Castle of the Weird and Wild

If there’s one thing Germany does not have a shortage of… it’s castles. Nearly every place on the map has a relic perched on a nearby hill or crowning the center of town.

One thing I’ve discovered since my first castle tour is that every castle is unique in an often weird and wild way. But the castle I visited the other day takes the cake.

The Guttenberg Castle is located in the Neckar Valley about an hour from Stuttgart. The castle was built around 800 years ago to protect an imperial palace located in the nearby town of Bad Wimpfen.

Ownership of the castle changed hands over time until it was converted into the present day museum. But the legacy of the colorful previous owners of the castle still linger.

Take these hunting trophies that adorn the library…

Now, I don’t know about you, but these are unlike any hunting trophies I have ever seen. There is only one word to describe them…weird. I mean, what exactly are they supposed to be?

Medieval emoticons?

Laugh Tongue

Then there’s the matter of the castle’s torture chamber…

When you leisurely stroll through the museum and stumble into this room, as if suddenly seeing pictures of people being tortured isn’t creepy enough, your presence trips an invisible sensor and you’re treated to a medley of torture chamber sound effects…just perfect for a nice Sunday in the country.

As for the castle’s wild side, the Guttenberg Castle presents a daily raptor show featuring some very deadly predators. This program is not a watered-down we’re-afraid-of-getting-sued animal show. In fact, if you’re faint of heart, this show might not be for you.

The trainers think nothing of tossing lunch out over the heads of the audience for the razor-taloned birds to catch. I’d hate to think what would happen if this eagle missed!

And if you bring an umbrella, watch out. You’re certain to become a perch when the raptors mingle with the audience. Just remember…if you’re lucky enough to meet one of these amazing birds in person…don’t forget to lift your feet!

So welcome to the Castle of the Weird and Wild. Before you go…let’s take one more walk on the the weird side.

While strolling around the castle grounds, you might come across this sign…

Is this really a problem???


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