Wednesday, 11 September 2013

castellan or look that up in your funk & wagnall's

After work I ascended to the northern most neighbourhood of the city, past the clinics and houses in the hills to seek out the ruins of the Sonnenburg. This fortress was named after the constable of the castle (ein Burgmann), a low-ranking noble title charged with the defense of the immediate surroundings in the early thirteenth century but the place was given successively greater recognition by kings and pretenders throughout the Middle Ages up to the Thirty Years' War that saw its downfall.
 It was a bit of a challenge to find, obscured by terraced homes and not on the high-ground but in a valley, and I had to inquire. “Excuse me but is there a castle-ruin nearby?” The eponymous community is also known as the place where Konrad Duden retired. Duden was an influential lexicographer of the German language, authoritative and the industry-standard like the Oxford English Dictionary or Noah Webster.