Burg Frankenstein

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

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.

Frankenstein Castle

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.

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Heidelberg, Germany

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The city of Heidelberg is located about 48 miles south of Frankfurt on the Neckar River.  The village of Bergheim, which now lies at the heart of modern Heidelberg, was first mentioned in documents dated 769 AD.  The founding of Heidelberg is considered to be 1196 when that name was referred to in a document in Schönau Abbey, a 12th century monastery.

Schloss Heidelberg

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Triberg, Germany

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On our way from Freiburg to Heidelberg, we stopped off in Triberg, located in the heart of Germany’s Black Forest.  In fact, Triberg claims to be the home of Black Forest cake.

Triberg Waterfalls

Our first stop was to have a look at the Triberg Waterfalls which is one of the highest waterfalls in Germany.  The water here tumbles about 600 feet over seven naturally created steps.  There are numerous walkways and bridges that allow you to wander along most of the waterfall’s course.  The town of Triberg lies at the bottom of the falls.

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Neuschwanstein Castle

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Schloss Neuschwanstein is a 19th century palace built on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near the town of Fussen in southwest Germany.  The castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat.  Construction began in 1869 on the site of the ruins of two castles from the middle ages: Vorderhohenschwangau Castle and Hinterhohenschwangau Castle.  The castle was far from complete when the King died in 1886 at the age of 40.

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