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Views outside the Castle: Southwest and West, and the approach to the Inner Courtyard
This first picture shows a fairly recent aerial view of the Castle taken roughly from the south-west and looking approximately north-east. I have included this picture first in order to give you a feel of the layout of the Castle buildings. The grassy terraced section to the right of the main Castle buildings is the dry moat, at the eastern end of which is the blocky building where the Married Quarters were in the War. This building has recently been demolished as part of the renovation programme, which is a shame as that building was quite important historically. This picture is itself a photo of a picture hanging in the museum in the Prominente cells area of the Castle - I cannot claim credit for the aerial photography!.
Also notable in that picture are the low buildings and tall chimney in the outer courtyard, which have also been demolished.
Approaching the Castle from the town, we first encounter the main gate:
The road then proceeds along the moat bridge, and under the main clock tower, which was undergoing refurbishment at the time the picture was taken.
After proceeding throught the outer courtyard [pictures of the outer courtyard are in this section dealing with that part of the Castle], we come to the western rampart, which leads up to the guardhouse and the inner [prisoners'] courtyard. The small, black, arched door on the right is the entrance to the 'air-raid shelter' to which British prisoners gained access in the hope that it had a second exit. It did not, and they had to give themselves up.
The building ahead is the former guardhouse, which now houses the Escape Museum.
The Saalhaus block, incorporating the Theatre and Senior Officers' Quarters, looms on our right.
At the base of the Saalhaus, we get another look at the 'air-raid shelter' door as shown in a previous picture:
...and here is the view into the archway under the Kanzleihaus building we have just passed under:
The door and window at the far end on the right are where some of the Solitary Confinement cells were situated. Eventually, the Castle staff hope to have this section opened up and restored to its wartime state, in order to show what the Solitary cells were like.
Proceeding uphill to the top of the rampart, then, we turn around and see this view looking back down the rampart towards the outer courtyard.
...and here is a slightly higher-up view of the rampart, taken from a window of the former guardhouse....
...and standing outside the guardhouse/escape museum door and turning to the east, we see the gateway to the inner courtyard.
The stone arch is known as the 'Whispering Arch' because a person whispering at one side of the arch can clearly be heard at the other. Really. It works, I've tried it!
To next page: Outside the Castle - Northwest
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