Why We Adore Castle Ruins: Hohenfreyberg and Eisenberg, Germany

Castle ruins of Eisenberg, Germany.

Ruins of the castle of Eisenberg, Germany.

It seems that some of us prefer ruins to whatever these ruins were before the deterioration: castle, estate, or palace. Why? Is not it better to admire the decorated ceilings of the Vatican; the interiors of Versailles, France; or the marble floors of St. John¬ís Co-Cathedral, Malta? Undoubtedly. But just imagine what our descendants will see in these places, if they find them in ruins (heaven forbid) as we found ruins of temples in Angkor, Cambodia, Cathar castles on the rocks of Languedoc, France, or the heroes of today’s story, the castle ruins of Hohenfreyberg and Eisenberg in Bavaria, Germany.

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The Famous Ruins of Estonia: Pirita Convent

Pirita Convent Ruins Park, Tallinn, Estonia.

Pirita Convent Ruins Park, Tallinn, Estonia.

Her dream was unusual. She would be the founder and the head of a new Catholic Order. Its convents would be a home for both monks and nuns. They would be living separately, but be attending services together in one church. They would be poor, but could have as many books as they wanted.

Such a dream had visited a noble Swedish lady, Birgitta Birgersdotter, around 1345. After 25 years, she got permission from the Pope to establish the Order of the Most Holy Saviour (1370) and to start building monasteries. Sixty years later, her third community, Pirita Convent, was completed on the banks of the Pirita River where it flows into the Gulf of Finland, and became the largest nunnery in Old Livonia. Read the rest of this entry »