I lived in Krefeld in far western Germany in the summer of 1984, so it was kind of a no-brainer to go see Burg (Castle) Linn, as it was across town. It’s a country castle, part of the Electorate of Cologne. Parts of it date to the 1200s. Here’s a photo I made of it in 1984.
Built by Baron Otto von Linn and completed by his son Gerald, it was for a long time one of the strongest fortresses in the Lower Rhine region.
We returned to Krefeld this year during our trip to Germany. Margaret wanted to see a historic castle, so we took the streetcar out to Burg Linn. As you can see, a great deal of work has been done on the castle in the intervening 39 years.
Burg Linn is surrounded by a moat. The inner castle grounds are surrounded by another moat.
But let’s back up for a minute, outside both moats. Burg Linn was there to protect a small town called Linn, which lay just outside the castle wall. Along the way, Linn was absorbed into Krefeld as it grew.
Here, a horse-drawn cart exits the outer wall, the castle itself visible inside.
After crossing the inner grounds, you come upon the entrance to the castle.
Inside, you find this courtyard. As you can see, the castle is in mixed condition. A lot of renovations have happened since my 1984 visit, but more work remains.
Looking around the courtyard, it’s clear that a lot has changed here over the centuries. That diagonal scar suggests a staircase used to be there. And there’s a fair amount of recent brick around the tops of these walls.
Here’s a clearer view of the new brick, from the outer wall’s upper level. The castle was badly damaged during the Spanish Civil War in 1704. Looking at my 1984 photos it looks like these bricks were there then, but the pitched roofs were not. The main part of the castle had a flat roof, and the tower lurking in the back of this photo had no roof at all.
Inside, I got the impression that this castle might have been built in stages, as some rooms were incredibly rustic and some felt downright modern in comparison. This is one of the large halls in the main castle.
Here’s another large hall, on the second level. Notice the wall hangings.
One room shows off a few (fake) knights on their (fake) steeds. I assume these are period-correct representations.
Margaret and I climbed the tower. It has a large inner center with several stories.
The exposed beams were fascinating to me, as were the … well, we’d call them dormers if they were on a house here in the US, but I don’t know what the Germans call them.
I just like this photo from inside the tower.
Stairs up and down ring the outer edge of the tower.
This observation deck is at the top. In 1984, the roof wasn’t here, and all that separated you from a long fall off the edge was a low railing.
The view from the deck is commanding.
Back on the ground, next to the castle is the hunting lodge (Jagdschloss). It was built in the early 1700s in part to replace the castle as a residence.
Here’s a different angle on the hunting lodge.
Inside, the hunting lodge is downright opulent, especially compared to the castle.
It was terrific to reconnect with Burg Linn after 39 years. I had forgotten more about it than I remembered. The few memories I do have are largely due to a small handful of photographs I made here. I didn’t think much about it then as it was simply the way it was, but I had to conserve film on that trip as film and processing were expensive. I have 232 usable images from seven weeks in that country! That’s only about 10 rolls of film. In contrast, I made five times that many photographs with my digital camera alone in eight days in Germany.
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