When you’re passing by the small town of Grebenstein, Germany, you will see a peculiar ruin on top of a hill. It is the ruin of castle Grebenstein but you wouldn’t directly recognize it as a castle as only the palas is still standing – the ruin therefore rather looks like a warehouse ruin with three floors. That it was once part of a castle you will understand once you reach the castle gate and the watchtower down the hill close to the city.
From this ancient castle gate, the philosopher’s path leads you steadily up the hill. But don’t worry – there are twelve benches made from granite on your way so you can sit down and relax. On each of them you will find a quote of a well-known philosopher like Immanuel Kant, René Descartes, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates or Heraclitus of Ephesus. Once you reach the top you can see the ivy-covered palas which is 13 meters high.
The castle was built in 1265 and used for nearly 250 years, then it was converted into a crop storage. During the Thirty Years’ War the city underneath was destroyed and when rebuilding the city they removed the stones from the castle – only the palas remained. In 1912 it was bought by the city of Grebenstein. Today when you enter the palas building you will see a staircase that continuously leads you up to the top. From a viewing platform, you can have a closer look at the castle ruin and you can enjoy good views of the town. Definitely a good destination for a hike, a bike tour or a Sunday excursion!