Idilia Dubb

Connected with Lahneck castle is the tragic/romantic story of Idilia Dubb.

Although later research has thrown question marks over some of the original details of the story, in essence the following account can most probably be accepted as true.

The Dubb family (the parents and three children - one of whom was Idilia) embarked on a trip to the Rhine in 1851.This led them in due course to Koblenz at the Northern end of the Rhine Valley.

After the first night at a local hotel the adventurous Idilia set out the next morning to explore the area. Seeing Castle Lahneck - then in a state of poor repair - she decided to climb to the top of one of the towers from where she would be well positioned to make a sketch of the Rhine below. It was her dream to become a famous painter.

Following a footpath that lead to the castle she finally arrived at the base of the castle and then climbed to the top of the selected tower. But alas for poor Idilia, no sooner had she reached the top of the tower than the rickety wooden staircase that she had used for her assent, collapsed.

She was now "marooned" on the top of the tower 20 meters (60 feet) above the ground. In vain she tried to draw attention to her plight, but although seen by some people on the ground they merely returned her wave, not realising that it was a plea for help. 

When she did not return, the police were contacted and an extensive search was instigated. This was however in vain as no trace of her was found and the distressed family had finally to return to Scotland without her.

Several years later (1860) construction workers sent to effect repairs on the castle found a skeleton at the top of one of the towers.

When Idila realised that her chances of being saved were minimal,she started keeping a diary in which the poignant story of her last few days on earth, as she was dying of thirst, are recorded.

It was this diary, lying next to her remains, that enabled identification of the skeleton.

In the diary she wrote of her resolve to throw herself from the tower to end her suffering but whether she did not do this because of a lack of stength or whether she clung to a last vestige of hope until the very end we shall never know.

               Below is an extract from Idilia Dubb's diary.

                                  " Father in heaven have mercy on my soul"

I have only managed to find three books covering the Idilia Dubb story. They are:

i) Das verschwundene Mädchen - as the title will tell you it is in German and for those of you who can understand German I can throughly recommend the book - a delightful romantic story (although obviously with a very sad ending) starting with the family's departure from England.

ii) Idilia Dubbs Dagbok - This is her diary but in Swedish. Strange that the diary originally written in English is now only available in book form in Swedish.

iii) Germany - Come explore with me. A wonderful little book covering a journey of discovery through Germany by a Swedish couple. Idilia Dubb is covered in the section on the Rhine.

Return from Idilia Dubb to Lahneck Castle.

Return from Idilia Dubb to Rhine Valley Vacations.