Sunday 24 July 2016

My personal fairytale route

There is an official german fairytale route that is visited by many tourists, but this here is my personal one! I live in a river valley with lots of castles, and there's plenty of stories, folktales and history woven around them. So when Minted announced the Spaces and Places Art Challenge – for artwork and photography that was inspired by a location – I knew that I wanted to show "my valley" and some of it's castles.
The Lahn River Valley is a tributary valley of the Rhine and in many parts it looks a bit like a mini version of the big stream. More quiet and secluded and with canoes inspite of the big container ships, but definitely beautiful and worth a visit too.
So here's four fairytale castles in watercolour! The blue colour scheme was initially inspired by the region's blue dyeing tradition. But I as well found that it helped me to come up with a more special interpretation, without loosing the original features of the buildings and their recognizability.

"Fairytale Route Count's Castle Germany"

Starting right at my doorstep this is Count's Castle, perched on a high rock above the river, my daily view out of my studio window. This medieval castle has a rich history and was used as residence for several counts, as dower residences for two dutch countesses, as administrative seat, as prison and almost unbelievable, as stonemason workshop. Nowadays it houses a youth hostel, a café and the local museum.

"Fairytale Route Oranienstein Castle Germany"

Just a short distance up the hill you'll find this serene baroque castle with a beautiful park – Oranienstein Castle. It was built by one of the said dutch countesses that longed for more comfort than the old Count's Castle could provide. It is one of the four ancestral castles of the Dutch Royal Family. Nowadays it belongs to the German Army, but can be visited with guided tours and often houses classical concerts.

"Fairytale Route Nassau Castle Germany"

Nassau Castle is another medieval hilltop castle overlooking Nassau town and hills. It had been in ruins but has partly been restored. The view from it's high keep is magical and you can as well get married there in a beautiful wedding chamber. Historically it is the home of the Counts of Nassau who again are closely related to the Dutch Royal Family. It is as well the source for the name of the capital city of the Bahamas: Nassau in the Bahamas was named in honour of Wilhelm III. from Oranien-Nassau, Regent of the Netherlands and King of England in the 17th century, and a descendant of the Counts of Nassau.

"Fairytale Route Lahneck Castle Germany"

Lahneck Castle is located at the estuary of the River Lahn into the Rhine and is often called the "Guardian of the Valley". It as well has a long history dating back into the 13th century, including being the last refuge for the Order of the Templars when they were hunted and finally destroyed in the 14th century. It as well has a resident ghost, the soul of a young english girl who visited the castle to sketch the view on the river, got trapped on the tower and sadly died there.
Lahneck Castle can be visited with guided tours and there's special candelit tours as well.

I hope you liked my little history tour along the Lahn River!

Please feel free to visit my Voting Page to have a look at all my submissions to this challenge and to vote for them if you like them. Thank you so much :-)