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When I passed the first time through the little town of Heldburg, the castle on the mountain immediately caught my attention. It is called "Veste Heldburg".
It dates back to the 12 th century. At the beginning of the 14 th century it was used by the nobles of "Henneberg".
During the "Thirty Years War" it was plundered and badly damaged. Nobody cared about the castle until Duke Georg II. from Sachsen-Meiningen started renovating it in the 19 th century.
He got inspired by castle "Neuschwanstein". For that reason "Veste Heldburg" looked familiar to me when I saw this castle for the first time.
Duke Georg II. had many problems at this time because his marriage outside his class was considered not to be suitable. I believe this attitude has not changed until now, and I am glad that I never faced something like that and can enjoy a normal life.
On a Monday I decided to drive again to Heldburg, followed the sign and drove up the mountain as far as it was allowed.
I had no problem finding a parking spot. My car was the only one. Then I walked, and walked. The view was beautiful and I was proud of myself that I did this alone. My son had to work, and Elizabeth my wife was home in Canada also working.
I missed her because she always pointed out so many things which she found wonderful, and which were normal to me. It was always so much fun to travel with her.
It was a nicely paved road and I questioned whether I had really used the last public parking lot. But no car came down and nobody passed me.
The air was beautiful. I could not smell any pollution - the green lungs of Germany were working. Thuringia is advertised as the green heart or the green lungs of Germany!
Don't miss the sign to the "Veste Heldburg"
As, I walked up the mountain, I asked myself why would somebody climb all this way up to attack the castle? Just take the land around it and wait until the inhabitants have to come down. No more protecting walls, no more advantage to the other side in fighting against exhausted attackers who have to use devices such as ladders and rammers in order to break into the castle.
Finally the entrance to the castle
All the treasures and the money could be taken after they had been defeated.
But I am not a warrior, and obviously when there was a castle which belonged to an enemy, it had to be attacked and taken - if everything went well for the attackers.
I tried to walk faster because I became a little bit impatient. I wanted to see the castle. I always liked castles. As children, we worked for months to build our own castles. We built a mountain using wooden struts which we covered with some kind of paper maché. We covered it with colored sawdust to make it look like grass or soil. We "planted" trees made out of twigs. We constructed little half-timbered houses with doors which you could open, made shingles out of tree bark and when everything was finished, we had a big battle and destroyed everything. Similar to what the adults and whole nations do in real life. I learned, but did the others?
Many thanks to Wikipedia and Störfix
I was exhausted when I reached the gate and entered the court of the castle.
No public parking lot, no people. Everything looked deserted.
First, I sat down to recover from all the mountain climbing. Then I strolled around and took pictures.
After I had done this, I decided it was time to see the castle from the inside. I looked for the visitor's entrance. All the doors were closed.
So I entered the tower and found a sign which said that the entrance and the cashier were upstairs.
I proceeded up and was shocked because nobody was there to take my money. The castle was closed! It was a Monday.
I was feeling like at home in Canada when we tried to show visitors Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake in April. It was also still closed! My visit of the "Veste Heldburg" took place on January.
Impressing even without sunshine
I liked what I saw
You have a nice view
Frustrated I retreated. Then I heard somebody yelling and running down the stairs. A pretty lady came and asked me about a delivery. I asked her about the castle and that I came all the way from Canada. That was how I learned that almost all attractions are closed on Mondays in Thuringia. She ran back and brought me some printed information about the castle.
I also learned that there are always popular events. Whenever I come back to Thuringia, I will visit this castle again to see the inside and to complete this site.
Now I have serious doubts that I can realize that. My walking became so bad that I would need a permission to drive all the way up with a rental car. Would I get that? I never found out.
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