Today I decided to spend the day in Nagold, a darling little town of 12,895 just 35 minutes away by bus. It's a great town for shopping, but that's not what I went there to do. I had my big camera, a map, and a plan to climb up to the castle ruins (called Hohennagold) above the city.
I first went to the Stadtinfo where I bought a really nice guide book (only available in German, as far as I know) and asked the woman behind the desk how best to get up to the ruins. She pointed me in the right direction, and up I went.
|I really wish I were in better shape.|
|You may have to click on the photo to see what I'm describing.|
But the real fun isn't the view - much better with the naked eye than any photo can show. It's the ruins themselves. I think I've finally accepted the fact that I prefer castle ruins to palaces. There's so much left to the imagination! You see rough stone walls, remnants of dwellings and walls, tall, scary towers...
Remnants of the castle - one of the houses or apartments. Who lived here?? How many people? What did the door look like? Where was the kitchen? What did they sleep on?
Have you seen The Highlander? This open stone stairway reminded me of a setting in that movie. I decided to climb up it to see if the view was even better. There were NO other people around, which was really cool. But when I got to the top I started to freak just a little, grasped the railing in my tight little fist, trying to fight off the mounting dizziness. I realized that if I did plunge to my death, no one would know for a while.
And then I climbed gingerly back down, one hand clutching the railing and the other hanging onto the stone wall.
I took this picture to prove I'd done it.
|This huge nook was an oven! You can see the smoke marks.|
This board is explaining the difference between a fortress (Burg) and a castle (Schloss).
The question at the bottom right asks, "If this was 'only' a fortress, then why is this hill called "Castle Mountain"? You can flip up the panel for the answer!
|Answer? No one really knows. Uh...Ok. Thanks.|
The Landesgartenschau (state garden festival) was in Nagold in 2012, and there are still beautiful flower arrangements all over town.
I still love Fachwerkhäuser, and Nagold is full of them.
This is das Hotel Post. Duke Carl Eugen of Württemberg stayed here once, as did Napoleon, if the guest book is to be believed. It still has a well-reputed restaurant on the ground floor as well as accommodations. One can even stay in the "Napoleon Room," where the emperor spent a night.
Most of these beautiful buildings have a story and a significance to town life back between the 13th century and now. I absolutely recommend visiting Nagold and learning about them, but I will not bore you here. Just enjoy the views if you like.
After strolling around town I decided to meander out of town to visit "one of the oldest churches in Germany" and its Friedhof. This might sound morbid to some, but most cemeteries in Germany are simply gorgeous. This one took my breath away.
This is the Remigiuskirche. It is the oldest building in Nagold.
That's Hohennagold up on the top of the hill in the background, where I was this morning.
There was a funeral going on in the chapel while I was there. The pastor's gentle words were projected on a loudspeaker from the chapel, so I could hear everything including the hymns. She had a very pleasant voice, and it really added a nice touch even though I didn't know the woman being laid to rest.
Flowers planted for summer at someone's grave.
These uniform gravestones are for soldiers from Nagold who died during World War I. This was clear from the death dates on the stones.
In the background beyond the path the same shaped stones are for soldiers who died during World War II.
I am so glad I went to Nagold today. I am looking forward to reading more about its history and returning with visitors who want to see a beautiful little German town that is not touristy. It's a pity that there isn't much - if any - information about the town in English - perhaps there's a job for me there!