When I reach the town of Srebrenik, it is still an hour before sunset, and even though I do not have a place to sleep, I decide I can take care of that later. I turn left, on a road that keeps on climbing. Just when I start to wonder where the castle could be, I suddenly see it on my right, and immediately stop the car. What a spectacularly situated castle! A pillar of a few hundreds metres high is the base on which the castle is built. The pillar is detached from the mountain it once belonged to by a wooden bridge; a gaping abyss below. When I reach it, I pass a group of drunkards on the viewing platform, and walk down the trail to the bridge. The sun is setting behind the castle. It is here that I fully appreciate not only the beauty of the castle, but also the craftsmanship of those who built the castle back in 1333. Back at the viewing platform, one of the guys comes back with a bag full of more beer, they are noisy and obnoxious, and I feel totally out of place, so I drive back the road until I have a full view of the castle from the distance.
The sun is hiding behind clouds, and the hazy light filtered through is just sufficient to give the castle an dreamy appearance. Clouds in the sky are colouring orange, and I quickly drive back to the viewpoint again. The drunks are now shouting at each other, oblivious of the beautiful scene behind their backs, so I keep a safe distance while I watch the light fade, and the silhouet of the castle stands out against a sky on fire. When I return to town, it is dark, and after a short night, I drive up the same road again. The sun is now rising behind me, and I watch as the first rays of sunlight touch the top of the tower first, and then slowly glides over the entire structure. There is a trail going down, and I follow it until I have a good view from below - fantasizing about the armies that have tried to conquer this fortress. It seems impossible. It is even possible to walk to the base of the pillar on which the castle is built, but I find a small wooden door closed.
After having breakfast in town, I once more drive up the road to the castle. It is open now, and I can finally walk the wooden bridge and enter through the main stone gate. Inside, the castle lies largely in ruins, leaving a lot to the imagination. Grass grows on the stony stairs, and in between the walls. You cannot climb the towers, unless you would be a well trained wall climber, or had the proper equipment. The views, however, are fantastic. Deep down, the town of Srebrenik, and further away, the low, rolling hills of northern Bosnia. When I come back to the viewing platform, the guy who sold me a ticket is cleaning away the broken bottles the drunkards have left behind. I cannot resist the temptation to stop once more on my way down for a final view of one of the most spectacularly located castles I have ever seen.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Srebrenik Castle (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Srebrenik Castle.
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