The little town of Meersburg was originally built up around this very old castle overlooking the huge lake. It was built in 628 by the king of the Franks then, by 1268, occupied by the bishops of Constance until the mid-18th century when they built the more comfortable New Castle in Meersburg. In the early 19th century the Old Castle was then occupied by Baron Joseph von Lassberg. All the rooms come from different parts of its long history...
But my favorite part of the castle, and the thing that made me so curious to visit it, were the three rooms that were once lived in by the famed and important German poetess Annette von Droste-Hülshoff.
Annette was very sickly in her later years and her brother-in-law, who was the Baron Joseph von Lassberg, invited her to live in the castle on the lake (which was a popular place for the sick to regain their health). She eventually died there on the lake in the castle in this room and in this very bed...
...on 24 May 1848. Her rooms were more or less just as she left them and there was a display of her poetry and a few drawings done of her and of the castle as she lived there.
But although the lake was beautiful, her rooms comfortable (not the cold stone rooms of other older areas of the castle), and the pretty little castle garden was just outside her door, she was apparently never very happy there. She wrote a poem while she lived there called "The Old Castle" where she says
Schreit' ich über die Terrasse
Wie ein Geist am Runenstein,...
Ist mir selber oft nicht deutlich,
Ob ich lebend, ob begraben!
I tread over the terrace
Like a spirit on the rune stones,...
It is often not clear to me,
If I live, or if I'm buried!
The castle was so romantic! We walked through rooms 1400 years old and many gradually added in later centuries, seeing evidence of all the castle's inhabitants: the weapons tower, the bishops' chapel, the dungeon that had old graffiti from its prisoners, and, of course, the death bed of a poetess.
I am looking forward to going back again and spending more time in Meersburg and its old romantic castle and getting inspired by it's stone halls and the spirits of Frank kings, old bishops, and perhaps Annette's crying spirit will act as my muse and I can write my own poem or two! It was just that kind of place!