Castles everywhere. Some of them are ruins abandoned for hundreds of years. Others have been renovated and turned into hotels. And there are a few frauds — 19th or 20th centuries imitations. And they all can be seen along a stretch of the Upper Middle Rhine River that has been designated a UNESCO Heritage Site.
The Rhine Castles with Dragan portion of our cruise took place on the morning of Day Four of our cruise on the Avalon Felicity from Basel to Amsterdam. Altogether there are exactly 42 castles along the Rhine River Gorge from Rudesheim to Koblenz. And Dragan, our cruise director, had a story for everyone of them. I clicked while Dragan talked and I was able to bring home photos of most of the castles we saw that day.
The Abbey of St Hildegard of Eibingen was built in the early years of the 20th century.
The Germania Monument (under renovation) near Bingen
Klopp Castle in the heart of Bingen
Castle Ehrenfels near Bingen
Mauseturm (Mice Tower of Bingen). We heard the legend of the cruel 10th century archbishop who was eaten alive by mice in this tower.
Another view of Ehrenfels Castle.
Our last view of Ehrenfels
Another view of Assmanns-Hausen
Castle Reichenstein above Trechtingshausen
Sooneck Castle was built in the 11th century and destroyed in 1282, rebuilt and destroyed again in 1689. In 1861 it was converted into a hunting lodge for German royalty.
Heimburg Castle, Niederheimbach
Ruine Nollig over Lorch
Castle Stahleck was destroyed by the French in 1689 and rebuilt in the 20th century. It is now a youth hostel.
Burg Stahleck overlooks Bacharach and Peterskirche.
Castles Pfalzgrafenstein and Gutenfels
Pfalfz Castle looks like a ship. King Ludwig stretched a chain across the river and employed old and crippled soldiers as archers to ensure that all passing boats paid their toll.
The Blucher Monument in Kaub. General Blucher crossed the Rhine at Kaub on New Year’s 1813/1814, surprised Napoleon and drove him out of Germany.
Gutenfels means “hard rock.” The castle was given this name after surviving a 39-day siege in 1504. It is now a hotel.
Castle Schonburg overlooks Oberwesel
The Liebfrauenkirche in Oberwesel
Another view of castle and church
St Martin’s Church and Oxen Tower in Oberwesel
Rheinfels Castle, St Goar
Rheinfels Castle, St Goar. What we see today is one-third of its original size. Napoleon blew up the other two-thirds in the 1790s.
Burg Maus Castle, Wellmich. According to legend,the count of Katzenelnbogen once said that the Mouse Castle would be eaten by the Cats (Katz) Castle nearby.
Marksburg Castle overlooks Braubach. It is the only medieval castle on the Middle Rhine that was never destroyed. It was heavily damaged by American artillery in 1945, however.
Shortly after passing this last castle we arrived in Coblenz (Koblenz in German), just in time for lunch. I will cover our afternoon walking tour of this pleasant city in my next posting.