Eltz Castle — Its Solitude And Beauty Stimulate Imagination

“Eltz Castle is simply what a castle should be. Its solitude and the beauty of its situation stimulate the imagination.” So wrote Georg Dehio, a preeminent 19th century German art historian, about the majestic Eltz Castle or Burg Eltz.

About The Eltz Castle And Its History

Burg Eltz dates back to some time between the 9th and 13th century. One of the first references to it can be traced to an 1157 document where a gentleman named Rudolf zu Eltz bore witness to a deed of Frederick Barbarossa’s. He lived in the original version of what would become the historic castle, at this time, just a simple manor house in a particularly strategic location above the River Moselle.

Slowly over time, different fortifications were added. The shape of the castle is largely due to the craggy, irregular shaped rock on which it is built.

The Eltz residence was soon divided amongst several heirs, who lived together for a time before fighting each other in a bitter feud. The succession laws of the Holy Roman Empire allowed more than one rightful owner at a time, and none of them had enough money to build their own castle.

This law, along with some fancy Machiavellian marriages and diplomacy have ensured that the Castle has lived to see the modern day with very little change.

With over eighty rooms, forty fireplaces and primitive toilets that flushed with rain water, Burg Eltz was a luxurious getaway for its time!

Eltz Castle Highlights And Features

Rübenach Rooms

Some of the castle’s best architecture can be seen in the Rübenach additions, which were constructed in the 1400s. The bedroom is famous for its lavishly ornate wall decoration. The room also features a small toilet, a pretty chapel and an impressive canopy bed that is decorated with hunting scenes.

The lower hall shows off some massive 500-year old oak beams and rare paintings, notably the “Madonna with child and grapes” by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

A treasure vault is the last Rübenach room. In here, you can view all sorts of gold and silver artifacts, from jewelry to drinking cups to weapons.

Rose and Jester Room

This meeting room was a place of particular importance for this multi-family home. The medieval conference table was decorated with two motifs. The first is the jester, who symbolizes the “fool’s freedom,” i.e., that a jester may say anything he wishes, even to a king. The second decoration is the “rose of silence.”

Placed together, these motifs reminded the families that while they could say whatever they wished to each other while in the the room, nothing could be repeated once they left its confines. It was the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” of its time.

Eltz Castle Location And Opening Hours

You can find the magnificent Eltz Castle in the small town of Münstermaifeld, between the cities of Koblenz and Trier in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate. Burg Eltz stands tall above the Moselle River in a highly strategic location.

GPS users can input the address Burg Eltz in Münstermaifeld for turn-by-turn directions.

The nearest autobahns to the castle are the A61 and the A48. Follow the signs to Münstermaifeld and the castle parking lot. You can take a shuttle bus from the car park if you don’t want to walk the 800 meters to the castle.

Those coming by train can hike the paths from the stations at Moselkern or Karden. Be sure to bring your best hiking shoes! Some of these paths are not for beginners. ;-)

Eltz Castle Opening Hours

In the summertime, from April to November, you can visit Eltz Castle anytime from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A guided tour is required to view the interior. The castle is closed in the winter.

Eltz Castle Web site: http://www.burg-eltz.de

 

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