Frankenstein Castle, Mühltal, Germany (with Map & Photos)

The Castle of Frankenstein, just five kilometers from the German city of Darmstadt, is the birthplace of an eccentric alchemist, and a possible source of inspiration for a reviver of fictional monsters.

Frankenstein Castle Germany
Frankenstein Castle Germany

Johann Conrad Dippel was rumored to have created potions, practiced electrotherapy, and participated in horrific experiments on corpses stolen from nearby cemeteries. Born in Frankenstein Castle in 1673, Johann was the inspiration for the mad scientist "Frankenstein" in Mary Shelley's novel.

Frankenstein Castle Germany
Frankenstein Castle Germany

Dippel was considered a brilliant alchemist. His name was related to an ancient animal oil, which he discovered as a result of the strange distillation of animal parts, which led to the creation of a universal medicine. That oil of animal origin was the end of the popular iatrochemistry as it was known then, changing the way of seeing alchemy: no longer would "gold" be sought, now "drugs" would be sought. The unpleasant taste and smell, as well as the progress of medicine, caused Dippel oil to depreciate at the end of the 18th century.

During his experimental time, Dippel came to demolish a castle tower when he was working with nitroglycerin. It is also said that he stole lifeless bodies to try to transfer the soul from one to another. Johann's unusual experiments led to his expulsion from the city.

Frankenstein Castle Germany
Frankenstein Castle Germany

Later, Dippel helped create a gold production laboratory in Berlin and, at some point, ended up in prison on a Danish island for seven years due to conflicts in political activities.

In 1734, Johann suffered a stroke and died in Wittgenstein Castle, near Berleburg (Germany), although those closest to him claimed that he was poisoned.

Frankenstein Castle is, today, in ruins, with only two towers, a courtyard and a chapel. It can hardly be attributed to the most famous castles in Germany. However, the mythical connection to Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein" makes it a popular place, especially on Halloween.

Frankenstein Castle Germany
Frankenstein Castle Germany

During World War II, a popular annual feast was held at Frankenstein Castle by American soldiers stationed in the vicinity of the fortress. Until the military base was liquidated in 2008, the 233rd United States Army Support Battalion in Darmstadt held the annual Frankenstein Castle race, which ended on its tallest tower.

Frankenstein Castle Map