My Stay In A Castle

Burg Rabenstein, Frankische-Schweiz - Germany

The last weekend, I had this oppurtunity to stay in one of those picturesque and remote castles in Frankische-Schweiz (Franconian Switzerland) part of Germany, near Erlangen (Headquarters of Siemens is located here). Also, on that weekend, there was some medieval fest and other things going on. What made it special is the fact that its not much touristic although this castle is on (or nearby to) the 'Castles-Road/Street' which runs from Mannheim in Germany to Prague in Czech Republic. I indeed know this part of Germany, very well, as one of my close German friend lives there and also a couple of other people that I got to know after coming to Germany. Infact my friend's brother got married in that castle.

This part of Bavaria is kind of, not so affected by tourism although there are lots of well-known places around. Its beautiful in all kind of seasons in its own way, although you can do much in summer time when its cosy enough to travel or do outdoor things.

We started from Nuremberg on Saturday eve and it took me 45 mts (or an hour) to reach that place. Here's a first glimpse of that castle:

The pic above looks like a postcard pic, with the castle located at the edge of the hill (on a rock) and in the middle of the woods. In Germany (specially in Bavaria), its very much balanced with nature and sophistication. Bavaria is very much urbanised (in a subtle and different way) and it looks like each and every village/town/city (or you can say inhabited places, in general) is 2 or 3 kms distant to each other and everything is well connected with all the roads and other public transport.

Here are some pics that I shot, when I reached that place:

Later, we checked into our respective rooms and looked around a bit. Here's some pics of the interior of the castle:

And here's some pics from inside the room:

After relaxing a bit and taking a shower, we went out to look at the Fire-Show at that medieval fest that was happening just outside the castle. Here are some pics from that event: (with a bit of blur)

After spending good amount of time there, we headed back to the castle. It was dark and spooky, although it wasnt that far off. Here are some pics:

After getting in, I went back to the room and dozed off. The next day, I woke up late and had breakfast with others, in the small-but-cosy hotel (not really a hotel). After that, I looked around a bit more of the castle as it was a bit dark, the night before and couldnt see much. Here are some pics:

And here are some pics that I took from the terrace of the castle:

After looking around, we went out to look at the medieval market that was happening just a couple of metres away from the castle. As far as I know, some people like these kind of things and some dont. For me, it was interesting anyways, as it was new and exciting (also because its kind of different culture and living). In this market, there were some stalls put up as shops and people were selling different kind of things. Here are some pics:

Also, there was some kind of small medieval rock concert thing happening. I've never heard much of medieval rock before, as it doesnt exist much in other countries. I guess Germany has good number of medieval rock bands and good number of people who dig that. Here's a pic of the stage setup for that:

And ..and..some more pics from the medieval market:

We were soon done looking around and then decided to walk or hike around a bit. We took the path which goes round the castle and walked/hiked for good enough time and kilometres. On the way, we also wanted to visit a couple of caves which were said to be millions of years old. Also, by walking/hiking around, I wanted to capture the castle in my camera, from different angles.

As we walked by, we saw a couple of people doing rock-climbing, camping and different sort of things as the weather was good enough to get away from the cities/towns. We then visited this cave which was said to be millions of years old. It was interesting for me, as I never saw this kind of cave. Somethings in the cave made me feel as if its a alien land or a alien breeding place (as shown in the movies..haha). Also, I appreciate the way its maintained by the people there. We werent supposed to touch those sticky things cause they have some micro-organisms (or parasites or whatever) that helps them be like that and grow. Here are some pics:

After looking around, we walked/hiked for good enough time along the round path which spans a couple of kilometres and reached back to the castle. Here are some gorgeous pics that I took of the castle, from different angles:

That was it, with this trip. For more pics, check the slideshow below (or check the photo album link) :

Wurzburg, Germany

Wurzburg is one of those university towns/cities in Germany, in the state of Bavaria/Bayern, Germany. Its around 115 kms from where I stay (Nuremberg, Germany). The last weekend, I had to go to this place as I had some work and combined that with some sightseeing. Wurzburg is a nice university town, which is not so big and not so small. Wurzburg has a couple of famous and historical buildings with great architechture, museums, palace/castle (Residenz), a Fortress Marienberg on the hill adjacent to the town. Below are some interesting facts of this place:

1) Wilhelm Röntgen's original laboratory, where he discovered x-rays in 1895 is at the University of Würzburg.

2) The University awarded Alexander Graham Bell an honorary Ph.D for his pioneering scientific work.

One more interesting fact is that this place was 85% damaged/destroyed during World War II (as per the Wikipedia source). Most of the city's churches, cathedrals and other monuments did not survive the war.During the next 20 years (after the war),the buildings of historical importance were painstakingly and precisely replicated/ renovated. Now, you dont see any trace of damage/destruction and it looks rich enough with great art in place. Sometimes you wonder how Germany sprung up so fast after all the loss. I've indeed heard some UK folks speculating about who won the war and wondering about Germany's economy being richer than UK's and Top 3, at the moment. By the way,in Germany, people still occasionally and accidentally find bombs from World War II which didnt go off when they were bombed from the air. The recent one that I heard off, was the one in Munich, somewhere near to some office space. Even at my place, Nuremberg (which was also, one of the most bombed cities in World War II), people do come across these situations.

Wurzburg is also said to be the capital of the German wine region (Franconia). I shot some pics of those wine yard's while I was travelling to Wurzburg and here are those pics:

I reached Wurzburg after an hour of travel from Nuremberg, got my work done and started to look around the town. Here are some pics that I took when we entered and drove through:

Wurzburg has churches, cathedrals and other historical buildings which were built in Baroque/Rococo/Gothic style or form of architechture. The first thing that I saw at this place was the 'Wurzburg Residenz', which looks something like a huge palace. This is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are some pics of Wurzburg Residenz (something like a palace) and the cathedral/church associated with that:

Here are some more pics from the garden, which is behind this 'Residenz' :

And here's the pic of the church 'Hofkirche', that is associated with this 'Residenz': (Look at the mix of old-fashioned grandeur and colorful art)

After that, I walked towards the downtown, which aint that far from the Residenz. On the way, you get to see some churches/cathedrals/museums or some other buildings with great art. Wurzburg's downtown is indeed pretty. Here are some pics, which I shot on the way:

After looking around for good enough time, my tummy was growling and so, I decided to feed it. I was just walking by and found this Indian restaurant, run by a Pakistani and had some yummy food. After that, we headed towards the fortress/castle on the hill across the 'Old Main Bridge'. Here's a pic of the castle from across the bridge:

This marienberg fortress is a castle on the hill, which overlooks the Wurzburg town and its surroundings. After reaching the top of hill, we parked the car and looked around a bit. The weather was so good and made it easy and comfy for me to look around and have a feel of that place. From the top of the hill, you can have some great views of Wurzburg and its surroundings. Here are some pics: