Below is a series of photos I took recently when my family and I visited the castle ruins of Burg Waldeck in Waldeck, Germany.Â The top photo is a screen shot from Google Earth showing the layout of the castle as it appears today.
Overhead view of the castle and the hill it sits on from Google Earth.
Burg Waldeck is a typical Keep and Bailey type castle.Â There is a rounded keep at the center of the complex with a small courtyard and various outbuildings.Â It is surrounded by a curtain wall that is currently about 10-15 foot high with rounded turrets defending the most vulnerable parts of the wall.Â It sits on top of fairly steep hill that rises about 300-350 feet above the surrounding terrain.Â Today the castle complex is entered from the northeast but in medieval times the entrance was through a double gate on the southeast corner of the complex.Â There are a couple of cisterns I found at the base of the hill that had tunnels leading in the general direction of the keep and may have been built concurrently with the castle to ensure water supply.Â I did not follow them very far because of lack of equipment and they were fairly full of rubble and probably dangerous.Â I did get some pictures of the interior though.
Complex Map that I found on-site. The translation follows:
1. The Inner Palace
2. Prince’s Parlor and Chamber
4. Chapel of Saint Agid
6. Outer and Inner Gate
7. New Bastion
8. Smithy, powder and ammunition chamber
9. Stables, rifle, and storage chamber
10. Round Tower “Ober Waldeck”
11. Stables and Bakery
12. Kemnath Tower
14. Forward Bastion
15. Armesberger or Trinity Tower
16. Kulmain Tower
17. Granau Tower
The castle itself was originally constructed in the 12th Century and was in almost continuous use until its destruction in 1705 at the end of an unsuccessful seven month siege.Â The castle was besieged several times in its history and passed back and forth in possession between Bavaria, Franconia, and the Swedes.Â Much of what exists today are reconstructions completed by the local historical society.
Approaching the modern entrance to the castle
The medieval entrance to the castle. Only the inner gate is still standing, the ruins of the exterior gate are in the foreground of the photo
South side of Castle complex showing the Courtyard/Inner bailey and storerooms and workshops against the southern wall
This was next to the keep and I am not sure what it is. It looks somewhat like a filled in well to me but I am not sure.
A view looking north towards the central keep. Note the large basalt outcropping the keep is constructed on.
The remains of the Prince’s Parlor with the Kitchen to the left and storage rooms or servants quarters to the right. The actual living quarters for the lord of the manor would have been on an upper floor that no loner exists.
View from the Kemnath Tower looking west towards the Town of Kemnath
View from the inner gate looking over the south wall towards the “Rauher Kulm”, a volcanic basalt cone south of Waldeck.
Castle Goats, the castle’s current occupants and guardians. They chased my son up the hill when he tried to get close and menaced my wife.
More Castle goats, there were some sheep too but like sheep everywhere they were too timid to let me get close enough for a picture.
Cistern entrance below the castle on the east side of the hill. Beware Goblins
Interior view of the cistern showing the closed up opening in the roof. I don’t know how deep it is, I stuck a stick about 5 feet long into the water and did not touch bottom so that gives us a minimum.
Entrance to the other cave. Notice the worked stone on the upper part of the hole. This cave extended into the hill for at least 75-100 feet. I did not go very far in because I did not have any caving gear or a flashlight except for the app on my phone. One of my goals is to go back with the right gear and see what I can find out. There are bats in there because the smell of guano is almost overpowering, even in the entrance.
View from just inside the entrance to the second cave.