Castle in the Sky: German Authorities Demolish Beekeeper's Dream

Germany is one castle the poorer this week after authorities demolished a fortress built illegally by a beekeeper with big dreams. The man spent years and thousands of euros on its construction, but neglected to get a permit.

Photo Gallery: Hobby Castle Torn Down Photos
DPA

Rules are rules in Germany, and that goes for charming castles too. On Wednesday, authorities in Heppenheim in the state of Hesse tore down a castle built by a beekeeper after determining that its construction had been conducted illegally.

"It is bitter," said Matthias Schimpf, a local building department official for the state's southern Bergstrasse county, where the castle was located. Because it had been built without the proper permission, the castle posed a safety risk and had to be demolished, he added.

The castle's creator, beekeeper Volker Sieradzki, began building the structure out of clay, wood and stone in a vineyard in 2005, spending an estimated €25,000 to €30,000 ($31,000 - $38,000). He named it Trutzburg, or "Trutz Castle," and had ultimately planned to make it a nature center for children.

Razed Dreams

It didn't take long to raze Sieradzki's dream, though. According to Schimpf, the poor quality of construction made for easy work. He told German news agency DAPD that it wouldn't have been worth spending money to repair the castle.

Trutzburg's master was not present for the demolition, but some 28 demonstrators came out to protest the action, Schimpf said.

Sieradzki had reportedly been holding on to the hope in recent weeks that the destruction of the castle could still be avoided due to delays by authorities in setting the date.

He had continued work on the castle for a number of years despite warnings from authorities to cease construction and remove the structure. "It was build illegally from the beginning," Schimpf told DAPD.

kla -- with wire reports

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