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And when they swung back, they did seem to be opening up into the past.
Once inside you feel as though the clock has not only stopped, but this one wonderful moment that actually has turned back years, even centuries.
All the peace of the world seem locked within this old courtyard, heavy with the scent of flowers and the gentle sound of the fountain.
Our bags were carried in, and you know already I was beginning to feel sort of like a fairytale princess.
Up in my room I threw back the shutters and scanned the countryside for an approaching knight in shining armor.
But all I saw was the river rushing by, far below.
Here the castle-owners, Baron Reininghaus and his wife, are entertaining friends in the patio.
They told us that the castle was built in the 12th century by the Knights of Raubenstein.
There are only a few beautifully furnished rooms for guests, so it's never really crowded.
You dine by candlelight and, afterwards, around a roaring fire, the Baron tells about the ghost who haunts the Hall of Knights.
Up in the Great Hall there are stained-glass windows, family portraits, and according to the baron, the one suit of armor that houses the lonely ghost—
—who on the first of every month comes back and stands wistfully by his chair.
And here he is! At least, that's what they told us.
Life goes on inside the castle walls much as it did back in medieval days.
Here the hay is being brought in for the animals who live in part of the castle, too.
And they especially delighted in telling us, who live in a world of frozen foods, how the vegetables they serve are just one hour out of the garden.
Before leaving we had lunch up on the castle terrace with Baron Reininghaus and his wife.
It's built right on top of the old castle walls.
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