Time Travel Above the Syburg Hill

DSC04438Everytime I visit a castle and/or a ruin, my mind always travels to the time where the castle was built: imagining the life at that time, the people at that time. The Hohensyburg was a castle also known as Sigiburg or Syburg was built around 1150 and was partially destroyed in 1287 by Count Eberhard I. von der Mark. It’s located above the Ruhr valley between Dortmund and Hagen. I have actually no idea how far it is in km, but it takes about an hour by car if the traffic is OK.

When I went up the hill, I was welcomed by the view of the ruin. The photo I took here is probably not as stunning as the view of it when you see it for real.



The view across the ruin is breath-taking! Absolutely a nice location for a castle. I just realized that I did not really  go down the small path there below to find out whether it was possible at all to witness the whole part of the ruin and the Vincke Tower next to the ruin. I probably got carried away by the stunning view down the hill, the breeze of the summer wind or got myself alert because of our daughter running around here and there. The stoned path is not a good place for a toddler to land in case she stumbles upon and falls down. Being there up the hill during summer is not bad at all, I feel more of the comfortable wind than the heat of the summer sun.


Within the area of the ruin, I can see the ‘Kriegerdenkmal’ or a war memorial: The sculpture was designed by a sculptor Frederich Bagdons in 1930s. The monument depicts a fallen soldier wearing a German uniform war. It is dedicated to the soldiers who died in the first world war. Did you see the eagle (Adler) watching the fallen soldier there? That was stunning! As you might know that the ‘Adler’ is the pride bird of Deutschland (Germany).

I should have provided you some photos of the other part of the war memorial to give you the better view of the whole sculpture. So, I picked an example from the net as below (the second one that will lead you to the website of the owner of the photo



Nex to the ruin, I found this simple but nice tower called the Vincke Tower. When I looked up the windows around the tower, I was imagining how it would be like to witness the view down there from above the tower. I guess the tower is close to public, I am not really sure.The Vincke tower is an octagonal, Gothic Revival and 26 meter high observation tower. It was built in 1857 (244.63 m above sea level) in memory of the former President of Upper Westphalian Ludwig von Vincke (1774-1844). The ceremony Vincke was due to large contributions to the development of Westphalia to the French domination during the department’s watch. The tower consists of Ruhr sandstone.In the last days of the Second World War, the tower was used as an artillery observation point for the German Wehrmacht. Therefore, the attacking troops took the tower under attack, and it was hit by grenades. In 1955, the tower was restored and recovered.DSC04443

There is a nice shaddy park around the tower where we can sit on the benches provided there. It’s a nice park to relax while having the beautiful view over the Ruhr valley.

Further to the side of the ruin is an empty path with barrier where you see Hengsteysee. I think the picture below is the highlight of the destination to some people: The Kaiser Wilhelm memorial. 

I actually am impressed by the first design of the monument which was built in 1893. It has been modified, and the last modification was in 1955. I think it’s an awesomely simple yet eye-catching memorial monument.



Speaking of the German architecture, I think that the German architecture of a building or a monument tends to be minimalistic, not too many details, yet still looks elegant. The memorial monument above the Syburg hill depicts Kaiser Wilhems I, and on the other two sides are Otto von Bismarckt (the first chancellor of Germany), and Moltke (the admiral). 

The view in front of this memorial monument is amazing. I would have liked it better being there up the Syburg Hill if the sun at that time had been blocked a bit by the nice formations of clouds, but anyway, it was such a nice experience being there and seeing the Ruhr Valley from the hill.

People’s appreciations to such important monuments here are so different from the people in my country Indonesia. I believe because I ‘know’ my people that most of them are not really into history, which is a sad thing. I know, we don’t live in the past, we live for the future, but the past I am sure, and it must be teaching us some things. I have not noticed any wild graffiti done by irresponsible people here anywhere around the monument. In Indonesia?well, it’s like a love message point where graffiti says ‘A loves B’ is so common to be found.

Another difference is that people in Indonesia take  a lot of photos of themselves either with the help of other people taking their photos or they take selfies photos with selfie sticks. But I rarely find people in Germany take photos of themselves when visiting, say, monunemts. They tend to take ONLY the photos of the scenes they are visiting, meaning they are not interested in being there in the photos themselves. Even though I have been living here for a little bit more than 4 years, I still take a lot of photos too (just like most Indonesians do, and most especially because I like photography too), and I can’t deny it that I want to have some photos of me with the background of the nice scenes I am visiting. I don’t think it’s called as narcisstic. I have a firm opinion that this is somehow important for my children, great grandchildren, to know about me, the people I love and my passions. You know, the internet is the source of almost anything you want to know (of course you need to be extra careful with reading articles on the net): my point is that, you can just collect photos of the scence you want to see and print them out! I know it feels different to take photos of the scene yourself, because you know YOU ARE THERE! but I will add to that opinion that it will be much better and more memorable if I (or the ones I love) are there too in the photos. I think it’s for the shake of long terms memory.

This monument above the Syburg Hill will stand there hopefully for many and many years to come. Someday, I will go there again with my loved ones (my great grandchildren? too far ahead?) Well, I call it as a practice of optimism, just like those people whose figures now become the depiction of a memorial monument. They are there because they had visons. I do too.



About Hohensyburg (in German)

Dortmund Hohensyburg

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