This is the guest post by my wife
We were going to one of the most famous tourist region of Germany. In segment from Worms to Koblenz the boatable Rhine necks down and kinks up, and there are dozens of medieval castles and towers, which rise on its high, often mountain coasts.
We preferred the road of castles to the road of wine and strongly did not lose anything. The banks of Rhine and Moselle are tightly planted with vinery and the Riesling was perfect every place we stopped at.
We chose three castles for viewing: Marksburg, Burg Eltz and Burg Stahleck – we did not have time to view more, unfortunately. The first castle on our way (and the nearest one to the airport) was Marksburg.
It seemed that it was a destiny!
We saw this castle in one guide-book – this big, picturesque tower, half-hidden in mist, looked mysterious and utterly attractive.
The picture, taken from a chopper, was a little bit varnished and was in a marked contrast to the one we managed to make ourselves.
We left the car at the foot of the hill and preferred to climb in a direction of ancient Marksburg through the woods. It was still, we were walking along hardly remaining moss-covered walls…
The climbing was not very long – approximately 15 minutes.
Here is the gate, but it looks like a moulage, unfortunately.
Fake castle – it is a blunder!
Marksburg is dated from 12th century. The castle-tower is situated on the high hill, and it was considered to be impenetrable for centuries.
We are here on behalf of these stones – they are the only thing, that survive from the stairs and they are original.
The clash of heavy armor and knightly warhorses is felt here everywhere… The walls are covered with coats of arms of former owners.
Unfortunately, the fortress was destroyed by American artillery almost completely in March 1945. After recovery from the war Germany began to restore what could and need to be restored. In the middle of 50th rebuilt Marksburg became the privacy of the state and it is a museum today.
The museum collection is modest, but its small arms hall is quite a pretty.
At the same time the view to the curve of the Rhine is very attractive. Tomorrow Burg Eltz is waiting for us.
After overnight in Koblenz our Mercedes headed deliberately and presentable from Rhine bank towards Moselle. It was only 30 km to the destination.
It is remarkably that within such a short interval the landscape has changed several times – boundless wheat fields alternated with crabby turns, followed by forest and lastly by the hills, which sheltered Burg Eltz castle from people and wars.
On the tiny patch of the rock over here, almost a thousand years ago Eltz family built their castle, surrounded with river neck on three sides.
Despite the great amount of wars, swept over this region for millennium, the castle survived undamaged. Graphs Eltz turned out to be thrifty managers.
It’s time to come in. Oh, it is a genuine dreamboat!
33 generations of Eltz owned and continue to own this miracle!
As long as the castle Burg Eltz is private property, only a part of courtyard, treasury and 8 rooms of the castle are available for viewing. It is not allowed to take photos in rooms – it is the wish of Graph Eltz, – but it is permitted to take photos in treasury.
- Come on, stop fool around! Are you really in short of these treasures?!!
We would be kicked out definitely!
Now we should hurry up to the Graph’s apartments. Well, what should we say (as we have nothing to show) – the place has the feel of romantic atmosphere, which gained popularity in the middle ages. There are the originals of arms, paintings and tapestries since 13th century on the walls. The fireplaces are the masterpiece of art! Almost all survived furniture is the original of 15th century.
Time and fashion changed a lot since then – you will feel all these changes as long as you appear in genuine interior and exterior of castle Burg Eltz.
Two hours passed immediately. There it is, so fast!
We’d rather not go, but we had to. The last passing glance from the walls.
And one coffee for the road (several cafes, restaurant, toilet rooms – all these facilities, in German manner, are kept scrupulously at tourists service).
The feeling of being inside a time machine!
Looking ahead, I’d like to say, that Burg Eltz appeared to be the best our castles!
We left together with tinny Teutonic knight, as a memento
There were approximately 80 kilometers to the destination of our following overnight – it was a town-toy Bacharach. The road was picturesque, the town met our expectations as well – bright, like Christmas ball.
We chose the castle Burg Stahleck because it was quite a logical.
After overnight in Bacharach and presumed viewing of local castle – as we say “all good things come in threes” – the team in Mercedes planned to move to ancient Trier to see Porta Nigra with our own eyes.
We liked Bacharach greatly, as well as other tiny towns on Rhine – the excellent variant for one night.
And wine… what’s a wonderful white wine is here ) We have replenished our supplies!
We wished the night raced by quickly… the castle was waiting for us the next day.
We climbed to Burg Stahleck early in the morning. Three-ring circus, teenagers which hurtled the pillows to each other, the fuss in the eatery, the smell of coffee from coffee vending machine… Golly! – there was a hostel in the castle. Though, nobody interrupted our sightseeing, we left Burg Stahleck in a quarter of hour.
The historical atmosphere of this place was lost permanently, and the legend, which brought us here, is so meltingly sad… The real dark Middle Ages…
A long time ago there were two castles in close vicinity (the second one is almost completely ruined today). Terribly green-eyed owner of the castle Stahleck decided to capture his more strong, brave and glorious neighbor. Indeed – the First Shooter! Well, let’s see, how you will grovel at my feet and beg for mercy. The command was given to servants, the neighbor was spied out, captured and taken to black hole.
The prisoner was completely distressed, but he did not beg for mercy and did not ransom. This First Shooter is stubborn beggar. As a punishment – “to put out his eyes!”
I don’t know, what was the baron-captor guided by, but one day during the bowl he decided to boast of his victory to his friends. It seemed, that he did not be afraid of disfavor. It was gloomy time. The prisoner was brought in, nobody took him for brilliant knight.
The captor had already become obsessed:
- Well, the First Shooter, I will extend the generosity and release you if you hit the cup I throw up.
The crossbow was carried out. Silver cup was thrown up: “Shoot!” – And the arrow ripped right into the throat of the cried man. In several minutes everything was over.
This story reached the King, the castle of criminal Baron was confiscated. Hundred years of silence and desertion were waiting for Burg Stahleck, and later the castle was seriously ruined during Napoleonic wars. And only now it seems that the History has left this place forever.
We left romantic Rhine. Three castles for two days. We wished to see more!
Choose thoroughly. In this land of legends there are many places to see, every rock is crowned here.
The “North Rome” was waiting for us – Trier – the most ancient town in Germany.