Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Castle Frankenstein

Yes, I mean that Frankenstein.

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.


  1. What a cool place to visit! I would love to explore an old establishment like that (and, of course, there's not a old of old, dilapidated, spooky castles in the States...especially in the Midwest). I haven't stopped by your blog for awhile, but it was nice to visit. I didn't know that you guys were on the move now! Best of luck!

  2. wow dippel was creepy. i could totally see him being the inspiration for frankenstein. and though i didn't read all the arguments against that speculation, they did seem to generally follow the lines of there was no castle in the book and she couldn't have seen the castle when she was telling the story. she could have easily been inspired by stories she had heard of him earlier, and the castle not being in the book just seems like a stupid reason. people are inspired by things all the time without having to literally write them into their works. anyway, this is really cool (and i'm not even a huge fan of the book). too bad you didn't get a chance to go to the halloween party there. it sounds awesome.


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