It’s been a slow week, but today definitely made up for it. So sit back, and get ready for lots of details and even more pictures, because I went to a castle today.
NOTE: I would love to make this a beautiful post where I weave my photography into my story, but the iPad I am working on is way to slow for me to even bother. I promise my posts will get prettier once I get my new machine! For now, please bear with me.
On to the story…
It was a foggy morning. We all got up and dressed and hopped into the rental car (that’s a different story). After about an hour drive and a little misdirection, we pulled into the parking lot. The man with the tickets told us it would be about a kilometer hike to the castle.
We set off into the woods. The burnt autumn leaves squished into the moist dirt path under our feet. Beautiful yellow trees played with the sunshine. I breathed in the smell of wet wood and dirt, and entered another world. Just as I was growing content to walk along the moss covered rock wall next to me, we turned a corner, and the fairytale became real. The small stream rushed into the valley, and there rising up out of the hill, stood Burg Eltz, in red, white, and grey, untouched by time.
The closer we got, the more surreal it became, until I could run my hands along the stone walls and know that hundreds of years of history lie beneath my fingertips.
We were able to take a tour inside, where we learned all about the different rooms and the Family Eltz. Because the castle was built right into the rock of the hill, the rooms were in misshapen shapes, with uneven steps and eight corners. But the artistry was amazing. Paintings, tapestries, stained glass. 600 year old ceilings decorated Renaissance style. The German royalty were very religious, so there were quite a few areas dedicated to worship, and a great deal of the artwork depicted Christ.
I have to say that my favorite piece had to be the tapestry of two Greek gods, surrounded by the nine muses. The teal-blue color achieved in a portion of it was breathtaking, and in stark contrast to the many shades of gold the rest of it consisted of. I wish I could of taken a picture, but because the castle is considered a museum, no photography is allowed inside. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
One thing I was actually really impressed by was the kitchen. Whoever built it was a genius of the time, because they made a refrigerator. They really utilized the weather of their location, knowing that the stone would stay cold, so they carved shelves into the wall and put a door on it. Voila! They could store food for days at a time. Blew my mind that our household appliance is not in fact a modern day invention.
We were also able to see the Treasury. Five levels of weaponry, relics, and gold/silver-smithery. There were some amazing pieces, with incredible detail. Came to find out that early model rifles were invented when soldiers still wore full metal suits.
Also, interesting fact: people back then were REALLY short. 5 foot and under was the norm.
So imagine, a little 4’8” knight in shining armor, lining up his bulky rifle to fire at his enemy, but between pulling the trigger and the shot actually going off there was about a 5-10 second delay. I feel like that would be hysterical to watch.
Anyway, we were able to get some food at a little cafe at the castle, so I tried Schnitzel for the first time! It’s basically just a slab of fried pork, a lot like a giant chicken nugget. It was pretty good. Although it did feel odd to eat french fries (excuse me, pommes frites) with a fork. So un-American.
As a final word, I just have to mention that fall here in Germany is absolutely astounding. The colors are all so rich, I don’t know if my photography really does them justice.
-Castles aren’t really that huge
-The rain gutters are dragons (awsome)
-The theme of Berg Eltz seemed to be lions and dragons
-There is a ton of history that I did not include, but you are welcome to research
Enjoy my photos, and as always, feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading!