Europe's largest fortress, towering 400 feet above the left bank of the Rhine, offers a magnificent view over Koblenz and where the Mosel and the Rhine rivers meet. The earliest buildings date from about 1100, but the bulk of the fortress was constructed in the 16th century. In 1801 it was partially destroyed by Napoléon, and the French occupied Koblenz for the next 18 years. For an introduction to the fortress and its history, head for the Besucherdienst (visitor center). English-language tours are for groups only, but you can often join a group that is registered for a tour.
A Seilbahn (cable car) carries you from the street Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer over the river to Ehrenbreitstein, with spectacular views of the Deutsches Eck below. The half-mile trip can accommodate 7,000 passengers in an hour. Lifts run continually throughout the day starting at 10 am. From late March to late October they run until 6 pm, from late April to early September till 7 pm, and from November
to late March they run on weekdays only until 5 pm.
Landesmuseum Koblenz. The Festung Ehrenbreitstein's museum has exhibits on the history of local technologies, from wine growing to technology. Pride of place is given over to the fortress's 16th-century Vogel Greif cannon, which has done a lot of traveling over the years. The French absconded with it in 1794, the Germans took it back in 1940, and the French commandeered it again in 1945. The 15-ton cannon was peaceably returned by French president François Mitterrand in 1984. Festung Ehrenbreitstein, Koblenz. 0261/66750. www.landesmuseum-koblenz.de. €4. Apr.–Oct., daily 10–6; Nov.–Mar., daily 10–5.