I Didn't Know We Were Close to Colditz

@JudyEv (126360)
Bunbury, Australia
January 18, 2016 6:00am CST
Early in August 2015 we were travelling through the Czech Republic in our motor-home. We were now heading back towards Germany and we were due to meet an old young friend (!) in Leipzig on 5 August. General impressions of the Czech Republic was that it was a poorer region than many we had passed through. There was lots of broad acre farming. Old buildings had not been restored but had obviously once been very beautiful. We stayed the night at a camping site near a big public swimming pool, and found ourselves within a very short distance of Colditz Castle. Colditz Castle is a Renaissance castle which gained international fame during World War II as a prisoner-of-war camp for those who had repeatedly attempted escape from other camps. However it had one of the highest records of successful escape attempts, probably because of the determination of those within to escape. Colditz was the camp on which the film 'the Great Escape' was modelled. Sir Douglas Bader was one of its inmates. Articles on both Colditz Castle and the 'great escape' make fascinating reading. Nowadays the castle is open to visitors with guided tours showing tourists where cleverly hidden tunnels allowed prisoner to make their bids for freedom. The guards' quarters have been converted into a youth hostel. Have you seen the film 'The Great Escape'?
I created this video with the YouTube Slideshow Creator (http://www.youtube.com/upload)
16 people like this
18 responses
@jaboUK (54507)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan 16
I did see that film many years ago. That must have been great to see Colditz in person.
4 people like this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan 16
We came across a few places that we didn't expect to. Oberammergau was another one.
4 people like this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan 16
I forgot to add in the story that they were excavating an old horse swimming pool in the courtyard which was used when horses came back covered in mud after hunting expeditions (not sure which century this was). The pool was filled with warm water and the horses walked into it.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (54507)
• United Kingdom
18 Jan 16
@JudyEv Oh goodness - I didn't know that horse swimming pools went back that far. There are several in Newmarket, and they incorporate them into the racehorses' training. They are especially good if the horses have leg trouble.
4 people like this
@Rollo1 (16686)
• Boston, Massachusetts
18 Jan 16
I watched that movie a million years ago when I was young, so I don't remember that much about it. I would think a castle would be much harder to guard than a regular prison camp.
4 people like this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan 16
The castle is high on a hill with only two exits so was supposed to be difficult to escape from. But they hadn't reckoned on the determination of the inmates.
3 people like this
@sofssu (14449)
18 Jan 16
Despite converting the castle into a prison it seems to have been maintained very well.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan 16
There was nothing decrepit about the building.
2 people like this
@sofssu (14449)
18 Jan 16
@JudyEv so I see in your video.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (163747)
• Switzerland
18 Jan 16
I remember that I have watched "The Great Escape" many years ago. To be honest, I do not remember the setting of the movie.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Jan 16
I can't remember much about it either. Certainly not the location apart from the name.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24755)
• Singapore
18 Jan 16
While it may be poor now, it sure has a very rich history. I think a wise government will make good use of the culture, and try to attract tourists.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan 16
There were a lot of tourists there and a good selection of tours to choose from.
1 person likes this
@TRBRocks420 (79544)
• Banks, Oregon
18 Jan 16
Wow that's pretty cool and, I saw that movie good movie.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan 16
I've just about forgotten about it.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Jan 16
the true stories from Colditz are astonishing - prisoners were even building a glider to escape by when they were liberated
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Jan 16
It's quite fascinating. After the war, some men made a glider similar to what was being planned and reckoned it might have been successful. And after the 'big escape' which didn't quite work, the Germans did an inventory of their stores and there was a whole heap of stuff missing. It makes very interesting reading. There is a journal extract in Colditz about a soccer/rugby match and Bader was goal-keeper.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
19 Jan 16
@JudyEv Bader's story is one of the most amazing from the whole war
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Jan 16
@arthurchappell I should go back and research it but didn't his batman parachute with him into enemy territory or whatever?
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (44031)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Jan 16
Even though the movie came out decades before my time, I remember watching it multiple times as a child. It was one of my favorite movies. It starred Steve McQueen, and if I remember correctly, also had Charles Bronson, James Garner and James Coburn in it. Those were (and still are) some of my favorite actors!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Jan 16
That sounds like the right actors. These old films were great entertainment.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (44031)
• Gainesville, Florida
21 Jan 16
@JudyEv I went back today and looked it up to make sure I had the right actors, and yes, I remembered correctly! I can't believe my memory was that good, considering I watched that movie as a kid and hadn't seen it in probably 30 years!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
21 Jan 16
@moffittjc It must have had a real impact on you!
@Inlemay (16654)
• South Africa
22 Jan 16
Its seems I missed this one - so off I am - to view the youtube.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Jan 16
It was a very popular film in its time.
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (16654)
• South Africa
22 Jan 16
@JudyEv I remember the movie but didnt think this be its setting
1 person likes this
@DianneN (79946)
• United States
18 Jan 16
I just viewed your slideshow. Beautiful views, castle, and so typically old European. Thank you!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Jan 16
I'm glad you liked the slideshow. It was a lovely old castle.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (79946)
• United States
19 Jan 16
@JudyEv We try to visit castles on our travels. Of course, not all are exceptional. Lol!
1 person likes this
@iamshane487 (1157)
• Manila, Philippines
18 Jan 16
I have heard it many times, but not been there. It's really a historical place!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan 16
I didn't remember much about it except that the worst of the allied prisoners were kept there and they weren't supposed to be able to get out.
1 person likes this
• Manila, Philippines
18 Jan 16
@JudyEv that was terrible! There are many cases that become viral on the other media networking sites about the escaping prisoners that failed.
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (16654)
• South Africa
22 Jan 16
Stunning area and beautiful architecture and History - I didnt know that you traveled in a mobile home - that is just fantastic - did you find stop overs easily available?
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Jan 16
It was the only way we could afford to stay away so long. We bought the motor-home in Ireland then ferried it to the continent. There were plenty of caravan parks, etc all the way.
@tuttiharris (1342)
• Chattanooga, Tennessee
21 Jan 16
Oh my, love your video, and love the castle, would love to go through it. We have a big estate here in NC in the states we visit pretty often. It was the Home of the Biltmores, and it is humongous. I love going there and walking through it and the land around it. It is absolutely aswesome. thank you so much for the video.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
21 Jan 16
Glad you liked it. Some of these old estates were massive weren't they? Impossible to own without having servants though!
@jstory07 (68320)
• Roseburg, Oregon
18 Jan 16
I saw the movie the great escape many years ago.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Jan 16
It was made many years ago, wasn't it?
@DianneN (79946)
• United States
18 Jan 16
I have seen the film. I love to read anything and see films about the great wars. I didn't see that when we visited the Czech Republic. My son visited many of the camps and castles on his travels, but I will ask him if he visited Colditz Castle. I will look at your video now. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Jan 16
Colditz was back in Germany but only just.
1 person likes this
@gudheart (12746)
18 Jan 16
Looks amazing! Almost like a fairy tale castle, but looks can be deciving lol
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Jan 16
The Germans were quite sure that prisoners wouldn't be able to escape but they were wrong.
@Juliaacv (31319)
• Canada
18 Jan 16
I do not think that I recall seeing this movie at all. Your photos were very clear, the building is remarkably well preserved for its age.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (126360)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Jan 16
It is in really good condition. There were men working on it while we were there.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (41972)
• El Paso, Texas
23 Jan 16
Nice slideshow, I've only seen Frankfort Germany but that was way back in the late 1950s and I was between 6 to 9, the only thing I remember is the church steeple because the bells were ringing.