I woke up on Sunday morning and decided I wanted to visit a castle.
Fortunately living in Germany, there’s no shortage of castles and it’s not that difficult to turn this thought into a reality. What did surprise me though was that we found one – or what remained of one, Burgruine Hofen (Castle ruin Hofen) 6km from our apartment in the NE district of Hofen Neugereut in Stuttgart, which also happens to be the only castle ruin in Stuttgart.
No one knows exactly when Castle Hofen was built, but there are records referring to it as far back as 1120. Castle Hofen was built beside the Neckar River to ward off enemy attacks on the village which was next to the castle. On the other side of the river was another similar castle built next to another village for the same purpose.
Unfortunately nothing remains of the castle on the other side of the river. Castle Hofen is now referred to as a castle ruin since it was largely destroyed in the 30 year war from 1618 – 1648. Above are what remains of Castle Hofen today, the only castle ruin in Stuttgart!
It was clear that Castle Hofen meant business. Throughout the castle were many small openings for guards to shoot at enemies, but the small holes made it difficult for enemies to shoot back.
We may think of recycling as a new concept but it’s been around since at least 1783, when part of the castle ruins were used to build a wall around the Church of St. Barbara which stands next to the castle ruins of Hofen.
In many ways, life has changed little since 1120. Castle Hofen was built right beside a village and today it’s possible to live right beside the castle ruins of Hofen. As soon as I saw this I immediately began looking for “For Rent” signs in apartment windows, much to my German fiance’s chagrin, who didn’t see why we would leave an apartment we’re happy in, to live beside castle ruins. Unfortunately I didn’t see any “For Rent” signs, but I haven’t given up my search yet!
As if discovering that castle ruins existed so close to my home wasn’t enough, we also found there was a lovely walking path along the Neckar River. On the other side of the Neckar River are vineyards. Castle ruins and wine? This was turning out to be a very good day!
We also discovered a German restaurant along the Neckar River overlooking Max-Eyth Lake. The views can’t be beat and the cappuccinos were divine, but overpriced. Fortunately there are also picnic spots along the Neckar River so you can bring your own lunch if desired. When I woke up I was hoping to see a castle, but as the events of the day unfolded, not only did I get a castle ruin, but one close to my house in a beautiful setting in a new part of Stuttgart that I hadn’t been too. Do Sundays get any better than this?
What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?