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Edertal, Germany

Love Island and Castle Bring

Medieval ruins on a tiny island amid a flooded lake offer romantic respite to lovers seeking privacy. 

When the waters of Lake Eder are high and romance is in the air, young lovers make their way to Love Island.

The “island” is actually a hilltop where once stood a relatively small castle, called Burg Bring. The castle dates back to approximately the 11th or 12th century. From its position atop a rolling green hill, the noblemen that lived in Castle Bring could watch over the little village of Bringhausen. Today, all that’s left is ruins, the most complete of which belong to the castle.

That hilltop went on to become known as Liebesinsel, or “Love Island,” when Edersee (“Lake Eder”) was flooded between 1908 and 1914. During the period of flooding, young lovers discovered that the tiny island and the ruins shrouded by trees atop it provided seclusion for romantic trysts. Couples visited the island for tête-à-têtes either by swimming or by rowboat, and that practice apparently continues today. 

Burg Bring’s romanticism extends beyond its current uses into its mythology. Because little is documented about the castle’s history, some imagine that it was once home to noble knights who came to rescue villagers in distress. Another legend is that the valley is inhabited by gnomes or elves (depending on who you ask) who have buried secret treasure in clandestine hiding spots across the area.  

Know Before You Go

When the tide is high, Liebesinsel can be reached by swimming or by boat. When the the water is low after long dry periods, usually in the end of summer or the beginning of fall, the island can be reached by foot.