Polch — Surrounded By Four Great Castles

Whoo-hoo, another town where you can hit the motherlode of German castles. Oh yeah, Polch is seriously ranking among my favorite places in the Rhineland-Palatinate.

But first, a little history, if you’ll indulge me. It’s said that Polch’s beginnings go back to at least Merovingian times (circa 500 A.D.). At least that’s what the ancient graves that were found here show.

In all actuality, Polch’s history goes back before that — because on the spot where you’ll find the St. George Chapel (from the 11th century & one of the oldest of its kind in the area) was once the site of an Ancient Roman Temple.

Two more churches round out your trip to Polch. First the Pfarrkirche St. Stephanus (1849), and the Hospitalkapelle, a neo-Gothic chapel from the 1880s. Sorry, make that three — the Abbey of St. Matthias (built 1748) is a must as well.

The last religious site in Polch is the former Synagogue. It was used by Polch’s Jewish Community from the 19th century — right up until the 1930s. Today it is used again, this time as the town’s Cultural Center.

Oh goody, it’s getting to be time to see the nearby castles, isn’t it? A couple more things first, though. I need to tell you about the bike path that runs along an old train route, the Toy & Doll Museum, and the very fun (and good eats) Rapsbl├╝ten & Spargelfest every May.

With all that said & done, time to head to any one (or all) of the four castles surrounding Polch. Burg Eltz is probably the most famous, and if you’re into the whole “could be haunted” thing, this is the right one for you.

I haven’t heard of any ghosts at Burg Pyrmont, just stories about it architecture from when it was originally built back in the 13th century.

Burg Bischofstein is most famous for its white ring of plaster on its 20 meter high tower, that has somehow has managed to survive all these years. Heck, it even managed to survive after the French destroyed this late 13th century castle in 1689.

Saving my favorite for last, Burg Wernerseck is a castle ruin — built by Werner von Falkenstein, an Archbishop of Trier. It’s not as if the castle is haunted, nor do I know of any naughty deeds by Mister Werner. I just love the starring at this 14th century castle. Not to mention the views of the surrounding Eifel.

That sure is a lot of history in and around Polch. And many thanks for indulging me as I wander about the town and its surrounding castles. Next time we’ll do it together!

 

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