|The real Frankenstein lived here.|
|We had a lovely supper at this place.|
|There are two restored towers.|
What a wonderful surprise Frankenstein Castle is. We are living in Darmstadt for a month - about 10 miles south of the Frankfurt Airport. We are in the heart of Europe.
After Lulu's work day at Darmstadt Hochschule University - we wanted to visit a local historic site and also have supper. Lulu went online and found out that the Frankenstein Castle was open until 10PM.
The Castle is high in the Odenwald Mountains just south of Darmstadt. The area is covered with dark forest and deep valleys. It looks like the perfect setting for a scary novel. This is the place that inspired Mary Shelley in 1818 to write the Gothic novel - Frankenstein.
Our Mazda diesel zigzagged back and forth up the narrow road with no lines on it. It seemed too narrow for two lanes - but two wide for one. I passed several old guys on bikes as I slinked up the 1200 feet tall peak. We did not meet a car coming down so I assumed it was one way. At the top was a small parking lot - with maybe 10 cars. We parked and walked into the woods - all of a sudden the castle peaked out in front of us.
In 1292 - the castle was built as a stronghold for the County of Katzen - shortened by me. It was named Frankenstein for "stone of the Franks" - a German tribe. It has gone through various states of repair in its 700 years of life. The neat part of this castle is that it is a "roam at your own risk" place. It is well kept - and appears safe - but there is no one there to tell you what to do. There is no one out front collecting admission - my kind of place.
In 1673 - Johan Dippel was born in the castle. According to tale - he was a professional alchemist. He also studied anatomy using bodies from local burial sites. He developed Dippel's Oil that supposedly could bring animals back to life. This story was told to Mary Shelley when she visited nearby in 1814. Later her novel focuses on this tale.
In the early 1800s - Lord George was claimed to slay a dragon in the courtyard here.
Behind the herb garden in the castle is a Fountain of youth. At full moon - old women used to come here to drink - supposedly being swept back to the youth of their wedding night. Sounds like a fun dating spot.
After the castle - we had supper on a sun deck overlooking the Darmstadt country side. You could see all the way to Frankfurt - 10 miles away. As we had supper - my mind drifted back to video of Hitler and Eva Braun frolicking on his sun deck at Eagle's Nest. It was just a pretty sunny view - not unlike Flagstaff in Jim Thorpe PA.
The sun was still high in the sky - I would not mind going up there again - at night - it is only about a half hour from our home. Maybe on the night of a full moon.