Aesop in Sondershausen

As it sometimes happen, life has brought me to Sondershausen located in the endless forests of Thuringia, Germany. Before my visit, I did even know that this place existed. I was thus all the more surprised when I came across a massive royal* castle/palace, the residence of the house of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. *Royal, because Günther XXI. of Schwarzburg-Blankenburg was elected as anti-king to Carl IV of Luxemburg. He abdicated, however, 4 months later…

The caste is impressive, though it would be largely unfair to compare to Versaille or Schnönbrunn. And despite the buildings rededication, or maybe better, degradation to grammar school, elderly people’s home and so on in the DDR, it still works as walk-in book of art and architectual history from the renaissance until the early XX century.

The castle features a remarkable chapel in size of a smaller village church with a massively overdominant pulpit (=”faith comes from hearing” – Rm 10:17), unfortunately all in a pretty bad shape.

Most remarkable part was, however, a well preserved late renaissance room with grotesque style plaster sealing. Somewhat scattered, it some elements retell the ancient fable of Aesop known as ‘The Fox and the Stork’. While this is arguably a popular fable through the centuries, I can hardly recall seeing any plastic depictions.