“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance…
Imagine a medieval castle hidden away in a valley surrounded by a beautiful forest. A place that could be the perfect setting for a fairy tale.
Germany has a rich history of kings, lords and rich families who have been dominating different areas. A reason why there are so many castles that can still be visited today.
One particular place has stolen my heart and has absolutely overwhelmed me: Eltz castle, a medieval castle nestled in the hills above the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier.
I do love to look at all sorts of travel photos on instagram to get inspired. One photo immidiately had my attention. The unique architecture of the castle and it surroundings fascinated me and I was positvely suprised after doing some research that Eltz castle was just a short two hour drive away from Frankfurt. One morning, we decided to do the trip and started driving. Soon the sat nav was leading us on small country roads past fields and little villages. We got there and parked the car. Still no castle in sight. We met a friendly group who offered us something from their picnic and they told us how much they enjoyed their visit. In front of us was laying a walk of 15 minutes through the forest. For the majority of that time there is still nothing to see and the excitment grows from step to step.
Finally when we turned around a corner we could see it. There it was, Eltz Castle, placed on a 70 metre high rock in the forest looking like from a picture book. We entered and where impressed to see that after all those centuries, it was still in such a good condition. The castle is over 850 years old and still owned by a branch of the same family that lived there in the 8th century, 33 generations ago. It was once built on an important Roman trade route between rich farmland and the markets. Since it remained unscathed by war, it is still standing in its glory- fascinating visitors with its unique architecture.
The group that we met previously, highly recommended us to take a guided tour of the inside of this historical place. The tour lead us through the nomerous rooms, where in many the original furnishing of the past eight centuries still remain in place. We walked through the dining room with paintings from the 8th century of incredible worth, went up to one of the master bedrooms, through the armory and the kitchen. Because everything is so well kept and the rooms are still furnished it is easy to imagine what life was like in that time. You can experience the Middle Age and nature here in its purest form.
I found myself daydreaming about the great festivities they held in the past, the laughter, music and dancing.
We ended the day in a small restaurant at the castle well and enjoyed some hearty German food while overlooking the Eltz forest, a beautiful nature reserve full of rare flora and fauna.
- Eltz Castle is open daily from 29th March until 1st November. Opening hours: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
- Getting there: You can easily get here by car, motorbike or by bus from Münstermaifeld and Wierschem. From the parking it takes approx. 15 minute to walk or you can take the shuttle bus.
- To visit castle or the restaurant you don’t need to pay. A guided tour through the inside of the castle and a visit to the armory and treasury is 9 € and is highly recommended.
- Guided tours of the interior of the castle begin every 10-15 minutes. Tours are also available in English, French or Dutch.
- The Treasury and Armory are one of the most important collections of its kind in Europe.
- Address: Kastellane Burg Eltz, 56294 Wirschem, Germany.