On our drive from Heidelberg to Frankfurt, we stopped off to visit Frankenstein Castle (Burg Frankenstein). No kidding. It is thought that this castle may have been an inspiration for Mary Shelley when she wrote her 1818 Gothic novel, Frankenstein.
Frankenstein Castle (actually the ruins of the castle) is located in the Odenwald mountain range, overlooking the southern outskirts of Darmstadt, Germany. Before 1250, Lord Conrad II Reiz of Brueberg built Frankenstein Castle. He was the founder of the free imperial Barony of Frankenstein. The castle fell into ruins in the 18th century.
In 1673, Johann Conrad Dippel was born in the castle, where he was later engaged as a professional alchemist. There are rumors that during his stay at Frankenstein Castle, Dippel not only practiced alchemy but also anatomy and may have performed experiments on dead bodies that he exhumed. It is suggested these rumors about Dippel influenced Mary Shelley’s fantasy when she wrote her Frankenstein novel. It is known that in 1814, Shelley took a journey on the river Rhine and spent some time in the area near the castle.