Part 3: Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

17 Sep

Thanks again for stopping back by! This is what happens when your adventures are just so grand- they take three days to get them all out there! Ha! We knew when were planning this trip that it would be a doozy and require a good bit of time spent either doing boring things (ie. taking care of paperwork to get the new car) or in the car making our way home. Total, we spent just over 16 hours in the car- and that’s not counting the nearly full day of travel to get up there! So we definitely wanted to do something special for Neve- something she would think was the most fun and would hold her attention. And with that, we found that Sleeping Beauty’s castle just happened to be in northern Germany along our route back to Stuttgart!

Getting there would prove to be a bit challenging, however. The drive from Copenhagen to Sababurg, Germany was supposed to take about 7 hours. Due to crummy weather and horrible German traffic (this is a world-known thing- the unexplainable terrible traffic situation in this country- they call them ‘staus’ and we call them ‘worst things ever on every single road trip!’), it ended up taking us closer to 10 hours. So frustrating. On the plus side, you take an hour long ferry between the countries, so we had a chance to get out of the car and enjoy a surprisingly delicious meal on the boat!

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We made it to the castle just in time for our dinner reservations. Still raining and still chilly, but there she was- the Dornroeschenschloss, Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It was gorgeous and so majestic set atop the highest hill surrounded by lush green pastures.

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Dornroeschenschloss, built in 1334, was originally used as a fortress to protect the town’s pilgrims from enemy invasions. Several hundred years later, it became more of a hunting lodge and home of the region’s elite. Eventually, the castle began to decay and its stone wall (originally used to fence in the livestock) became covered with thorny hedges, leading the residents of the surrounding areas to let their imaginations run wild. Two such imagination were those of the Brothers Grimm, the famous authors to so many childhood classics. From this castle, their fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty was born.

Our room- in the righthand tower- was so cute. Dated, but cute ;). Love me some timber and exposed beams, too! Neve especially loved the princess bed and even more special princess bathroom ‘only for girls, but Daddy can use it.’

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Dinner was phenomenal- candlelit, overlooking the countryside and delicious fresh-prepared cuisine. All right there in Sleeping Beauty’s Dining Hall.

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The gardens surrounding the castle are gorgeous- the perfect marriage of planned landscaping and letting nature do her thing. We spent our rainy morning exploring and learning the story of this particular princess. Neve is in love and has yet to stop talking about the story.

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In a nutshell…Many moons ago, a King and Queen had dreamed of having a baby, but hadn’t succeeded in their efforts after years of trying. One night, a frog came to the Queen while she was in her bath and told her that her wish would finally come true- she would have a baby girl in the spring. After the birth of Briar Rose, the baby girl (and the original name of Grimm’s fairy tale), the King was so elated that he threw a grand party, inviting any and everyone- with the exception of one of the 13 ‘Wise Women’ as he only had 12 plates fit for such royalty. The first 11 ladies blessed the child with things like wealth, happiness, beauty…But when it came time for the 12th lady, the shunned 13th Wise Woman came from the shadows and angrily put a curse on the baby- that she would prick her finger and die on her 15th birthday. The 12th lady offered the only blessing she could- to lessen the effects of the curse. The princess would not die, but rather sleep for 100 years, along with everyone and everything around her.

On her 15th birthday, the princess found herself drawn to the seamstress quarters where she found a little old lady spinning on her spindle. The witch encourages the princess to try it for herself, but she immediately pricks her finger on the spindle and falls onto the nearby bed, drifting off into a deep sleep. Below her, everyone in the castle- the King and Queen, the staff, even the flies on the wall- also falls asleep and will remain so for the next century. As years go by, the vines and plants take over, essentially covering the grounds and the castle in impenetrable layers of vegetation. Word spreads throughout the country that there’s a beautiful princess inside and many a prince attempt to scale the walls only to end in uncertain death when they’re overtaken with the vines.

Finally, on the day that marks the end of the century, another prince is determined to take his chances for a shot waking the beautiful princess inside. Because the curse is over, he is able to cut through the hedges and make his way up the tower to find her sleeping peacefully. He wakes her with a kiss and they make their way down from the tower to find the rest of the castle occupants also waking and the vegetation receding to reveal the same beautiful gardens that had been there 100 years before. The tale ends with the couple marrying in splendor in the grand courtyard.

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The wall surrounding the castle…

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Looking down into the cellar…

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Today, the castle is used as a hotel, a restaurant and an upscale event spot. Can you imagine your wedding in this castle’s courtyard and your reception in the gardens?! It’s so great what this man (a single affluent guy purchased the property years ago and has spent all this time bringing it back to life for all of us to enjoy) has done so that, hopefully, generations to come can experience this little piece of history. So awesome to get to share this with Neve.

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And with that, we loaded back up and made the final 4 hour drive to Stuttgart. And with minimal staus! Woohoo! The pups had a great long weekend, too. We were lucky enough to meet a couple who keeps pups in their home- one family at a time- and it appears that Meg and Dulcie had a blast! They were spoiled rotten and even got baths before we got there to pick them up!

Talk soon!

4 Responses to “Part 3: Sleeping Beauty’s Castle”

  1. Lori September 19, 2015 at 4:07 AM #

    How exciting! Loved all the history, thanks for taking the time to blog, always look forward to reading them and see what you guys are up to!

  2. Georgia September 18, 2015 at 5:01 AM #

    What an experance for all of you. Looking forward to your next one.

  3. Johnny Sims September 17, 2015 at 2:52 PM #

    Sounds like you guys are living the good life…

  4. Eleanor September 17, 2015 at 2:46 PM #

    Thanks for reminding me of the wonderful story. Neve is one lucky girl to have been in that Castle! She is a very lucky girl to have such great and thoughtful parents.

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