Auerbacher Schloss in Bensheim near Darmstadt
Auerbacher Schloss (Auerbach Castle), though a castle ruin, is still an imposing structure on Bergstraße, in the western part of Odenwald (a mountain range in the south of Hessen) located about 30 kilometers south of Darmstadt in the district of Bensheim. One can reach there directly by car ( the car parking is just a few meters away from the castle entrance) or choose to cycle/hike up to the castle. Hiking/cycling up to the castle amidst nature and wilderness is a delightful experience on a good weather day.
The castle provides lovely views of the adjoining forest and the city.
Here is a brief history of the castle:
The castle was built by the county of Katzenelnbogen in the 13th century. The prime objective of constructing an impregnable castle complex was to secure the toll on the north-south connection along the mountain road through Zwingenberg.
Around the end of the 15th century, it came under the possession of the Landgraves of Hessen. The 30 years of war in the 17th century left the castle in ruins. It was only in the late 19th century that some reconstruction work started, and an attempt was made to bring this once-majestic landmark back to life.
The caste has a basic triangular shape and is surrounded by a circular wall.
One noticeable and distinct feature is the protruding Scots pine tree ( die Waldkiefer in German), believed to be about 300 years old. After climbing a flight of stairs to reach the middle level of the caste, one comes across this tree. As it stands, almost blocking one’s way to the upper level, it seems unnatural and uncanny. It is about seven meters high (less for a pine tree) and has not grown to its full height due to poor living conditions and low nutrition. However, it is a distinctive feature and doesn’t go unnoticed.
The castle also has a restaurant and a kiosk. The restaurant specializes in medieval experience gastronomy. More details about the food menu, events in the castle, etc., can be found here:
The Auerbach castle is a lovely castle best known for its beautiful views. It is excellent for a half-day trip from Darmstadt. More information about events happening there can be found on their official website:
Check out my gallery page to see more pictures of this majestic castle.