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Located on the western bank of the river Rhine, Rheinfels Castle is a castle ruin offering spectacular views of the river and its surrounding areas in Sankt Goar, Germany. This massive castle was once known to be the largest fortress in the Middle Rhine Valley. Today, it is the largest castle overlooking the river Rhine. Majorly occupied by castle ruins, few outer buildings of this complex are now restored as a luxury hotel, wellness center, and a restaurant. Visitors can also see some better-preserved structures in the museum at this historic place.
Perched atop a green hill which towers over a picturesque lake, Rheinstein Castle is a dazzling portrait of medieval charm and splendor, with every nook and cranny bearing traces of its historical lineage. Nestled amid thick and verdant foliage, the splendid architectural specimen features exposed brickwork, a portcullis and a drawbridge, with the main structure being flanked by impressive towers surrounded by a garden abundant in grapevine. The interior is as much a delight as the exterior; expansive chambers are adorned in elegant decor which accentuates their old-school nuances, weaving a striking tapestry for awed tourists to admire. Traipse through the hallways as you absorb a wealth of information afforded by insightful displays or make a pit stop at the on-site restaurant to recharge and replenish your strength. The castle also incorporates other attractions like the elaborately carved chapel and a magnificent room named the Knight's Hall which is hailed for its resplendent stained glass windows.
Germany is a land known for its magnificent castles and almost every city has at least one of its own. Overlooking the river, Schloss Stolzenfels is situated on the outskirts of the ancient city of Koblenz. This medieval castle was built by Arnold von Isenburg, the Archbishop of Trier and used as a toll station. Later it was the office of the Electorate of Trier. During the Nine Years War, it was damaged by the French and was in ruin for 150 years. It was gifted to Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1815. He delegated Karl Friedrich Schinkel to rebuild the building. The neoclassic architect turned it into a beautiful neo-Gothic building. It was the Prussian King's favorite summertime residence. Take a stroll through the gardens, halls and royal rooms of this romantic castle to get a glimpse into the past.
Burg Pfalzgrafenstein or Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, or simply the Pfalz, is a historic toll collecting station. In administration since the 14th Century, tolls ceased in 1867, but the castle retained its unique architecture. Built on the Falkenau island over the Rhine, its dimensions match that of the island. A pentagonal tower, baroque tower top, turrets and gun bastions were added over the centuries. A short ferry ride from the Kaub shore takes visitors to this present day museum.
Klopp Castle of Rhineland-Palatinate enchants its visitors with its Gothic charm. The original castle was established in the 13th Century and after the main building was decayed only the keep remained. This keep was developed further and today the entire structure houses the local Town House. Earlier the keep was developed to house the local history museum but was moved to a different property later. Now the castle houses restaurant which is very popular among the local population.
Not far from the small village of Wellmich, the Maus Castle is a historic structure that dates back to the 14th Century. It was erected near the River Rhine by Bohemond II, the then Archbishop-Elector of Trier. It was used by the subsequent Triers in the later years. Over time the castle began to be neglected and was further damaged during World War II. Today, the renovated structure is used as an aviary for eagles and falcons. Guided tours of the castle are offered, however registration is a must. Maus Castle also acts as an event venue, hosting concerts, wedding receptions and other events.
Stahleck Castle or Burg Stahleck is a fortified castle on the left bank of the river Rhine. It was built in the 12th Century under the Archbishop of Cologne, but was later destroyed only to be rebuilt in the 20th Century. Towering at 160 meters (520 feet) above sea level, it boasts stunning views of the Lorelei valley. Some of its architectural features include a bergfried, a moat and a riverside courtyard. The castle is now used as a hostel for travellers and backpackers.
Housed in the region above the Braubach town within the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany is the fortress of Marksburg, an iconic castle and a famous sight. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fortress dates back to the 12th Century. However, it was reconstructed and remodeled many times throughout the course of its existence. Guided tours are available and lend valuable insight into the history and culture of the castles' inhabitants as well as the surrounding regions.
With an interesting and varied history behind it, the impressive Lahneck Castle is built on top of a high cliff and overlooks the Rhine River. Its massive structure imbibes medieval defense style of building and it was in fact initially constructed in 1244 as a defense for the Mainz estates in Lahnstein. After being damaged in the war, it stayed uninhabited till it was undertaken for restoration and maintenance. The interiors of the Castle represent excellent medieval furniture and art works and the spacious rooms, knight’s hall and the majestic staircase are all beautifully preserved till date. From the pentagonal keep, one can enjoy far reaching sights ranging from the Lahn delta and the nearby Stolzenfels Palace.
Situated in the city of Oberwesel, Schönburg is an elaborately-built castle that dates back to 911 CE. It was owned by the Dukes of Schönburg for hundreds of years beginning in the 12th Century. The castle remained in their family till it was burnt down by French troops in 1689. After restorations in the 19th Century, the castle was reopened as a hotel. The hotel offers a lavish setting for a memorable holiday with rooms and suites featuring period furnishings and decor. Beautiful views of the Rhine Valley can be seen from some of the hotel rooms. There is a restaurant that serves delicious authentic cuisine as well.
An old-world gem, the stupendous Sooneck Castle is one of the most popular tourist hotspots situated near the idyllic, unspoiled hamlet of Niederheimbach in Germany. It is perched elegantly near the top of the Rhine gorge - a solitary structure surrounded by the viridescent Rhine valley. The medieval fortress forms a minor chunk of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and tours are available on site. The castle dates back to 13th Century, and was owned by numerous aristocrats and royals since its inception. At present, the site belongs to the government. Don't give this place a miss if you happen to be in Niederheimbach.
A sister castle of the Sterrenberg Castle, Liebenstein Castle is another prominent landmark of the area. Both the castles together are called the “hostile brothers” due to the frequent differences between their occupants in the medieval era. Today, the castle exists as a hotel and offers tourists a spectacular holiday in the Rhine Valley. The rooms and suites are well-furnished with modern amenities that provide utmost comfort. One can also request for trekking trips in the surrounding region. Besides, the hotel is houses a restaurant charming medieval style restaurant that is known for offering delicious German cuisine along with an extensive wine list and stunning views of the region. The rates of the hotel are seasonal, it is best to check their current rates on their website before planning your vacation here.