Places: Burg Regenstein
Hey there, Internet!
Earlier this month I went to Blankenburg, Germany (Harz, Saxony-Anhalt) and spent a day at Burg Regenstein / the ruins of Regenstein’s castle. Also had a stroll through the woods around where you can find even more nice places to visit (as in more parts of the former castle, bastions or the Regensteinmühle, a mill hidden deep in the woods) – but due to me not being able to decide what pictures to show you that will have to be done in a seperate, small additional post. The trip to the castle was a bit different to what I’m used to because it was not simply out in the wilderness but was a bit more like a tourist spot with a tiny entrance fee but as said it was tiny and definitely worth it.
I would like to thank the people at thr Tourist-Information Blankenburg for their permission to take the pictures and to publish them in this post!
Historic Background: According to a flyer the castle first was documented in 1167. Even though according to several excarvation finds the area of the sandstone and the caves must have been used much longer.) At that time it was a fee to a kinsmen of Kaiser Lothar III who was resident at Blankenburg castle. Several lost battles on the Bishop of Halberstadt caused the aristocratic family ‘von Reinstein’ to give up their fights for the hegemony in the area and Burg Regenstein was left in the 14th century. In 1670 Prussian soldiers started to expand it to a mountainside fortress, in 1757 the French took over the castle and a year later the Prussian troops were able to conquer it again which led to the order to destroy the walls so noone would take over it again. So what you will be able to see is a mixture of natural stone, the castle tower and rooms that were created in different periods of time as well as what has been added these days. The name origin itself is still unsolved, you can find ideas from Regenstein ~ Regen (rain) or Reinstein ~ Rein, Ragin, Ragen (loom) or, leading to our next paragraph from Regin as in the nordic myths.
Mystic Background: With a place that has a colorful past there of course are speakings and legends which yone can easily find online or in one of the many books specializing in the history and myths of the Harz. You can also find several stories on ghost sightings and paranormal activities on the internet.
Probably the best known sage for this place would be about Damsel Leonore who was hijacked by the Count von Regenstein and locked in the dungeon until she would agree to marry him. She scratched the sandstone wall with her diamond ring until after a year there was a hole in it big enough to escape. When she returned with her family she noticed smoke from the gap, she saw him burning in purgatorial fire, threw the ring in there to let the counts soul find rest.
On the mystic side I would also like to mention the Teufelsloch / Devil’s Hole, a very dark ‘room’ under the ruin itself, nearly no sunlight but several inscriptions. There also are two pits whose origins still are unsolved.
On the grounds of the ruin you have quite a lot to examine, they do have a small but very interesting museum inside where you can take a look at old weapons, utilites or parts of tombstones. Next to the entrance they have a falconry where according to a sign you can feed Felix the Vulture, ruffle the oals Max and Moritz or hold them on your hand – sadly we didn’t have enough time for that so I hope to be able to come back. Maybe I will be lucky enough to have a few days off when they have their next medieval fair!
This place definitely shows that a lot of love, energy and money has been put into, there even is a a sign ‘Des Ritters Rast’ (knight’s rest) written in old letters so you won’t miss the tavern as well as new and old statues and pieces of art that blend in perfectly and you sometimes would not even notice at first. The several signs you can find on the ruins area and around in the woods mainly are written in old letters, too which I think is a really nice detail. And again you can find some memorial for Fürst Otto von Bismarck (go here for my recent blogpost on one of the Bismarck-Towers), even if it is something more natural this time and not closely related to the castle’s Origin: An oak that has been planted 1895 to celebrate his 80th Birthday.
If you pay attention you will even be able to find stones covered in blood from the battles during the medieval times (well, or maybe some visitor’s nose was bleeding but I definitely prefer the battle idea!) You can visit the Caste Ruin April-October between 10am and 6pm local time or November-March from Wednesdays to Sundays 10am to 4pm local time.
Anyone been to that place maybe on one of their medieval fairs? Or do you have similar spots close to where you are located? Have a nice evening!