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What Is the House of Frankenstein?

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Castle Frankenstein is located in the German mountains. People associate it with the stories of a mysterious alchemist who made experiments on corpses. But the connection between Mary Shelley and the castle that gave the novel its name remains unclear.

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Frankenstein Castle is located in Germany in the mountains of Odenwald near the city of Darmstadt. The name comes from two words: the tribe of Franks and the German word “stein,” meaning “stone.” The first mentions of the castle refer to the 13th century. After a period of prosperity, in the 18th century, it was abandoned and fell into ruins. The building and the surrounding area, covered in dark forests, are shrouded in mystery. Many folk-tales and legends mention it.

The castle is thought to have served as inspiration for Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. In the 17th century, the alchemist Johann Conrad Dippel lived there. His story presumably influenced the writer when she created Victor Frankenstein. Dippel was said to accidentally create a monster during his search for the elixir of life. He carried out his experiments on dead bodies. There were many rumors about Dippel and the castle, but none of them were proved.

The connection between Mary Shelley and the House of Frankenstein also remains unclear. The castle became popular in the 19th century as a part of that time’s fascination with Gothic culture. In 1814, before starting the novel, Mary Shelley traveled along the Rhine. She stayed in Gernsheim, a town about ten miles away from the castle. However, Shelley’s journals of that time never mention it. The role of the place in the creation of the novel remains a mystery.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'What Is the House of Frankenstein'. 28 June.

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