Germany’s most famous castle which honeymooning couples like to visit is the Frankenstein castle. An apocryphal story has it that it was this castle that actually inspired Mary Shelley’s novel in the 1880s.
It is believed that at one stage Frankenstein Castle did house barons von Frankenstein.
One of the residents of the castle who might have inspired the Frankenstein myth was Joseph Konrad Dippel who styled himself ‘von Frankenstein’. Dippel, a well-known alchemist, created the colour Prussian Blue in his laboratory, and rumour had it that he stole body parts from local cemeteries to further his studies. Some people even went so far as to suggest that he tried to revive the body parts in a search for the secrets to eternal life.
Mary Shelley who visited the castle with her husband poet Percy Shelley, and their friend Lord Byron, wrote her novel ‘Frankenstein’, or the ‘Modern Prometheus’, when she was 19. In the book, Doctor Victor Frankenstein uses electricity to bring to life a creature formed from numerous body parts of executed criminals.
While the many films made keeps the story alive, Frankenstein Castle itself celebrates the Frankenstein connection with an annual Halloween festival.
In Ireland, there’s another castle which made its name by being used as a backdrop for the well-known film, ‘The Quiet Man’ starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.
The Ashford Castle is a five star hotel whose famous guests have included such dignitaries as Ronald Reagan, past president of the USA and King George V of England. The Castle boast 84 rooms and sits on 182 hectares (450 acres) of land.
In 2001, actor Pierce Brosnan and Keely Smith held their wedding reception at the Ashford Castle hotel after exchanging their vows at Ballintubber Abbey, a 13th century stone Catholic church in the County Mayo which was also featured in 'The Quiet Man'.
Taking advantage of their wedding location, the couple began their honeymoon with a tour of Ireland followed with a cruise to the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas on a chartered yacht.
'Honeymoon! A Sizzle or a Fizzle?'
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