Near Remagen, Germany, the remains of a once stately castle can be found. Just a day ago I was privileged to visit this historic landmark. All that remains is the former window well where once a heart broken knight spent his remaining days after he experienced adventure, love and heartbreak.
Surrounded by a magical forest with ancient trees high above the Rhine valley, a castle was erected for Knight Roland and his wife, count Heribert’s daughter, the lovely maiden Hildegund. The young couple was watching the progress of the building from her parental home, the Drachenburg (Dragon Fortress) across the mighty stream when a messenger arrived to call Knight Roland to war.
With a heavy heart Roland departed. He fought with courage and strength when he was wounded. His knave removed him from the battlefield to avoid sure death after the knight was struck. When Roland did not return to camp a message was dispatched to his wife, bringing devastating news that he had perished in the battle.
Hildegund was ill with grief, and after much contemplation told Count Heribert’s of her decision to join the nearby cloister situated on the island immediately below the castle her husband had built. She petitioned the bishop to wave the novice year. Soon her golden locks were cut, her head covered with a veil, committing her life to Christian servitude.
Knight Roland slowly recovered and made his way back to the Rhine region from where he left so many moons ago. The news of his beloved joining the convent broke his heart. He withdrew his service as a knight, laid down his weapons and led a quiet life in his castle overlooking the green island where Nun Hildegund would walk the grounds each day in quiet contemplation and prayer. In turn Roland would spend his days sitting in the tall arched window to catch a glimpse of Hildegund.
One morning his beloved did not appear. Soon the bell rang announcing the passing of one of the convent members. When a procession following a casket did not include Hildegund Roland knew that she had left this earth. He continued to spend each day sitting in the window. One day his loyal servant found his slumped body devoid of soul, with clouded eyes knowing that Roland had joined Hildegund for eternity.
True story or legend? May you be the judge… Today all that remains of the castle is the arched window well. Adjacent to the historic landmark visitors can enjoy a simple snack on the covered terrace or a gourmet meal in the elegant dining room. And what could be more romantic than getting married at this site. A fully furnished hall for civil ceremonies awaits.