Going to Bentheim Castle was a really cool experience because it was my first castle I had ever gone to. It’s located in Lower Saxony, Germany in the city of Bad Bentheim. It’s a hill castle so you can guess what that means. You guessed it! It’s built on a hill (made of sandstone). This castle was no joke which was especially apparent in the walls- they are 5.5 meters thick!!!
We went up into the castle which is now partially a museum. We first climbed up to the battlements and walked around the top of the castle. The view was phenomenal. We saw the entire town and it was odd to think that there had been watchmen standing where I was currently standing over 900 years before. Bentheim was built in 1050 AD so it’s one of the oldest castles in Germany.
After walking around the top we went in and climbed to the top of the watchtower. It was an even better view up there and the wind was strong from so high up. The creepiest part of Bentheim castle was either the torture chamber or prisoner cells. Obviously the torture chamber felt all out wrong in every way and I got the feeling I was being watched. It was very ominous. The reason the prisoner cells were so ominous was the fact they were used all the way up to the 1950’s. They were very dark and comprised of a rounded stone cell with a single barred window too small to even fit your head out of. I wondered how many prisoners were stuffed in the cells and then decided to think of something else.
One of the most interesting things I saw at the castle was The Herrgott of Bentheim Crucifix. It was made around 1,000 AD and it’s actually one of the earliest portrayals of Christ in Central Europe. I couldn’t believe that it was still in such good condition being that it was outside with little protection from the elements. There’s no glass over it.
Our trip to Bad Bentheim was definitely a success. It was juiced to have finally seen a castle. Tomorrow I get to go back to Germany for my friend’s aunt’s birthday party. It’s really neat to be able to get from Holland to Germany in less than a fifteen minute drive!