Monday, July 1, 2013

The REAL Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty has her own castle in Disneyland, but Dornroeschenschloss near Kassel, Germany is the real deal.  In ruins and covered with thorns for centuries, it became known as Dornroeschenschloss (Rose Thorn Castle).  The Grimm Brothers, who lived in the area, believed it was the original source of the Sleeping Beauty tale.  

(I must point out that the Grimm brothers did NOT write the fairy tales.  Everywhere we went, the brochures and signs said things like "this is the castle that inspired the Grimm Brothers to write Sleeping Beauty," but that is incorrect.  The Grimm brothers collected and recorded existing tales in the hope of preserving German culture.  They did not invent the stories.)

 Pedantic rants aside, it was a fun place to visit, but very out of the way.  Getting there was a challenge and we got lost several times.  Our GPS wanted us to take a road that had a giant hole in it.  (Not a pothole, mind you.  You could have fit four cars inside that hole.) We felt like we had achieved a victory simply by getting there in one piece.  

The castle is pretty and they have a fun little garden with metal cut-outs depicting scenes from the fairy tales.  The whole experience was a little campy; our stay at Burg Colmburg felt more authentic, but if you have small children, Dornroeschenschloss is probably the better bet.  
Sleeping Beauty climbs the tower steps

The restaurant was beautiful, with big picture windows looking out over a pasture (with black sheep and white sheep!  I had Ba Ba Black Sheep going through my head for days.)  

Table with rose petals and a view of the pasture at Dornroeschenschloss .
Gold Plates at Dornroeschenschloss 
The gold plates on the table were a cute touch.  They were part of the story told in the garden.  The king only had 12 gold plates, so he invited only 12 fairies, even though there were 13 fairies in the kingdom.  The 13th fairy felt left out and cursed Sleeping Beauty as revenge.  Now at Dornroeschenschloss , everyone can eat off golden plates!  

We had some fun drinks -- I had a puree of strawberries and white wine.  Mark had a rose-flavored drink.  The butter was also flavored with rose petals.  Are you getting what I mean now about it being campy?  A little over the top, but fun anyway.

Fun drinks at Dornroeschenschloss
Eating gluten free was not a problem here.  They were able to tell me what I would and wouldn't be able to eat, and I had a lot of choices. They even had gluten free bread, though it wasn't very good.  Points for effort though!
Gluten free bread at Dornroeschenschloss 

 I decided on an asparagus risotto.  (White asparagus, of course, which they seem to be crazy about in Germany.)  The flavor was good, but unfortunately,  the texture was a little crunchy.I know risotto is supposed to be al dente, but this was a little too "dente" for my taste.

Asparagus Risotto at Dornroeschenschloss
In conclusion, the experience at Dornsoeschenschloss was fun, but a little too "Disney-fied" and a lot too expensive.  I think it is probably a must do with younger children, for whom the Sleeping Beauty element will be thrilling.  Teens, adults, and honeymooners might do better to skip the long trek into the middle of nowhere and stay at the elegant Burg Colmburg instead.  


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