Friday, November 6, 2009
Castle In The Hill Country
The first time you see it, you do a double take. I am almost certain that thousands of other people, upon first seeing it, had the same verbal reaction I did. “That looks like a castle…is that a castle?”
Castles are common in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, but not in the United States, and certainly not in Texas. That’s why it is so startling to see it for the very first time.
But, there is, in fact, a castle of sorts in the Texas Hill Country. And, once you get over the amazement of the first view, it looks right at home. If you were dropped into the area with a blindfold over your eyes, and you did not know better, you might just believe you were somewhere other than Texas, or the United States. Perhaps, you might just believe you were across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Falkenstein Castle is located in the hill country southwest of Burnet and northwest of Marble Falls. The owners, Terry and Kim Young, live in a portion of the castle, and host weddings throughout parts of the rest of the massive structure. How this castle came to be, squarely in the hill country is quite a story.
To make a long and a much more interesting story very short, Terry and Kim Young, were residents of Burnet, Texas, when they went on a vacation to Germany. They brought back a copy of plans for a historic castle, and more or less, built it on a very large hill. Sitting on over 100 acres of scenic land, the castle itself, along with its inner grounds, is over 174,000 square feet.
I certainly understand why couples choose the location for their weddings. It’s much cheaper than flying a wedding party to a castle in the British Isles or Europe for a wedding, and is just as scenic.
And, how appropriate that the Texas Hill Country, with its heritage of German immigration, would be the site of Falkenstein Castle, first imagined by Germany’s King Ludwig II, in the 1800’s.