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Thread: Possible Location for Nurmengard

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  1. #1
    Fifth Year Ravenclaw
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    Possible Location for Nurmengard

    Hello everyone. I'm working on a sequel to one of my stories and in it Nurmengard and the route to Nurmengard are crucial information to have. I have a good idea of the route I want my characters to take to get to Nurmengard, but I haven't firmly fixed where I would want Nurmengard to be. The lexicon said that it was somewhere in Europe, which doesn't help much. I have narrowed it down to three possible locations that I was planning to put the prison. Here are my ideas:

    1.) Near Innsbruck, Austria: This location has the Alps to the south of it and is near a river. It's also close to the Switzerland border (which is the country that my characters will have to go through since it is a neutral country in WWII). I thought it would be a good place to put Nurmengard because it is in mountainous terrain that is harder to attack.

    2.)Linz, Austria: This location doesn't have the mountains in the background, but it is near a major river (the Danube). At the time, it was also near the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. In my story, one of the characters will be sent to a concentration camp and it will have an effect on a second character that is in the prison and leave a terrible choice to be made by a third character who has to choose which person to save first (sorry if this sounds confusing, but I don't want to give any information away).

    3.) Near Munich, Germany: This is also near a concentration camp (Dachau concentration camp). It's near a river, but it's in Germany. I think it would be harder for my characters to cut into Germany than to cut into Austria from Switzerland.

    So far, I'm leaning towards putting the prison in Innsbruck because it is the closest location to the Switzerland border, and I think it will be easier for my characters to cut through a smaller part of Austria then a larger part of Germany (Munich location) or a larger part of Austria (Linz location).

    Does this sound like a good reasoning for where Grindelwald would place his prison? Would he want it defensible or would he want it more prominent? Do you think he would have placed it in Austria?

    What are your opinions on my location choices?

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  2. #2
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    Well, I would steer clear of the 'near Munich' option. We know that certain places in the wizarding world can be hidden right along side Muggle development, but I just don't feel like a prison could be one of those things. It would have to be very large, have a great deal of security, and house a great many people. I just don't see how this could be done anywhere near where large numbers of Muggles would be gathered.

    Also, I guess I'm not so sure about the concentration camp parallel either. Concentration camps imply victims, and I don't see Grindelwald as being much of a victim. If you are looking for a comparison, I would look into the Nuremberg Trials and the punishments of Nazi leaders after the war.

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  3. #3
    Fifth Year Ravenclaw
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    Also, I guess I'm not so sure about the concentration camp parallel either. Concentration camps imply victims, and I don't see Grindelwald as being much of a victim. If you are looking for a comparison, I would look into the Nuremberg Trials and the punishments of Nazi leaders after the war.
    Sorry I should have clarified some information. This takes place in 1940. Grindelwald won't be the victim, but the victimizer. He wants something from a certain character (character 1 who is in his prison) and he threatens to alert the Muggle forces to send someone character 1 loves (character 2) to a concentration camp. Character 3 comes in (who was on the hunt to save character 1) and has to make a terrible decision of saving character 1 or saving the one that they love (character 2) who is on their way to the concentration camp or there already.

    I hope that doesn't confuse you even more.

    And now that you mention the fact that Munich will have more people around it than the other locations, which will rule that location out. I think I will stick to the Innsbruck location since the prison could be hidden in the mountains to the south of Innsbruck (the Alps) and it would be a formidable place to put a prison.

    What does everyone think of this idea?

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  4. #4
    HARRYHARRYHARRYs_twin
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    I think Innsbruck is the most logical out of your three. Like Molly said, Munich is pretty well populated, and I think it will be more logical for your characters to be trekking across a shorter distance if the setting is right. Also, mountains can be very imposing, and I can invision Grindelwald finding somewhere that had the right setting. So, I support your decision fully.

    xxSelina

  5. #5
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by HARRYHARRYHARRYs_twin
    . . . Where's Tim?
    HERE I AM!

    First of all, I am excited that you are getting around to writing your sequel to The Traveler's Secret, Sheena. This reminds me, I better get around to continuing my own story... Dieter has been on the back burner for a long time and he'll probably murder me if I don't give him some attention.

    Anyway, WHERE IS NURMENGARD? This is a very good question. Deathly Hallows seems to imply that Nurmengard is located on an island somewhere in the middle of the sea much like Azkaban. The major clue is this sentence in Chapter 23, Malfoy Manor, after Voldemort murdered Grindelwald: "he could feel Voldemort flying through the sky from far away, over a dark and stormy sea, and soon he would be close enough to Apparate to them..." Nurmengard obviously has anti-Apparation spells all around it, so Voldemort has to fly over the sea to get to it.

    This means that Nurmengard has to be somewhere in the North Sea or Baltic Sea and close enough to the coast to be within easy Voldemort-flying distance. You can make up a fictional island or use one of several real ones. Note that before 1945, Germany's borders stretched all the way to Lithuania, so you can use any suitable location in the Southern Baltic (that is, assuming that Grindelwald's Germany has similar boundaries to its Muggle counterpart).

    Some potential islands along the southern Baltic coast include:
    Insel Poel
    Rügen (has some nice white chalk cliffs)
    Fehmarn
    Wolin
    Usedom

    However, these islands are largish and have Muggle settlements. I combed the coastlines for small, uninhabited islands on Google Maps and I found two more contenders:
    Greifswalder Oie (at about 54°14'54.24"N and 13°54'54"E)
    Wismarbucht (at roughly 53°58'29.28"N and 11°21'2.88"E)

    These islands are around a kilometer or two from the coast, but are pretty flat. I just don't find flat islands as interesting to build prisons on as steep, rocky ones.

    Moving on to the southern North Sea, there are a number of islands off the coast of Germany that could be suitable contenders. There are clusters of islands in the North Frisian and East Frisian Islands, but like the ones off the Baltic, these islands are still pretty flat.

    One good island is Helgoland (54°10′57″N, 7°53′7″E). It is surrounded by cliffs on all sides, and would be a good place to build a wizarding prison. Unfortunately, it is 46 kilometers from the coast, which is good for a prison but it probably more than a few short minutes' flight from the coast. Also, this island has a Muggle population of about 1200.

    In fact, I would recommend just making up an island. It can be hidden by magic, after all.

    Of course, this poses quite a problem for your story, in which you want the prison close to the Swiss border. Assuming your characters even knew where Nurmengard was, they will have a LOT of land to cover before they get there. If they know the prison is in the Baltic somewhere, I think it would make better sense for your characters to base themselves in neutral Sweden and make excursions from there.

    If you still want to place Nurmengard somewhere inland, I would recommend someplace in the Alps or in Poland, and nowhere near any Muggle cities. Wizards seem to have a thing for mountains and valleys, so I think a location hidden in the Alps would be a good site.

    Tim the Enchanter

  6. #6
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    I don't have as much info as Tim - but does anyone, really? XD

    I just wanted to say that I would not take Rügen - I've been there several times and there is a heck of a lot going on. Of course wizards could hide it easily, but it's a really cheery place - not where I would imagine a Prison.

    I think it would be neat to use a real one, if possible. It's always fun to see real places mentioned in books....

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