M: Zidane, Aram, Argo, Robin, Knerz, Rowly, Watson and Zacky – favoured pets of princes and princesses from times gone by are buried in the dog cemetery on Karl-Ludwigs-Platz.
F: Zidane and Watson were Labradors, Aram was a German shepherd, Argo was a Brazilian bloodhound, Robin was a terrier, Knerz was a long-haired dachshund, Rowly was a King Charles spaniel and Zacky was a Yorkshire terrier.
M: The earliest canine death commemorated here was that of Rowlie. He went to the eternal hunting grounds in 1856. However, we don’t know whether he is actually buried on this spot. The stone was probably placed later.
F: The dog that’s known to have been the first actually laid to rest here was Knerz, Prince Herrmann's long-haired dachshund, who died in 1888. His is the gravestone in the middle. Prince Herrmann had ordered that the dog be buried by the wall at Karl-Ludwigs-Platz, since he’d given so much pleasure and rendered faithful service in the hunt. The epitaph is difficult to decipher. It translates as: "In memory of dear Knerz, November 1888".
M: In keeping with tradition, only the princely family’s special favourites are given a gravestone even now. The number of dogs that have lived in the castle over the centuries is much larger.
In the 1590s alone, 73 dogs and hounds barked, kept guard and hunted here, according to the records.
F: Nowadays, dogs that die are no longer buried here. But they’re still given a gravestone. That’s what happened in the case of Zidane, Prince Philip's Labrador, who went to doggie heaven in 2015. He was given a historical gravestone, one that would fit in with the ensemble as a whole. In 2004, when Prince Philipp became lord of the castle, Zidane rose from lap dog to castle dog.
M: Now, please follow the path, on through the pergola passage to our rose garden.
Fotos: © Trüpschuch