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Time travel with a fantastic view
The historical walls of the castle are completely preserved and thereby the past seems closer and more tangible. The main museum, meanwhile, is the ‘Museum der Grafschaft Mark’, with the focus of the exhibitions being on the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Anyone who would like to have an insight into the world of knights will find much information at the Altena Castle. “The original living conditions at the castle can be traced particularly well in the keep, the ‘Dicker Turm’,” Bernadette Lange, museum pedagogue, says. Tours are available in a number of foreign languages and there are media guides in English and Dutch.
Altena Castle has gained international fame thanks to the world's first permanent youth hostel that was established in 1914, which is now maintained in its original condition as a museum.
Easy to reach by direct train connection from Essen, Altena Castle is located only an hour and a half from Cologne, which makes it an attractive place for excursions and celebrations.
“Groups can book various guided tours and programmes, from children's birthday parties to special themed tours,” Lange says. Popular themed tours about old sayings or the knight’s trial for adults are each a special experience. Free guided tours, meanwhile, are available from May to October, on weekends and public holidays.
The world's first youth hostel, renowned celebrations and an infotainment elevator, along with a fantastic view of the Lennental – this is what makes Altena Castle on the river Lenne so special. For more than 800 years, it has been enthroned above the surrounding landscape of the old wire-puller city. Nowadays, the Altena Castle provides an extensive events programme and multiple workshops. The medieval festival in the beginning of August and the winter spectacle on the first Advent weekend are just two of the iconic events that are well known in the region and beyond.
It takes only five minutes to get to the castle from Altena by bus. The infotainment elevator is the barrier-free option, which starts in the pedestrian zone of Altena. Before getting in the elevator, one walks through a 90-metre-long experience tunnel with captivating stories and mythical figures. Speaking portraits, like in the magical world in the books of J.K. Rowling, give visitors the impression of having travelled back in time, and make memories to last a lifetime.