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Getting to Colditz

After a lifetime of fascination with Colditz Castle and its stories and legends, it was my privilege to go to Colditz Castle at the beginning of May, 2007, on a trip organised by Mr. Gavin Worrell of Sunbury-on-Thames.

I found this trip to be an intensely moving experience; actually standing in the Hof or inner courtyard and looking up at the buildings and thinking, 'this is where it all happened' was for me an absolutely incredible thing to be able to do. For me actually and physically to stand in Colditz Castle was the culmination of a dream of a lifetime.

The best way for the UK enthusiast to visit Colditz Castle is indeed to go on one of Gavin's trips. The numbers on each trip are kept to 12 guests or less, in order to guarantee a personal service; furthermore Gavin is a storehouse of information of Colditz and its history. Prices are very reasonable and include transport costs to and from Altenburg and Colditz, and accommodation at the hotel, as well as a guided tour of the Castle. For more details on Gavin's Colditz trips, I heartily recommend you visit his Website; his contact details can be found here. The Castle is open all day; you can just wander around and look, even without the tour guides. I went up there one morning at 07:15 and it was open and very quiet, not that the Castle is ever really busy anyway.

Flights are available from London Stansted airport, to Leipzig's Altenburg airport, and prices can be as low as about £6.00 return if booked far enough in advance. Take a look at Ryanair's website for details.

Accommodation details can be found at this site; although the site is in German, you can more or less work out what it's about. There is at least one hotel, the Hotel-Pension Alte Statdmauer, whose contact details are still part the site but not directly linked to from there.

Of course, you can also stay at the Castle itself. For more information, see this site; some of these pages may not be entirely in English. To quote from Stephen Bleach's Sunday Times article, "Colditz Castle youth hostel (00 49 351 494 2211, www.djh-sachsen.de) has rooms from £17pp, B&B (£15pp if youíre under 26). Tours of the castle cost £4.75. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) flies from Stansted to Altenburg, 40 minutesí drive away. Europcar (0870 607 5000, www.europcar.co.uk) has three daysí car hire from £95."

How accurate that information will be by the time you read this is not known! There are also [contradictory!] contact details for the Castle Youth Hostel at this site, and at this site too. Failing one route, try the other!

This information may also be useful for visitors from other countries than the UK.

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