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The terrace garden
The outer courtyard of Colditz Castle is linked to the inner courtyard mainly by way of the western rampart, a sloping cobbled roadway of about fifty yards bordered on the eastern side by the Saalhaus or Theatre block, and on its western side by an eight-foot high wall. Below this wall to the west is the area that I call the Terrace garden.
The Terrace garden is highlighted in red in the small plan below:
The garden is reached via a gate at the foot of the former guardhouse building, the Beamtenhaus. This is the gate as seen from the 'orchard' garden just to the north; the high, 'arched' retaining wall bordering the garden to the west is easily visible beyond the gate.
Once up to the gate, you can see the level of the garden behind:
Unfortunately, on the occasion of this visit to the Castle, the gate was locked and the only photos I could take were those through the gate to show you the gantry and steps up to the garden level:
Note the floodlight projector at the top of the steps. The white wall to the left is the foot of the guardhouse building.
Here is a picture of the garden as seen from outside the gate. Note the grey, unpainted areas of the rampart wall [the curved, white wall to the left of the garden]; these are visible on other pictures on this page if you look closely, mainly on those pictures taken from some distance away.
The Kanzleihaus building is visible in the distance at the far end of the garden; this matches up with the end of the garden wall as seen from below on the page of pictures of the southwest of the Castle.
Here now are two videos [recommended for broadband users only] that show this part of the Castle. The first of these was shot from actually on the gantry itself, in May 2007 [the gate was not locked!]:
...and then another video taken in the garden itself, possibly the only such video available on the Internet. I have seen another such video but it does not appear to be on YouTube anymore:
Finally for this page, I'd like to present these three pictures showing the garden and gantry area from more of a distance. This will help you to put the area into context with the rest of the Castle. Remember to click on the pictures to enlarge them as required.
Firstly, here is a shot taken from down in the town. The garden is behind the dark wall to the right of the picture, and the gantry/steps are visible in the middle:
...and then a pic of the gantry from the road below the Castle to the West, known as the Haingasse:
Lastly, a photo of the Castle from the other side of the River Mulde. This puts everything into context: the guardhouse [Beamtenhaus] to the left, the Theatre block [Saalhaus] above the rampart roadway [with the red tiled parapet and sloping down to the right], and then the Kanzleihaus building over the archway to the outer courtyard, and finally the Expeditionsgebaude on the extreme right [the brown building].
The construction of the garden retaining wall, with its arches, is apparent from this shot too.
As my rationale for placing this part of the Castle in its own section, I would say that in several ways, this is a very enigmatic area of the Castle. There are no other photos of this part of the Castle on the Internet as far as I know. It is reached only via a locked gate at the base of the former guardhouse, as described above. This is another area where, from the maps, its layout is not immediately apparent, nor is its access. In the boardgame 'Escape from Colditz', designed by Pat Reid, there's a kind of path at the foot of the guardhouse; in the photos it looks as if the western face of the guardhouse building simply falls directly into the gardens below. Neither of these scenarios equate to the reality, as has been seen!
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