April 3, 2015

Sababurg, Germany: Dornroschenschloss Sababurg/Sleeping Beauty's castle; hotel review

Dornroschenschloss Sababurg/Sleeping Beauty's castle  

Sababurg 12, 011-49(05678) 1052. 

Located deep into the forest, off the main road, the isolated, twin-turreted, 600-year-old Dornroschenschloss Sababurg/Sleeping Beauty's castle is surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns added in the late 1500s to act as a corral for horses and cattle.  In 1765, the castle was turned into a hunting lodge, which the Brothers Grimm frequently visited. 

Dornroschenschloss Sababurg in Germany
Dornroschenschloss Sababurg in Germany

Entranced by this description, I made reservations long before we left on our trip.  Still, we weren't able to get a room in the romantic tower.  We were instead booked into a newer wing that turned out to be better.  Our pleasantly decorated modern rooms had been skillfully added on to part of the castle ruins.  They had large windows and a small terrace overlooking an animal park that extends for as far as the eye can see.  When we looked out, all we saw was a quiet, misty forest populated with beasts boasting very old lineages.

Tierpark Sababurg in Germany
Tierpark Sababurg in Germany

Our early afternoon arrival permitted a walk through the 530-acre Tierpark Sababurg that the castle overlooks.  Europe's oldest animal park (zoo), it is populated with the beasts mentioned above--European bison, wild horses and ponies, and reindeer--whose lineages date to pre-historic times.  

For dinner we dined on venison in the castle's refined, very quiet dining room, where large windows also overlook the animal park. 

The next morning, before we left, we walked through the part of the castle that is still a ruins.  Romantically draped with climbing roses, it is the setting in summer for outdoor concerts and re-enactments of the tale of Sleeping Beauty.  Sleeping Beauty and her Prince also make unscheduled appearances throughout the year, presenting female guests with a red rose. 
(Note:  Another castle in France's Loire Valley also claims to be the Sleeping Beauty castle.  It is said to have inspired Perrault to write the original story.) 

The next day's journey began with a short drive through deep, dark, wet woods, during which our imaginations had the opportunity to overreact in traditional fairy tale fashion.  It was quite easy to imagine Goldilocks or Snow White skipping through the trees to their scary fates.  More . . .

More castles.
More castle hotels.

More things to do in Germany.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

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