When time forgets us and fog has settled around our eyes, when we live only from our memories and have no-one left to share them with, perhaps then remembrance of our past glory comes into its own.
That is what has happened to Grasburg Castle. Alone it stands on a rocky outcrop, well above the churning River Sense, enshrouded in it’s own thoughts, the once mighty walls no longer standing against treacherous foes, now only gathering moss. There is memory here but it is distant, like a wisp of a dream. The ghosts are too tired now and they are resting somewhere, just out of sight.
It was not always this way…
Further on, the palace of Kernburg still stands, albeit four walls of it. It was surrounded by moat and was once only accessible by a bridge.
It was here a further residence was found (Wippingerhaus) and a tower with a prison.
The castle was redesigned repeatedly, so there is a lot of speculation attached to how it must have looked when it was in it’s prime. A rocky staircase, presumably a means of escape to river below, still shows its well trodden stones at the far end of the castle – at the best of times a slippery, long way down. Could it be the “five farmers” who are said to have murdered the very unpopular bailiff Amadeus von Villars in 1398 fled down these steps? They crossed the Sensegraben and found protection in Fribourg. Vaulted corridors on the lower battlements and a supply of spring water from the immediate vicinity meant they could have lasted a siege if hard pressed. He must have been a terrible tyrant to have died 2 different ways…but that is the lore of castles. Whether Villars was pushed to his death by maiden or pitchforked by five furious farmers, either way, it lends a certain romanticism to these old walls.