On the pages of VO, we have already examined many castles of the Middle Ages, ranging from the purely military - powerful, gloomy and harsh, British, who asserted the rule of English kings in the lands of Wales and in France; got acquainted with the castles-towers of Scotland, many of which were built on islets in the middle of mountain lakes; visited a completely round castle in Mallorca, examined the ruins left over from castles, where only the wind whistles among the stones, in a word - we already quite imagine the castle architecture of many European states (and even the castles and fortresses of India), but here are the details of the castles it is continental Europe that we have, in fact, never considered. Well, perhaps, the castle-fortress of Carcassonne in France. Well, what were the castles of other European states?
This is how any impregnable medieval castle should look like: a deep and wide ditch, ending in a deep abyss, on the other side a rocky cliff, along which one cannot climb to the top, a bridge with a drawbridge and a high tower above all this.
Let's start with the fact that a lot of castles were built in Europe in the Middle Ages. And some really looked like castles, that is, they corresponded to our idea of a formidable medieval fortress, drawn from a school textbook for grade 6 on the history of the Middle Ages, and some did not. Everything depended on the capabilities of the castle builder and its location. However, history has presented us with another surprise, which should be remembered when we find ourselves in a particular European castle.
Lichtenstein Castle is just as beautiful in winter as it is in summer!
The fact is that many castles built in the past were subsequently destroyed and rebuilt already in the modern era, when Europe was fond of romanticism. So much of what is shown here to tourists today is in fact the creation of architects of the 19th century. That is, yes, it is clear that they tried to recreate medieval buildings with maximum reliability, but at the same time, like the artists, they created according to the principle “as I see it”.
Bird's eye view of the castle.
Lichtenstein Castle in winter. View from above.
Here is one of the most beautiful and interesting castles in Europe - Lichtenstein Castle - located in the town of Honau, on the territory of the Lichtenstein commune in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, belongs to them. But this truly "fairytale castle" has little to do with the past, because it was built in the 19th century! Nevertheless, if someone wants to get an idea of what many castles of purely knightly times were like, then it is very difficult to find the best object for this.
View of the castle in 1866.
A stamp with a view of the castle from 1932.
Let's start with the fact that this castle is located at an altitude of 817 m, that is, higher than the famous "Cupid's Castle" in Cyprus, and in fact it was very, very difficult to climb to it. But this one is even higher … Not far from it, namely in the southeast of the castle are the ruins of the castle "Old Lichtenstein", built in 1150-1200. It was destroyed twice in 1311 and 1381. and as a result, they did not restore it, and it gradually turned into ruins.
In 1802, all the local lands came under the rule of King Frederick I of Württemberg, who built a hunting lodge here. By 1837, these lands were received by the nephew of Duke Wilhelm of Urachsky - Count of Württemberg, who … really liked the novel by Wilhelm Hauff "Lichtenstein", written in the best traditions of romanticism. Inspired by this novel, Count Wilhelm, who later became the first Duke of Urakh, decided that it would be a good idea to build a castle in the medieval style here. Moreover, he proceeded from certain practical considerations: the new castle had to stand on the foundation of the old fortress, which made it possible to significantly save on its construction.
The gate to the castle. You can say directly: "The enemy will not break through here!"
And these are the bastions of the castle with embrasures for guns.
The project was developed by the architect Karl Alexander Heideloff.
It was decided to build a fairy-tale castle in the neo-Gothic style popular from those years and was built in only two years - from 1840 to 1842. The result was a whole complex, consisting of many different buildings: behind the gate with turrets and battlements, there are first two-story and then three-story chambers with Gothic windows, bay windows and wall turrets. Above all this rises a tall and slender donjon, which is crowned with a crown of mashicules.
The towers and walls of the castle are decorated with many watchtowers.
In the eyes of visitors, the Liechtenstein Fortress looks like a fairytale castle, and the filmmakers decided to take advantage of this feeling, filming the film adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "The Sleeping Beauty" in 2009 within its walls.
The interior of the castle has a decoration corresponding to the era: carved ceilings, forged window bars. On the walls are knightly armor and weapons.
This place is connected in a certain way with another movie - "The Story of a Knight", where the knight Ulrich von Lichtenstein acts - a real historical character, a brave fighter and a lover of women. True, he was not originally from Baden-Württemberg, but from Styria, in Austria.
And what, by the way, is just not there. In addition to knightly armor, two-handed swords, battle scythes, and spears with a hook are exhibited here - a whole medieval arsenal.
And carved doors …
And this is a beautiful ceiling decorated with wood carvings, traditional for the neo-Gothic.
Note the gun with a baguette in the barrel.
However, guns are also present here, and very different ones.
It is known that the Liechtenstein family of knights existed in Baden-Württemberg until the 17th century. Its last representative died in battles with the Turks in 1687, but before that, in addition to their impressive family "nest", they had lands in Honau, Ober and Unterhausen, Holzelfingen and Kleinengstingen.
The windows of many rooms are decorated with beautiful stained glass inserts.
Especially often their old castle was attacked by the inhabitants of Reutlingen. They made a lot of effort, but still captured and destroyed it in 1377. The new Liechtenstein fortress, built already in 1390, was considered one of the most heavily fortified fortresses in Germany, and she confirmed this opinion by the fact that all attacks on it ended in failure. But in 1567 the castle lost its status as a ducal possession and quickly fell into disrepair. That is why in 1802 what was left of it was dismantled and replaced with a simple hunting lodge.
Oak wall panels, tiled stoves and ceiling paintings - everything is as it once was.
It is interesting that when the castle was completely restored, Count Wilhelm of Württemberg invited the king himself to its opening, undoubtedly wishing thereby to raise its status. Moreover, although the castle was his "dwelling house", he had already opened it for visiting, that is, he tried to share the cultural heritage of the corresponding era with his fellow citizens.
Any of the interiors of this castle is an example of beauty and sophistication. On the backs of the chairs there are ancient family coats of arms.
The rooms are small in size but very cozy.
Painting, gilding, antique bronze candlesticks … Can you imagine how much it cost?
It's a bed. And here on the left is hygiene items. Wash your face in the morning and before bed. Despite the luxury of the interiors, the usual washbasin in this room, alas, is absent.
Duke Eberhard - one of the members of the Liechtenstein family, is depicted here in full knightly armor, typical for the work of German armourers.
In 1980, the restoration of the outer castle wall, tower and roof began. Until 1998, the second floor was restored next to other valuable historical and architectural objects on its territory. With the help of various public funds and non-profit associations, the third and fourth floors of Liechtenstein Castle were also restored in 1998-2002. Today, the castle is still the property of the Dukes of Urakh, but it is open to visitors. It is interesting that within its walls there is a fairly large collection of medieval weapons and armor. So those who are interested in all this will find here a lot of interesting things for themselves.