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An Excursion to Sababurg

For your next stopover, head north from Hann. Münden on B80. At the village of Veckerhagen follow the signposts left into Sababurg, which lies about 100km (60 miles) south of Hannover, 60km (37 miles) west of Göttingen, and 38km (24 miles) north of Kassel. After driving through the luxuriant Forest of Reinhard, one of the largest in Germany, you come up to Sababurg Castle, a distance of 24km (15 miles) from Hann. Münden. The castle has been turned into a hotel .

This castle is where Sleeping Beauty, in the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, slept for a century. The castle has had a long and turbulent history since it was built in 1334 by the archbishop of Mainz. It eventually fell into ruins, but in 1490 Count Wilhelm I constructed a hunting lodge on the site. Troops plundered the castle during the Thirty Years' War, and Friedrich II turned the castle back into a hunting lodge in 1765, but that, too, was allowed to deteriorate until its present restoration. In the castle courtyard, where briar roses bloom, you can almost expect to see the handsome prince preparing to awaken Sleeping Beauty with a kiss.

Surrounding the castle is Tierpark Sababurg, Sababurgstrasse (tel. 05671/80012251; www.tierpark-sababurg.de), one of the oldest wildlife refuges in Europe, home to such animals as the bison and reindeer as well as a vast array of waterfowl. The surrounding acres of ancient oaks and beech trees added to the fairy-tale atmosphere of the area. Charging 5€ admission, the park is open daily as follows: April to September 8am to 7pm, October 9am to 6pm, November to February 10am to 4pm, and March 9am to 5pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.