Castles to See In the Mosel Valley – Planning Your Trip to Germany
Updated September 8, 2020
If you are planning a trip to Germany anytime soon, then you must make visiting castles part of your itinerary. With over 20,000 castles scattered across Germany, it won’t be hard to find one. On our latest journey to Germany we decided to check out castles located along the Mosel River. This is a beautiful part of Germany and is covered in Vineyards and of course, castles. This post will introduce you to some castles to see in the Mosel Valley.
If you decide to venture on this quest, just know you are in for an amazing history lesson. These castles have been built, damaged, destroyed and rebuilt for almost a thousand years. They are all very intriguing in their own way.
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We begin with Burg Lundshut, located in the picturesque town of Bernkastel, high above the Mosel river. Not only does its location makes it a popular stop for the River Cruises, after spending just a little time here, you might want to come back and spend a week.
There are multiple options for reaching the castle and it can accommodate most visitors. You can hike up the trail from the center of the town of Bernkastel-Kues. Of course you know this is the way we went if you read my blog. Walking is my favorite way to see the world, but it is not for everyone. The walk is only about 30 minutes. You can also drive your self up to the top, because there is a restaurant located in the castle. The third option is to take the fun, yellow tour truck to the top, which is perfect is you happen to be visiting Bernkastel by boat.
Burg Eltz is definitely one of the castles to see in the Mosel Valley region. Burg Eltz holds it’s own magical story and is simply stunning high above the trees of Eltz forest.
Burg Eltz, is special because it is still owned by members of the original family that date back to the 1300’s. It’s also a rare breed of castle because it has never been destroyed or severely damaged. This is of course is why it’s just magnificent to behold. The interior tour is quite nice, but you won’t see the entire castle because there is a completely closed section that the owners still use.
You can access the castle from various access points along the road leading up to Burg Eltz, and there is a nominal cost to park, only 2 euro. I highly recommend the hike through the forest to get there because it is magical to see the castle slowly come into view as you round the corner and the forest opens up to the glorious sight of Burg Eltz. The photo opportunity itself is worth the hike! That being said, hiking is not an option for us all and I don’t want anyone to feel excluded. You can get fairly close to the castle and park your vehicle and then there is a small tram that will take you the rest of the way.
Burg Eltz is opened daily from – 9:30 to 5:30 (time of the last tour). Until November 3, 2019
The tour admission prices are as follows: 10€ for adults and 6,50€ for students and disabled visitors.
Oberburg and Neiderburg
These castles are located in the quaint town of Mandersheid, Germany. They are not in quite the condition as Eltz and Cochem, but we enjoyed the visit just the same. They are more ruins than castle, but they are so close to each other, you can actually hike between them, which was quite nice. The trail is narrow though and involves going uphill and down, so I would not advise this activity for everyone.
There are really cool views from the top of Oberburg and if you love photography like I do, you can get really nice shots of Neiderburg castle. Neiderburg castle is little better preserved than Oberburg, which is why there is a 3€ entrance fee and Oberburg is free to explore. Oberburg castle does have a sturdy set of stairs to climb to the top, but it does go quite high. Please be mindful of this is you have physical limitations.
We really enjoy visiting these castles regardless of how well preserved they are, because each just has its own charm and character. It’s fascinating to imagine the lives of the original inhabitants of these old world castles.
Cochem Imperial Castle
This lovely castle is located in the town of Cochem, Germany, and is formerly known as, Reichsburg Cochem. It dates back to the 12th century and was occupied by King Conrad III, in 1151, who declared it an Imperial castle. Reichsburg Cochem was one of our favorite castles to see in the Mosel Valley
It remained the Imperial castle until 1688, when King Louis XIV’s troops over took it in the Nine Year’s War. The following year they destroyed it and the castle remained in ruin for almost 200 years.
A Berlin businessman, Louis Frèderic Jacques Ravenè, purchased the property in 1868, and had it completely reconstructed in the Gothic Revival style. Unfortunately, Mr. Ravenè, was strongly encouraged to sell the castle to the Third Reich. Not to worry, the city of Cochem has now owned the castle since 1978. It is a towering testament to the strength and perseverance of Germany.
I do recommend the tour of the castle and the grounds themselves are quite lovely. As an added bonus, if you make the hike up to the castle, you will have an amazing view of the town of Cochem and the meandering Moselle River. To reach the castle you can hike straight up threw town, or you can drive and park closer to the entrance.
- Adults: €6
- Children (6-17): €3
- Groups 12+: €5
- Students: €5
- Family Ticket (2 adults + children): €16
If you happen to visit Cochem on a Friday or Saturday, you have the option to take part in the Medieval Dinner at the Cochem Castle. You will enjoy a robust feast of drumsticks, soups, bread, and lard! To make it more authentic you will be catered to by servants and maids in period costumes. The cost of dinner includes a tour of the castle and the total event lasts about 4 hours. The cost is 49€ per person and 24.50€ for children (6-17). Be sure to book in advance if you would like to enjoy this fun activity.
First of all, this particular castle is located on the Rhine River, not the Mosel. I have included Stolzenfels Schloss because not only is it gorgeous, it is located in Koblenz which has the unique vantage point of being the city where the Rhine and the Mosel come together. This is important because this made what is now known as Koblenz, a very defining part of the vast Roman Empire. It’s name comes from the Latin word, cōnfluentēs, meaning “(at the) confluence” of the two rivers. Stolzenfels is definitely one of the castles to see in the Mosel Valley.
You can learn even more about the Romans influence and all they left behind in my post, A Lovely Day in Trier.
Stolzenfels has a deep history as well originally built in the 13th century as a fort to protect the toll station on the Rhine, where ships at the time had to stop and pay a toll. Over the years the original fort was reinforced and additions were added until it was destroyed in the late 1600’s. Finally, the former fortress was given to the city of Koblenz in 1802. The city then gifted the castle to Prince Frederick William IV. Because he was so enthralled with the beauty and history of the area, he had the property completely restored in the Romanticism period style as a Gothic Revival Palace.
Stolzenfels Schloss is accessible by a lovely curved path that goes up the side of the rock it sits on. It is a smooth, paved path that makes the hike easier. Never the less, it is still pretty much straight uphill. Along the way you can visit the Chapel, which has the quaintest cemetery. I think many would find as a wonderful resting place. As you go up the hill you have a superior views of the Rhine below and the village. You also have a view of two other castles you may want to explore and a lovely Cathedral.
There is a parking lot at the base of the hill, but be careful. If you’re using GPS to locate Stolzenfels, the street to turn on comes on you abruptly and it is a narrow uphill street that is very easy to miss. You can also park on the street out front by the river.
Stolzenfels is open daily every month except December.
The entrance fee is 5€ for adults and 3€ for children.
Free Map of this Trip! – Be sure to tap Legend in upper left corner of map
Obviously you don’t have to visit all of these castles on your trip, but any them are a perfect day trip to add to your itinerary if you are going to be in the area. If you will be visiting Germany soon, you may also like my post German Phrases You Need to Know.
Finally, I do hope you found this castles to see in the Mosel Valley inspiring. Additionally, if you’re ready to plan that trip to Germany to see these castles, check out these great deals here.
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