Schloss Burg means “Castle Castle” in German
Schloss Burg, located in Burg an der Wupper (Solingen), is the largest reconstructed castle in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and a popular tourist attraction. Its early history is closely connected to the rise of the Duchy of Berg. – Wikipedia
There are only so many things that shock us about Germany anymore, having lived here for a number of years. The literal translation of many words is enough to make a grown man giggle (Handschuhe anyone?) but they are efficient and straight to the point. Every once in a while, however, there comes a phrase or name that just makes us question everything we know about this beautiful country. The name ” Schloss Burg” comes to mind. A handsome castle nevertheless, its name means “Castle Castle” in any way you try to translate it.
While Schloss typically refers to a larger castle, and burg to a slightly smaller castle, neither mean palace or mansion or any other type of royal household. Yup, we spent the day visiting Castle Castle. Oh Germany, it’s a good thing you’re pretty.
Stunning Arrival At Schloss Burg
Roughly 35 minutes from Dusseldorf, Schloss Burg is not accessible via public transit. There is a train that leads to the town at the bottom of the hill but it is a fair climb to the top for anyone on foot, or on a bike. It is a steep 10% incline, with lots of turns and curves. While on our last trip up, passed a few cyclists making the journey, many of whom stopping frequently to catch their breath. The crowds at the top of the hill gave a small cheer for any bikes that made it to the top.
Beside the castle is a small town of vendors, restaurants and what appears to be personal homes. This used to be part of the artisan’s village, just on the outside of the castle walls. Parking is directly beside the castle; it can get full rather quickly so arriving near opening hours is your best bet for a spot near the top. This is especially true during the warmer months and sunny, clear days.
We did some chair-lift people watching from the castle wall. As a person deathly afraid of heights (I can’t stand on a step stool without getting weak in the knees), just watching this thing was enough to make me sit down for a break. I’m sure the view was incredible.
After an hour of running around the outside of the castle, head into the castle courtyard and check out the main attraction; the museum. It costs 5 euro per person, kids under 3 are free, and there is an English booklet available for 2.5 Euro. I have been trying to collect history books from each area that we visit but they do not seem to sell many in English, so I snatch them up whenever I can; promotional material and 20-page information packages seem to be the next best thing.
The first thing we noticed was that the inside was not stroller friendly. I quickly put the stroller back in the car and came back; another important reason to have the car parked close to the top. Also, the castle entrance does not offer stroller parking.
The courtyard has a cannon, torture pieces and a well (with a safety gate for the little ones). There are lots of stairs to go up; start on the right-hand side, next to the wall, and follow the arrows.
Once in the ‘lobby’, to the right was a stage and chairs set up for the children’s show that would be put on in an hour, to the left was the start of the museum tour, self-directed of course. We walked from room to room, checking out the architecture, paintings and collection pieces on display. The little one demanded that we not hold hands so we went through each room a little faster than we had wanted, but it kept him busy, out of trouble and most importantly, happy.
There are a number of stairs to climb up and down during the initial tour. Eventually, we got to the outer section where we traveled the bridges to get around the courtyard and into the next section of the castle. Halfway through, there was an option of going up three narrow flights of stairs and checking out the view from the top of the castle, or continuing around. Since I am terrified of heights, the hubby and toddler went without me. He didn’t have enough hands to carry the kid and the camera so we don’t have any pictures to show off, but I could hear the little one giggle the entire time so they had fun.
There were random doors on the left-hand side of the walls, as we walked through the bridge to get downstairs. Each doorway led to another part of the museum; it took us to the main floor, the downstairs, then back upstairs and eventually back to the bridge. I would have to say this tour took around 1.5 hours to complete.
We played a little more in the courtyard then stopped for lunch. We stopped at a chip truck on site for bratwurst mit brotchen und pommes (sausage in a bun, with fries). Then we smelled the waffles. Down the hill, beside the castle, opposite the parking lot, we found the Wafflehaus.
We asked the munchkin if he would sit long enough to wait for his order, mainly because we expected to wait a minimum of 45 minutes to be served, like every other restaurant in Germany. He agreed and we sat outside. We were served roughly 10 minutes after we ordered, hubby and I were very pleased. The waffles were huge and the ice cream was strong. We didn’t eat half of what was on our plate but it was fun and only cost 19 Euro. Second lunch? Don’t mind if I do!
Over the course of 4 years, we have visited Schloss Burg a handful of times. The most notable visit was our son’s 6th birthday. Those pictures up top, those were just before he turned 3; what a turn around. Schloss Burg offers a room within the visitor’s center, just outside the castle gates. This was available to use for 3 hours, and we had to provide our own catering and decorations. I don’t know about you, but after having 6 birthday over 2 months, I am sick and tired of chicken nuggets and fries. This was a great opportunity to bring something a little nicer for the group; after all, he has been with this group of children for the past 3 years in school and this would be his last birthday party in Germany.
I digress. The hall was fairly inexpensive, and I purchased a children’s tour for the kids only, and an adult tour for the parents. There were 20 kids (siblings were allowed to come), 10 parents, plus the hall, it came to 200 euro. Not bad, I have to say. The tour guides were available in English and German, and they did a terrific job of keeping the kids entertained and educated.
I will not divulge too many of their secret ‘facts’ about the castle, but there were a number of poo jokes. This is a medieval castle, it’s not like they had indoor plumbing or anything. The kids had a great time.
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