Castle Frankenstein crowns a mountain a few miles south of Darmstadt, Germany. As legend has it, Mary Shelley spent some time nearby, and was inspired by these eerie castle ruins (and their creepy inhabitants) to write her famous novel, Frankenstein. Lots of speculative folk seem determined to debunk this theory, but the castle is fun to visit even outside a literary context. I tagged along with some friends who were going to explore the ruins last month, and was not a bit disappointed at the lack of undead monsters (or mad scientists).
Countless, varying rumors say a much older castle once adorned this hill, but everyone agrees that the current Castle Frankenstein was built in the 13th century. (That seems plenty old, to me.) The castle was abandoned as a residence in the 1600s, and then served as a prison temporarily. It stands today as a ruin, a free attraction for tourists on a tight budget, and a popular destination on Halloween, when the townspeople bring out some elaborate, spooky decorations and throw a massive party. Or so I've heard.
|View from the castle tower.|
|View of the guard tower from the castle tower.|