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Forgotten Werdenfels Castle | Thrilling Hike from Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

While I was travelling to Mittenwald from Munich, I came across the beautiful town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Almost everyone before planning their trip, has this question in their mind, Should I visit Mittenwald or Garmisch-Partenkirchen? I had this same question in my mind as well. I can give you a simple answer that it depends on what you are looking for! I will explain more about the different things these places have to offer in another blog post Link:- Now taking a step back, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is located in the southwest of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria. It is now the only administrative district in Germany without a district town. On the south of the district, you have the Werdenfelser land, which is partly high alpine with rock massifs of the Karwendel and Wetterstein mountains (Zugspitze at 2962 m above sea level is the highest mountain in Germany 🇩🇪 ) and shares border with Tyrol in Austria 🇦🇹. To reach Garmisch-Partenkirchen there is a direct DB regio train from Munich which takes around 1 hour and you can use your 49 Euro Deutschland ticket for this journey if you already have one and you live in Germany! Here is an example itinerary on maps (Munich - Garmisch-Partenkirchen)

The castle of Werdenfels was owned by the Bishopric of Freising since 1249. Here is a depiction of the castle in an old painting from the 17th Century depicting the possession of the castle 😯

Werdenfels Castle depiction in 1700s
Werdenfels Castle depiction in 1700s

In the 15th century, the people of Freising had to trade the castle several times due to lack of money. The structural condition of the castle seems to have deteriorated by the beginning of the 17th century when the care home was moved to a new office building on the "Wang" in 1632. From 1676 the castle was exploited as a quarry. For example, numerous castle stones were reused in the new construction of the baroque parish churches in Farchant and Garmisch. In 1822 the Bavarian State Councilor Ignaz von Rudhart acquired the ruins, which have been privately owned ever since.

To reach the castle ruins there is a hiking route to the northwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The hike is fairly comfortable and has a well-signposted path. From northeast to southeast the terrain drops steeply into the valley with rocks, while southwest of the castle the terrain rises rapidly. This typical castle location allowed long-distance surveillance of the important trade route in the valley ( Via Imperii ), but the direct intervention was not possible because the castle was too far away. The view from the ruins location is pretty mesmerising and it's definitely worth the hike. Here is a walking tour of the hike that I did on 19th May 2023. You can watch this and at at the end experience the location at the top. See for yourself! It's really beautiful 😍



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