Yes, it had stopped raining, but it was still quite chilly when we stopped at the closest castle to Baumholder, Lichtenberg Castle (Burg Lichtenberg) on our way back from Trier. High on the hill, towering over the village of Thallichtenberg lies a vast ruin of a castle. And when I say high on the hill, I mean it is UP there. As we drove up Fil said “I would have hated to be the messenger boy for this place”. You mostly see the large square tower and the remains of what looks like a great room, but the ruins stretch for 1,400 feet and are one of the largest castle ruins in Germany.
The castle was built around 1200 and was operational as the administrative seat of the area until 1792. With the French invasion in the late 1700’s the castle was plundered and then burnt badly. Thankfully in 1895 the entire complex was placed under historical monument protection.
Even with the chill in the air it was really neat to explore the ruins. I only wish we could have climbed in the tower. There was a light on at the top, but the door in was locked :(. As I checked out the ruins I could see in the stone walls where wooden beams used to run supporting the upper floors. On one wall you could see a perfect cut out where a massive chimney used to me—maybe it was from the kitchen, I don’t know. I was most impressed by the windows though. A few still had stale pieces for paining and you could really tell where the glass would have set in.
Today when you visit you will see the large tower, a few smaller turrets, a restored barn which houses a museum about the nature and music of the area, an operational church, restaurant, herb garden, and youth hostel.
We will have to go back in the summer because I have discovered that the castle hosts a medieval market with demonstrations by knights, vendors, jugglers, fire eaters, craftsmen like blacksmiths, medieval local foods, and plenty of activities. Here is a video:
It is official though, Burg Lichtenberg is the first postcard for my collection. I decided that each place we visit I will buy a postcard. The plan is to frame each one and have a collection of memories throughout our house.