This article first appeared on the original TannerFamilyOnline site in the summer of 2005. This is the first of five day trips we took during a one week period during our first summer there together. This article is originally dated June 21, 2005 and was written by Heather after being in country for only 3 months.
Today we stayed closer to home and went to the Sinsheim Museum of Automobiles and Technology. Outside the museum are actual planes. Some are up on the roof and you can go inside of them. They have an Air France Concorde and a Russian Tupolav and several others that were quite interesting just to see. There’s also an IMAX theater, but we didn’t go to any of those.
Inside the museum there was a pretty large auto display of mostly classic cars-a lot of the American classics also(with American plates on them). Of course there was quite the display of Mercedes too. In a different building they had a display of sports cars such as the Formula 1 racing cars they use over here and also Ferraris and Lambourginis-those were awesome to see.
They also had Jan Ulrich’s bike that he used when he won the Tour de France in 1997.
Back in the classic cars museum is where they also had a huge military display. American, Russian, German, French and a few others. They had uniforms and equipment on display.
Surprisingly they also had a pretty big display of Nazi stuff-even a copy of Mein Kampf. Nazi stuff is illegal to have here as individuals go. There were a couple of Nazi war planes and several other planes. They had tanks and even a Russian submarine.
We found out that you can actually go up into some of the planes that are outside. We ended up going into the Russian Tupolav. I must say it was pretty frightening. The plane is on the roof of a building and it’s at an angle so it looks like it’s going to take off. We got in there and we were able to walk all the way up to the cockpit-but I didn’t stay long-I could feel the plane wobbling just a bit and when I turned around by the front of the plane and looked down to where we came in-I got all sick feeling and wanted out right then!!!
So the girls and I chickened out and just sat on the roof of the building while JJ and Dwayne went into the Concorde. Another one of the planes had a slide going from the plane to inside the building! Yeah I don’t think so!! No way was I going on that thing!!! At this point I just wanted back on solid ground-oh yeah we did all this on stairs–no elevators.
Needless to say though we had fun there-it was an interesting place. JJ of course loved it and didn’t want to leave!
After we left the museum we decided to try and find a castle that I had some information on. Boy am I glad we found it!!!!!!! This castle turned out to be an awesome adventure. I had actually found information on the Internet because they allow weddings at this castle, so we just decided to go check it out to see what it looked like. It’s called Burg Hornberg.
The castle was built in the 1200s but not completely finished until the 1500s. Even today it is still owned by the Hornberg family. It sits way up high above the Neckar River. The drive up is a one-vehicle-wide and very steep road. Once you go into the main entrance there’s a restaurant and a wine shop and there’s also a hotel inside the castle.
If you keep driving you go through another entrance that takes you to another area of the castle for parking and the area that you can actually tour. The touring area is more of the “ruins”, but you cans see where rooms were and little sitting areas made out of stone carved into the walls themselves.
There’s a tower you can go up into that takes you off into other rooms also. In a corner there’s the royal family’s personal chapel area. It looked like you could fit 6 people in there. It’s also where family members were buried. There’s one marbled crypt and about 4 doors on the walls where other members are buried. On the floor there are 4 more crypt coverings.
The day we were there it was well over 90, but inside that chapel it was COLD. The walls were a dirty white, but on the pictures you’ll see that they all look a really bright white-kinda creepy.
Off into another area of rooms there’s was a dungeon of sorts. This room was pretty high up and fairly small, but in the middle of the room there was a circular area that had a cage on it and when you look down – which was pretty far – you can see a human skeleton down there.
It’s hard to say if bones were just planted there but I’d have to say that’s doubtful. They’ve strung a hanging light bulb through the cage though. Once you’re down there it looks like the only way out is up.
There was also a carved out cave like area that was used as the wine cellar and a smaller one beside it used for milk storage. Looking out the window areas was just spectacular-I can only imagine what it looked like hundreds of years ago. The views were just gorgeous-you could see for miles and you can look right down to the Neckar.
While we were there we went into the wine shop and they had some old armored suits there.There were even some Roman era artifacts on display. All around the castle are vineyards so, of course, they had some regional wines there. We ended up finding some decently priced wine from 1984 made at the castle so we just had to get a bottle. We’re going to try to keep it for Christmas so everyone can try a little. It’s a sweeter white wine, but the higher quality kind.
If it’s not bad around Christmas time I’d like to go visit the castle again, but if it’s icy out there’s no way you’ll get me near those hills! Burg Hornberg sits along B27 and is part of the Burgenstrasse – Germany’s Castle Road. We took this road home and there’s probably 5 or six castles that we could see from the road in about a 30 mile stretch. It’s just amazing how many castles you can see-and they’re all different.