"Colditz Castle" Colditz by alancollins
Colditz Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 44 photos
Colditz Castle has had a long history starting in 1046 and a number of castles have stood on the site. It has also served as a prison, hospital, workhouse and mental institution. To most Germans the name of Colditz Castle is meaningless but to other counties it was known for holding allied officer prisoners of war during WW2, designated Oflag IV-C. The Germans made the mistake of using Colditz Castle to hold prisoners who had made previous escapes attempts and a castle is designed to keep people out not keep them in. A number of books have been written as well as films and television series. Despite all the security over 300 prisoners made escape attempts and 31 were successful.
The castle is set around 2 courtyards, the outer building and courtyard which is closer to the town, was used by the German guards and was known as the 'Kommandantur,' More recently the outer building was altered into a 150+ youth hostel that has provoked some controversy as origin features from its WW2 history have been lost. When the castle was in Soviet hands it was almost demolished, though this did not happen the castle was allowed to decay over the next 45 years.
The second courtyard and buildings were for the prisoners and is reached via a number of gates.
- Pros:Stunning castle
- Cons:Building work in progress hiding parts of the castle
- In a nutshell:Made famous by books and films worldwide
One of the main problems for the prisoners was boredom. Unlike the other ranks, officers did not have to work. Though... more travel advice
One escape attempt at Colditz was by 9 French officers as a long term project. It was discovered that the clock tower... more travel advice
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