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1979

Idilia Dubb > Quellen + Editionen


Beverly D. Eddy berichtet über Idilias Schicksal in seinem Buch: "Abbeys, Ghosts, and Castles – A Guide to the Folk History of the Middle Rhine". - New York : Carlton Press, 1979. - ISBN 0-8062-1205-5

The Dubb family
came to the town of Lahnstein in 1851. Several Rhine castles had already been bought and restored by this time, but Lahneck was still an inaccessible ruin; it was surrounded by deep moats, the stone steps and bridges had crumbled away over the centuries, and the wooden steps inside the tower keep had rotted.

One sunny summer morning the Dubbs’ seventeen-year-old daughter Idilia took her sketchbook and set out to record landscape views from the mountain topped by the romantic castle ruin. When she did not return for supper that evening her parents grew worried and, calling upon the local police, they combed the whole area for some sign of their missing daughter. Days were spent in the search. No one thought of looking inside the ruin of Lahneck itself; the police knew that it was impossible to get into the castle grounds. They searched and researched the woods; perhaps she had fallen into a narrow canyon or slipped from some rocky crag. After many days the police reluctantly gave up the search, and that fall a broken family returned home to England.

Soon after this event Lahneck was purchased and the slow process of its restoration began. By 1862 it was possible to turn attention to Goethe’s famous tower – to repair its outer walls and to begin the construction of new stairs inside it. It was with shock and horror that the workmen came upon the skeleton of a young girl inside the ruined tower. They had found Idilia Dubb! Along with the skeleton of the girl they found pages of her sketchbook, and on them Idilia had recorded the horror of her final days. She wrote that she had somehow managed to get into the castle ruin, despite its state of decay, and had even managed to climb to the top of the tower on the rotted wooden stairs she found there. When she reached the top of the tower, however, the stairs collapsed and she was trapped upon the summit. For many hours she was optimistic about her rescue; after all, a steady stream of boats passed up and down the river and she was confident that people would see her frantic signals for rescue. See her they did, but no one passing on the river suspected her desperate situation. As she waved and shouted to them in her distress, the boatmen cheerfully waved back. To them she was part of the romance of the river – a lovely maiden atop a ruined tower. Days passed and Idilia suffered the pangs of slow starvation. She determined to leap from the tower and spare herself the final anguish of a slow death. No one knows whether Idilia leapt or not. Her skeleton was found inside, not outside, the tower ruin.

 
 
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