Snow White’s Castle
One weekend I dragged (literally dragged) Stefan to the Spessart Museum in Lohr. I really wanted to go just because the real Snow White apparently lived here. By the time I left I was convinced that Snow White was real and that she lived in Lohr.
Who was Snow White? Many people believe that Maria Sophia Margarethe Catharina, Baroness von Erthal was Snow White. While Maria Sophia was not technically a Princess she was seen as an “angel of mercy and kindness”. She was very charitable towards the poor and those who were suffering. She was as good as royalty to many people in and surrounding Lohr.
What about the evil stepmother? After the death of Maria Sophia’s mother her father married Claudia Elisabeth Maria von Venningen. She became the stepmother to Maria Sophia and her six other siblings. Apparently, Claudia Elisabeth was a horrible stepmother. She favored her biological children over Maria Sophia and her siblings, earning her the title of the evil stepmother.
What about the magic mirror? The mirror was a gift to Margarethe Catharina from Maria Sophia’s father. The company who made the mirrors in Lohr had a reputation for the mirrors being so clear that they “always spoke the truth”. The mirror also reads “Elle brille à la lumière” (she is such a beauty).
What about the dwarfs? The Prince Electors of the area wanted to preserve the forest as hunting ground and forbade anyone from clearing it for agricultural purposes. Because of this the lower class were underfed and often of shorter stature. The area surrounding Lohr also contained mines which many of the shorter people worked in, even young children worked in the mines. Snow White eventually fled from her home to get away from her evil stepmother. Here is where she met the dwarfs from the mines at Bieber.
What about the apple? Well, there are apple orchards all around Lohr am Main. It is likely that the stepmother used Black Cherry to poison an apple that caused Maria’s rigor mortis.
What about the prince? I believe that the prince is actually the Pharmacist, Mr. Bartel who cured Maria Sophia after she consumed the apple.
I enjoyed the castle, but Stefan did not. Unfortunately, the exhibits at the museum are only in German and the English guide they give you is not all that great. We had to do a lot of searching on our own to figure out what we were looking at. While I wouldn’t recommend anyone make a special trip to Lohr am Main just to see this castle, I would recommend stopping in if you are close by, especially if you are interested in the history of the real Snow White!