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Coffee, Cakes, and a Water Castle


March 24 , 2008

Written March 24, 2008

Dear Friends and Families,


This was a four-day weekend and, normally, we'd head out for some exotic destination: Dresden, Prague, Salzburg, or even Berlin, but nowadays, with gas at $9 per gallon and a big home project started, we needed to stay close to home. Based on nothing more than a restaurant guide book entry, we headed toward Reichenschwand, an old village about an hour away from our own old village. Old villages aren't all that rare in this neighborhood!

We let Gertrude, our GPS navigator tell us how to get there, without using freeways. She took us through a couple dozen back-road villages, several with quite nice architecture. It was interesting that in just over an hour's drive, we did manage to completely change the style of the Bavarian homes and barns.

Our goal was the restaurant that is housed in the old castle, or "schloss". The French word "chateau" is a better translation. A "schloss" like a chateau, was not normally a fortified castle, something in German that is called a "burg". However, on this particular Monday, our destination schloss was closed at the time we arrived.

Fortunately, Reichenschwand also had a "konditor" or a cafe with great cakes and sweets. We walked from one edge of the old part of town to the other, in order to justify the calories. After that, it was an equally long walk back to the car and then an hour home.

All in all, a good trip for a weekend, good but not long, as it should be in these days of high gas prices and other priorities.

In the fields below, you will find our pictures of the schloss, the town, and some of our first spring flowers. Enjoy the color and, if you ever have a chance to see Reichenschwand, try the schloss restaurant I suppose, but don't miss the goodies at the cafe.


John and Marianne.


The first castle, built in the 14th Century, was indeed a fortified castle. It was built on a island, with a small river split on both sides, and a surrounding wall with four, round corner towers. Of that original construction, only the four towers remain.

Over the centuries, the area was built and destroyed several times and the current main building, the schloss, was built in the early 19th Century, design by the architect Professor Alexander Heideloff. This is now a restaurant.

Across from the schloss is the Schlosshotel, which backs on one of the waterways running through the old town. On the side away from the hotel, is the oldest of the four corner towers, still guarding a small stream on that side of the castle grounds.



Behind the hotel, the river runs through a lock. Originally, this was used as the means to control the flow through a water wheel, but today it simply regulates the flow to the stream, hopefully preventing floods.


Out in the town, the gray sandstone of the walls and buildings was brightened by the colors of Easter decorations.


There were a number of very large, and very tall, buildings serving as both homes and as barns. I'm not sure I'd like to be the one who gets the small room in the peak of a five-story building.


Finally, on our way out, we took another look at the restaurant we had missed. Next time.

On the castle grounds, and the town gardens, spring flowers were making their debut. We always enjoy taking pictures of this early color, as it means winter is almost over and, pretty soon, we will be eating asparagus and drinking Bavarian beer outside. I love the ritual (and the beer).


City website (German - a sign that this is not a big tourist destination): http://www.reichenschwand.de/


-- English (almost nothing):http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichenschwand

-- German (little, but something): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichenschwand

Schloss Hotel: http://www.schlosshotel-reichenschwand.de/
A simple map showing the connection to Nuremberg and the rest of the world.


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