CONTRIBUTED BY MRS. B. A couple weekends ago we decided to go check out the Manderscheid Castle ruins, it is side-by-side ruins of two castles that were owned by a family. (The link is to a page that is in German, use Google Chrome to view and it will translate it for you) It’s only about 25 minutes from Spangdahlem AB so it’s an easy day trip in the local area. It’s also listed in the Panther Paws under the Day Trips & Tours in the front so I needed to get it crossed off the list 😉 You have to do a bit of walking and some of the paths are bit rugged & steep so I recommend wearing a good pair of shoes. You may also want to bring some water with you if the weather is hot. Also bring some Euro, the upper castle, Oberburg, is free to visit but you have to pay to visit the lower castle, Neiderburg. It’s €2 for adults and €1 for kids. There is also a small cafe that sells drinks & snacks. We just entered Manderschied and city center into our GPS, but I’ve also heard that you can enter Manderscheid Burgs. Once in the city we just followed the brown signs. There is a visitor’s center where you can park and get a free map of the castles and the walking paths to them. Or you can park in the parking lot just down the road (this is where we parked because we already had a map). Then you have to walk to the castles. From the parking lot (down from the Visitor’s Center) the walking path is located in the left corner. You can see Oberburg from the parking area. Start walking down the path and you’ll end up at a signpost that says Oberburg 0.2 and Neiderberg 0.8, distances are in kilometers. It was probably a five minute walk to the sign. While the sign said 0.2, you literally walk past it and up to the ruins and can start exploring. Oberburg has less ruins than the lower castle, Neiderberg, but it does have a tower that you can climb up in. You get a great view of Niederberg from Oberberg, the flat grassy area to the right is a nice area next to a stream where the kids can run around and you could picnic. Also that long windy road you see to the right is the other way to walk down to the lower castle or back up…we just stuck to the walking paths. There is a huge tower you can climb, I had Bea stand in the doorway so you can see how big it is. It had wooden stairs inside but Bea didn’t think they were safe enough to get her to the top so she only went up little ways, if your afraid of heights & creaky, wobbly stairs it may be a bit adventurous for you 😉 We took the back stairs down & along this path to get back to the sign to head to Neiderberg. Then it was on to the 0.8 k walk to Niderberg, which as a bit steep & twisty in places. After walking across the grassy area you cross over the stream on a bridge or if your crazy like my clan you can try to make it over on the rocks. Boo & Bub crossed back over across the rocks. When you enter Niderberg you will see a large seating area. There are bathrooms at the beginning of the building on the left. There is also a small gift shop where you pay the entrance fee and can p urchase food & drinks. There is also an English Castle Guide leaflet available for €0.50. They sell sodas for €2. When we entered there was a guy there with a hawk who was flying back to and from him for treats. It was a neat surprise. The wooden doors on the right is the entrance & exit. You can go in the small door on the left but it does not lead to anywhere. There are also benches on the right which is where Bub plopped himself for a bit, he was not a fan of all the walking we had to do and it was starting to get warm at this point. There is a building you can climb up but the stairs are very narrow! I smacked my elbow coming down, taking pictures nothing like taking home a trophy bruise, LOL! This is a view from the top of it. You can climb the large tower as well, although it is not as big as the one at Oberberg. These are the stairs up to the top, this is definitely a day trip that requires lots of walking and stair climbing! Again there are wooden stairs in the tower, Bea liked them better and made it to the top, it was a shorter climb as well. From the top of the tower you get a great birds eye view of Niederberg! Then we had to hike back up to the sign post and then back up to the parking lot. It was a bit harder going back because it was getting hot out and we were climbing up hill! I’m so glad we took water with us and had extra in the car. Also if you drive down around the curve (from the parking area down towards Niederberg) there is a pull off area where you can stop and take a pic or see both of the castles. We have been told there is a great Medieval Festival in August and are looking forward to checking it out! This was a nice day trip close to the local area. I’m not sure how enjoyable it would be on a hot day, at least for us, but on the cooler or overcast days it should be great. It was a bit overcast when we went but the sun came out by the end and we were so hot! We had a good time and were abel to check another place off our ‘to-see’ list!
Tips For Your Trip:
05 April-June: 1030 – 1700 Closed on Tuesdays July-August: 1030 – 1700 no closing day September – October: 1030 – 1700 clock Closed on Tuesdays Winter opening times 2014/15 Not specified yet.
Burgverwaltung Niederburg Niedermanderscheider Str. 1 54531 Manderscheid
Children 0-6 years: FREE Children 7 and up: 1.00€ Adults: €2.00
For another two castle hike near Bad Dürkeim click the red link.