Rhine/Mosel Castles

Old Sep 25th, 2014, 08:27 AM
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Rhine/Mosel Castles

Which castles did you find most interesting to tour/visit? And how much time would you dedicate to each castle? Based out of Cochem, probably have time to visit 2, maybe 3 castles. We enjoy scenic hikes and views leading up to the castle probably as much as the castle itself.

It seems these are the top 4 in the area, so thoughts on these especially is appreciated:
Burg Eltz
Reichsburg Cochem
Burg Rheinfels

k_traveler is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 09:03 AM
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All four are fine. This would be my ranking:

1. Burg Eltz
2. Reichsburg Cochem
3. Markburg
4. Burg Rheinfels (which is more like a ruin, but might have its charms. Take a flashlight to explore the darker areas of the ruin!)

Base your decision primarily travelwise. For each castle, two hours would be sufficient plus some time for hiking around as you wish.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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I led hundreds of folks thru the Rhine and Mosel in long past years and the consensus best castle was:

Burg Eltz, along with Marksburg, one of the few intact authentic old castles along the Mosel or Rhine here - most others being laid to ruin by marauding armies in this strategically militarily important area.

Marksburg - about the only other authentically old castle.

Cochem Castle - really mint-like condition but because it is Ersatz or a reconstructed medieval caslte sometimes in the late 1880s I think.

I never really explored Burg Rheinsfels as it was a bit off our route. But there is a ruined castle high above Cochem - can't recall its name - but if you trek up there on a two-wheel track you come to a clifftop ruined castle - nothing fancy - not restored and always free and open to the public and the views from up there are simply stunning.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 11:11 AM
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Burg Eltz is the only one we've seen and it was outstanding!
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 11:20 AM
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Burg Eltz was outstanding and Marksburg was wonderful.
michele_d is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 03:28 PM
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There are many ways to cut this list. I happened to visit all four of them last week. Yes, I like castles.

VIEW of the castle from outside:
Burg Eltz - you can see from above, from below from left or right
Reichsburg Cochem – looks most impressive from the town
Marksburg – white and way up on mountain top
Burg Rheinfels – if you want a ruin, this is it.

VIEW from the castle:
Reichsburg Cochem – balcony view when taking a tour has the commanding view of the river bend
Marksburg – command view of the Rhine
Burg Rheinfels – another fine view of the St. Goar / Lorelei Rock area
Burg Eltz – it is located on a saddle tucked between higher mountains.

What is inside:
Burg Eltz – mostly original things belonging to the same family that continuously owned the castle
Marksburg – castle restored using period materials
Reichsburg Cochem – 19th century private residence of a wealthy merchant
Burg Rheinfels – just the structure ruin

Guided tour requirement
Burg Eltz – visit inside by tours only. Frequent English tours.
Reichsburg Cochem – visit inside by tours only. Only in German unless a group of 20 or more.
Marksburg – visit inside by tours only. Frequent German tours, infrequent English tours.
Burg Rheinfels – You can wonder around on your own. However, without a routing strategy, you will go up and down stairs needlessly.

Access from Cochem (if you are not driving)
Reichsburg Cochem – It is in town.
Burg Eltz – If you are in Cochem, this is the second accessible castle.
Marksburg – pretty lengthy trip by train
Burg Rheinfels – another long trip from Cochem

Mobility access (to parking lot area)
Burg Rheinfels – It is a short in town walk up hill. There is a tourist train every 30min. The parking lot is at the entrance level,.
Reichsburg Cochem – Buses from Cochem bus station. Then 10 min walk up hill to the entrance.
Marksburg – There is an unpredictable tourist train. If not, take a taxi, 11EU fixed rate, then 10 min of steep climb to the entrance.
Burg Eltz – If you don’t drive, on weekends, there are bus from Treis-Karden on weekends and holidays only. On weedays, take taxi from Treis-Karden or from Cochem (about 55EU). From parking lot, walk or take 2EU shuttle bus to the foot of the castle, then 5 min walk up to the entrance.

Hiking I have done mostly down hill hikes.
Burg Eltz – Walk to Moselkern takes about 90 min without stop. There is a hotel about ½ way, or about 1.5 miles from Moselkern (30min) Landhotel Ringelsteiner Mühle, which makes a good lunch stop if you visited Burg Eltz in the morning.
Reichsburg Cochem – I took bus both ways.
Marksburg – The walk down to Braubach takes 30 min. It is steeper than the Eltz walk, but somewhat better maintained.
Burg Rheinfels – It is more of a walk in a city park to St. Goar.

If you want to come back later, Rheinfels would be the easiest one to add on later as long as you can handle ups and downs and dark pathways once inside the castle.
greg is online now  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 03:55 PM
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I walked both ways from Moselkern to Burg Eltz and back and found it a wonderful walk - gently enough uphill thru a forest with the castle looming every closer over head.

Trains trundle constantly between Cochem and Moselkern and then there are taxis or mini-buses waiting usually. If not walking try to share a cab. Cab up and walk down if the uphill stroll seems daunting.

Burg Eltz is such a famous castle in Germany that it used to grace the backsides of the 500-Deutsche Mark banknote (think it was the 500 - one of the larger ones anyway).

Cochem's Ersatz castle to me was much more interesting on the outside than inside - there are nice paths thru the vineyards that circle the hillock-top castle.
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Old Sep 25th, 2014, 03:58 PM
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See if this shows Burg Eltz on the back of a 500 DM note.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2014, 06:16 PM
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Thanks for the tips! That was a wonderfully comprehensive review of the castles, and very helpful
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