Saturday last week was a day that couldn't have been more beautiful - "Golden October" at its best. We went for a walk on Rechberg, which is one of a group of three hills east of Stuttgart called "Kaiserberge", meaning "Emperors' Mounts".
The prefix "Rech" has nothing to do with retching - it is rather a mis-spelled version of "Reh", which means doe. Many centuries ago, when most of the area was woodland, there must have been an abundance of deer living there, inducing the people to name the hill after them.
Today, the ruins of a castle are on one shoulder of the hill, while a small church sits right on its top. I will show you the church in my next post, but here are some pictures of our visit to the castle.
Zoomed in view from where we left the car at the bottom of the hill:
The curved wall you see to the left is where a café is situated at the entrance to the castle. We had coffee and cake there in the sun:
Inside the castle (or, what's left of it) we had several options where to go first. We chose downstairs to where storage rooms and prison cells once were.
Back up the stairs, and a walk along the walls:
Inside one of the buildings was this room where receptions are held and weddings can take place:
The gateway on the picture below leads back out of the castle. A last look back before we were going to walk up the rest of the way to the top of the hill and the church.
A bit of history: Building here was started around the year 1200, although the area had settlements long before that time. The surrounding area was subject to much warfare, plundering and bloodshed, but the castle itself was never attacked. Twice in its long history (in 1648 and 1796) it was briefly occupied by French troops. In 1865, lightning struck the castle and caused large partsto burn down. It lay in ruins after that, still belonging to the same family, the Counts of Rechberg, until in 1986 a man from nearby Göppingen, Hans Bader, bought it from them.
Mr. Bader was a rich leather manufacturer with a keen interest in historical buildings. He wanted to make sure the ruins were being restored where possible and kept accessible to the public. Although he died in 2006, the place is still run by the Hans Bader Foundation. Admission is 2 Euros for adults and 1 Euro for children - really not much, especially considering how much there is to see and explore.