Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Medieval Kitchen and Herb Garden - Marksburg Castle, Braubach Germany


Marksburg Castle was built about 1117 but is first mentioned in 1231.  It sits on a hill above the town of Braubach, Germany with a beautiful view from the east bank of the Rhine River.  It is the only castle on the Rhine River that has never been destroyed.  Other than the additions and maintenance over the centuries Marksburg Castle remains pretty much as it was when it served its original function as the fortified residence of some of the most powerful families of the time.  In its earliest years, it was supported through tolls that were levied upon those traveling on the river.

While walking along the outer wall of the Upper Bailey, which is a small courtyard or walkway within the walls of the castle, I discovered the herb garden!  


This is a unique medieval herb garden consisting of two patches of about 160 plants from the Medieval Ages. Many of the plants are important for their medicinal effects while others are used for seasoning by the cook.  Some herbs like the mandragora (mandrake) or the jimson weed were used by witches.  The deadly nightshade and the hemlock grown in the garden are very toxic.  

The next courtyard gave entry to the wine cellar.


Wine has been the traditional drink, since Roman times.  Because castle water was impure, wine was the liquid used by the knights to get fluids.  The wine of the time was less alcoholic than today's beer. The pitchers on the wall in the upper right photo show what was the daily allotment. The bellows were part of the barrel's filtering system. The wine cellar was improved in the 17th century.  The wine press dates to 1767.

In the top left photo you see the Gothic Great Hall built in 1435.  The hall serves as the castle kitchen as well as the gathering spot for those looking for company, food and drink.  The large fireplace is designed so that a whole steer or ox could be grilled.


I love the well worn butcher block as well as the window seat by one window at the top of the photo and a "sink" by the window at the bottom.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of Marksburg Castle's Kitchen and Herb Garden!  


Today is Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.  Thank you, Susan, for hosting. I am excited to share this adventure with everyone!

17 comments:

  1. What an interesting and informative post. I will never get to this part of the world. It was nice learning and seeing it through your lens.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How great to have an herb garden. Thanks for the tour. What a lovely trip!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh me oh my, I really enjoyed the cyber tour of Marksburg Castle. You are so lucky to visit there. Meanwhile, take care till we meet again next week, I hope.
    Joyce M

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ohh thanks for sharing. I am a medieval buff. I majored in history and this was definitely my favorite period. I don't really think I'd like to go back to those crude days, but I sure like to imagine what it must have been like to live then. Love the herb garden. Neat to think of residents of the castle picking herbs here over 1000 years ago!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I loved the tour. Thanks for sharing. I hope to see it one day in person.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looks like a great stop on your tour. It always amazes me that we'll look at a building from 1700 in the USA and consider it old until you see one built in 1100.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a lovely castle! And so interesting to see the Medieval herb garden. That butcher block has certainly been used long and well...it just shines with smoothness!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The garden is just so special..I love to garden and these old ones hold so much charm~

    ReplyDelete
  9. How blessed you are to see all the beautiful scenery. I love the herb garden...I am going to plant more thyme this year.

    Have a wonderful day!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow... what a cool adventure. Great photos! Visiting from Outdoor Wednesday.
    ~ Kimberlee at The Spunky Diva 
    {Check out how I made my name 'clickable'.}

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow this is incredible. Thanks for sharing your great adventure. hugs ~lynne~

    ReplyDelete
  12. Barb @ A Life in BalanceMarch 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    The pictures are wonderful! It looks like quite a few plants were trellised along the wall. The castle itself is wonderful to look at. I always think of castles as dark and forboding, but this one isn't. It's almost like a fairytale castle.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ok, #1, I want the garden, and #2 that kitchen!!!! Great place and I love that the garden is wrapped in the castle... all those wonderful herbs. Deadly nightshade is one of my favorite plant names (and, afterall, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes are all in the deadly nightshade family... the plant deadly nightshade grows all over Central Park.

    As for the kitchen.. loved the plate rack with all that beautiful pewter... would look great on my wall!

    Thanks for the lovely tour!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a fun tour. I love seeing where other people have been.

    ReplyDelete