Harburg Castle and Village

Along our way, we happened upon Harburg Castle and discovered a great little German town to spend some time.

Medieval Castle on top of a hill with a village below. Image by Donald Fink.

On the way to Rothenburg we stopped in a little village called Harburg. It’s a classic medieval village with a castle on the hill and narrow streets, barely wide enough to drive through. Probably those medieval city planners weren’t up to speed on the size of our 21st century cars when they layed out the city.

There was road construction in several spots in and around the town which made navigating our way through the village and up to the Castle difficult. The GPS was completely confused about how to get there, and we finally resorted to using the maps and GPS in our phone to navigate the village. Once at the top of the hill we found ample free parking with less than a minute’s walk to the castle. Admission to the Castle without the inside tour was only 3.00 Euros, and the ticket was redeemable for 1.00 Euro off our lunch bill.

Harburg’s name is believed to have come from old German. If so, it means Castle above a Bog. Original construction is thought to have been in the 11th or 12th century, making it one of the oldest fortified castles in Germany. The Castle fortifications as seen today are modifications from the 18th century.

We didn’t enter this castle. No particular reason other than time was starting to be a factor on our trip to Rothenburg. We had encountered road closures due to construction, and it took awhile to work our way around them. In the US, we’re used to signs being posted suggesting a detour around closed roads during construction. Here, it seems, they simply close the road. It’s up to you to figure out what to do about it.

 

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