Schloß Lichtenstein

What with my disclaimers about not all these places being in Germany, I feel the need to mention that Schloß Lichtenstein IS in Germany, not Lichtenstein. It's just this neat little hunting castle in southern Germany.

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Ralf had this tendancy of taking pictures of me without me knowing it.  Here's the first in a series.  We took this tour of Castle Lichtenstein, a castle used as a hunting lodge.  It was all in German, but they had this little transcript of the tour guide's spiel written in English, so I was able to follow along.  Here's the front door.

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No idea what this is.  I think it's the kneecaps of a painting of the Duke who owned the castle.  Why Ralf thought this was noteworthy, I have no clue.

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There was this cool collection of death masks in the castle.  Several rather famous people, Goethe, Schiller, and the Duke.  Not sure which one this is.

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Ok, so when ou go in the front doors, you go up this winding staircase to your left.   At the top, there's this painting of a man with a crossbow.  He's the guard.   No matter where you stand, he's always pointing the crossbow straight at you.

I have a postcard of this painting I'll scan in later, so you can see it better.

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The one photo of me that I noticed!  There I was, walking briskly along, when he yells "Marleigh!" and I stop and smile when I see the camera.  I blame the fact that I'm leaning so wierdly on momentum.

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The castle!  I'm not sure if it's in the picture, but under the bridge, there is a seekrit passage into the castle.  Or rather, out of the castle.  I guess the peasants sacked the castle at some point, so escape tunnels were important.  Though this one spits you out in the face of a cliff, so I'm not convinced you're in any better shape for taking it.

Lichtenstein means "light rock."  The castle is built on top of a cliff made of some sort of white stone.  They say that when you view the cliff from the villiage below it sometimes looks like it's glowing, hence the name.

You can see some other buildings on the left part of the picture.  There are two buildings, the servants' quarters, and another house.  Not sure what the other house was for originally, but the current duke's aunt lives there now.  I was sort of amused to hear that this place was inhabited, and that there's still a duke.

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More of the castle, with trees.  I think he was trying to get some of the background.  There's all these neato hills and cliffs around.

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My theory is that gnomes turn to stone when struck by sunlight.  This one was pushing it, trying to get back to his sewer home before dawn, and didn't quite make it.