Castle Frankenstein is located just south of Darmstadt in Germany on a hilltop overlooking the Rhine river. The connection between the castle and Mary Shelly’s novel is thin at best–which is often the case with these types of sites. Although Shelly did visit the area in 1814, there is no evidence that she ever made a visit to the castle. There has been speculation that Shelly drew inspiration from a 15th Century alchemist by the name of Johann Conrad Dippel who did experiments with corpses within the castle, but there is no firm documentation of this.
Today, the Castle is basically in ruins–much as it has been since the 18th Century. There are two distinct towers which were inaccurately restored in the mid-nineteenth century. The rest of the grounds look to be storage for a community theatre of some kind. Honestly, there really isn’t much to see of the castle. It is possible to go up into one of the towers and look over the wall down into the valley, but if you are looking for a genuine German castle experience, this is not what you are looking for. However, each year around Halloween, the castle throws a nightly party.
There is an adjacent restaurant where I did have a fine meal and of course some quality German beer! I suggest sitting outside where you can take in the breathtaking views. In addition, there are hiking trails surrounding the castle grounds. If you want to let your imagination run with thoughts of ghosts and monsters, take a few hours and go for a hike (bring your camera). The thick forest and rocky ground surrounding the castle is perfect inspiration for the monster seeker in all of us!