Castle, one of the biggest of its kind in Romania and in Europe. Prepare to be blown away by this Gothic-Renaissance castle; not only because of its size, but also because of its number of bastions and towers!

When you enter the castle, the first place you can visit are the torture chambers. The vivid illustrations and explanations make clear that torture was serious business here. And yes, impaling was popular here as well…

On the ground level, you can explore the remnants of a.o. the kitchen and gaze at numerous utensils and weapons.

Make sure to have a look in the artefact chamber, where you can see the results of recent excavations.

Roam around in the bedrooms on the first floor…

In the documentary of Ghost Adventures, one of the guards claimed that paranormal activity was going on in the chapel, because he had allowed satanists to come there and perform some of their rituals. Interesting story, but when we were there nothing sinister happened. Or maybe the ghosts prefer to stay quiet during daytime…

So what is the link between this castle and Vlad Tepes? Hunedoara Castle belonged at one point to John Hunyadi, an important Hungarian political and military leader, who held Vlad prisoner for 7 years, after Vlad Tepes had been deposed in 1462. Some people believe that Hunyadi imprisoned Vlad in this castle. Again, when you look at the documentary of Ghost Adventures, some of the guides confirm this, but the official website of the castle does not mention Vlad at all. We will come back to this in our next post.

Anyway, there is another legend attached to Hunedoara Castle:

In the castle yard, near the 15th-century chapel, there is a well 30 meters deep. According to the legend, this fountain was dug by twelve Turkish prisoners to whom liberty was promised if they reached water. After 15 years they completed the well, but their captors did not keep their promise. It is said that the inscription on a wall of the well means “you have water, but not soul”. Specialists, however, have translated the inscription as “he who wrote this inscription is Hasan, who lives as slave of the giaours, in the fortress near the church”. (Source: Wikipedia)

Next time, we’ll take you to a destination that is completely off the beaten track!

One Day, Three Towns – Torgau

This small town is known for its old center with Renaissance buildings.

Our first stop was at the Marienkirche, which was unfortunately closed. Ingrid, however, managed to take some pictures through the glass door.

The main attraction of Torgau is a castle, Schloss Hartenfels. Around the courtyard are residential buildings, palaces and a chapel. Under the bridge is a bear pit, but the bears were apparently having their winter sleep.

Town number 2 will be on the website tomorrow!

Change of Weather

As soon as we left Tapolca, the weather changed again. More dark clouds appeared and Lars and I decided to squeeze in a quick visit to Sümeg.

Sümeg is one of the oldest Hungarian cities. The building that attracts most of the attention and the tourists is its castle, standing proudly on a very high and steep hill:

The city still has other beautiful historical buildings. Lars and I went for a stroll and let ourselves be enchanted:

Not What We Had Expected…

I am referring to the castle of Lazne Kynzvart. Lars and I had expected to see a medieval castle, but we saw one in Renaissance style. Turns out that the original building has been destroyed, but you can still visit the ruins. Unfortunately, we discovered this after we had come back home.

The modern castle seems to be very popular with families with children. You can visit part of the interior, but not photograph it. And apparently, they sell some very good ice-cream, because we saw practically every child eating some.

LuLu In B&W

A couple of facts about the castle in Ludwigslust:

  • Originally, this was a hunting lodge.
  • Prince Christian Ludwig – hence the name – turned it into a castle in the 18th century.
  • The exterior is Late Baroque, whereas the interior is neoclassical.
  • Today, the castle is home to an art museum.
  • The entrance fee is € 3,00.

As I promised you yesterday, here are the b&w pictures!

 

LuLu In Color

On the first Wednesday morning of March, Lars told me: “Let’s go and visit LuLu!’

I see…

To say that I was confused is the understatement of the year. I associate the name “Lulu” with 2 things:

  1. The mother of Lars used to have a very sweet dog, called Lulu. We were all very fond of her, but unfortunately she passed away about 2 years ago.
  2. Our GPS device who we nicknamed after the beloved dog.

So, were we going to visit the dog’s grave? In Germany? Or have a closer look at our GPS device?

Little did I know that LuLu is also a popular nickname for Ludwigslust.

The paternal grandmother of the current Danish queen was born and grew up here.

When I mentioned to Lars that I was only going to publish b&w pictures of the castle, he was very disappointed. So, today I publish the color pictures and tomorrow the b&w ones with some more information about the castle itself.

The Dream Castle

It is not that Lars and I had been dreaming of living in a certain castle. No, we simply had the desire to see it.

Let me explain…

I am a big fan of Mads Mikkelsen. Now you know: I have a bit of a crush on him. Anyway, one of our favorite movies with him is A Royal Affair:

In the 18th century, the Danish queen Carolina Matilda, who was married to the insane Christian VII, fell in love with his physician, Johann Struensee. As if a royal scandal wasn’t enough, Struensee, with the help of the queen, used his influence on the king to initiate numerous reforms, thus introducing Denmark to the Age of Enlightenment.

When the royal affair produced an illegitimate daughter, Struensee was executed and the queen was banned to the Castle of Celle, a beautiful renaissance building. Less than 3 years later, she died of scarlet fever.

The four-winged castle with massive corner towers still exists. It is a beautiful place, right in the center of town, surrounded by a moat and a very pleasant park. Moreover, it is possible to visit part of the castle itself as well, but since it was Monday, it was closed.

Stumbling Upon A Castle

Lars and I found the next destination by accident; we were driving around in a village, when we suddenly saw a beautiful castle on top of a hill. The name of the village is Herzberg am Harz; the castle has the same name: Schloss Herzberg.

Of course, we were curious and drove to the top of the hill. The castle dates from the 11th century, but had to be rebuilt in the 16th century after a fire. Nowadays a couple of local museums and a restaurant are located there and on the hill itself you can enjoy a magnificent view of Herzberg.