Germany is a land filled with historical buildings and German castles and forts are among the most renowned in the world. Each week I publish a post about a German castle or fort and tell you – my readers – about its history, important things to see there and much more.
Nestled between the Moselle River valley and the city of Koblenz in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is the Eltz Castle. The castle – meant to be a hill fort – was gifted to Rudolf von Eltz by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1157. It was intended to protect the strategically vital trading route on the Moselle River and is, thus, a great place for knight enthusiasts. The castle is encircled on three sides by the Elzbach River which is a tributary of the Moselle. In medieval times, this added to the defense of the castle. Today, it serves as a feature adding beauty to the castle surroundings.
The Eltz Castle has remained in the same family for over 850 years. During the centuries since the construction of the castle, the Eltz family gained prominence through their control of trade on the Moselle and Rhine Rivers, Trier and Mainz. In 1733, the family was given the title of the Counts of Eltz. TheEltz family’s fortunes suffered a setback during the French rule in the Rhineland from 1794-1815. Afterwards, through 1845-1888, during the days of the Prussian Empire Count Karl zu Eltz embarked on a major restoration of the castle. The castle was restored again between 2009 and 2011 by the State Office of Historic Monuments of Rhineland-Palatinate and is now a tourist attraction once again.
The main attractions of Eltz Castle are its enchanting location, the architecture and the vast collection of miniature gold sculptures, glass and porcelain. It is also a great place for knight lovers to go.
The castle harbors an extensive collection of knight armor. The collection in the Treasure Chamber is very big and detailed and is of quite high quality. The collection was built over the years by the Eltz family.
You can get to Eltz Castle by road, rail and even boat! On weekends and public holidays, a bus runs directly up to the castle. More information on how to get there can be found here; just select your mode of transportation. The entry prices and opening timings are here. Tours are also available in many languages including English. You cannot enter the castle buildings without a tour. However, it’s totally worth it
because the tour guides explain things about each and every room in great detail and clarify things a lot. Keep in mind, that the castle is medieval so it isn’t as luxurious as others constructed later. However, by medieval standards its actually quite a comfortable home for the rich of those times.
Here’s some castle trivia: Eltz Castle was featured on the DM 500 banknote from the 1965 series. It remains the only castle or fort in Germany to be ever featured on a Deutschmark banknote.