Walk through this article to step into a world of enchantment at the Eltz Castle in Germany- a fairytale Castle to experience life at its grandest without leaving the 21st century!
Gird yourself now as we unlock the doors of the past for you to indulge in ultimate luxury and romance and escape the life of the mundane for a few minutes at Eltz Castle in Germany.
Among the many castles in Germany that have transcended the test of time to date, the Eltz Castle or Burg Eltz tops the itinerary list of tourists across the globe. Why?
Because it is the place where history, romance, and luxury come alive!
This enchanting castle stands in the heart of a dense forest rich with flora and fauna on a 70 m high rock and is surrounded by a stream.
The astonishing part is that the castle has been owned by the Eltz family even today since the 12th century.
The current castle owner is Dr. Karl Graf von und zu Eltz-Kempenich, alias Faust von Stromberg, living in Frankfurt am Main.
1. Discover the History of the Centuries-Old Eltz in Wierschem Germany
Being one of the famous medieval historical castles that have remained untouched for over 800 years, the once-upon-a-time story of the castle begins with Rudolf von Eltz, who built Eltz Castle.
In 1157 the fortress was constructed as a deed of donation by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.
It was named after Eltzbach, a stream which, in the old British tongue, was referred to as Els/Else, the name of the black adder tree found beside the river.
Subsequently, the castle was strategically built on a 70-meter-high rock amid the Elzbach River surrounding the fortress on all three sides.
And the locale was then an important trade route linking the Mosel with the Eifel River, which the Romans frequented.
Later in the 12th century, three local landlords (Kempenich, Rubenach, and Rodendorf), who were the descendants of the Eltz Castle Family, with their substantial construction funds, began developing and renovating the castle.
The three families separated, and each began constructing a separate place within the castle.
Platteltz keep with the Rübenach section was the first part added in 1472.
Then the Rodendorf section was added between 1490-1540, and finally building, the Kempenich section in 1530.
So, the Burg Eltz is not a single castle but a combination of three.
However, you must also note that the castles grew in height rather than width as it was founded on a rock surface. And the three families called themselves the Eltz of the Golden Lion (called today as the Counts of Eltz-Kempenich), Eltz of the Silver Lion (called today as the Barons of Eltz-Rübenach), and Eltz of the Buffalo Horns (called today as the Barons of Eltz-Rodendorf ).
The three families resided in their own space of the castle, sharing the defensive foundation, wells, courtyards, and chapel. Others who supported the Eltz family, including the servants, craftsmen, and other families, lived in a village at the castle’s base.
In the following centuries, numerous tit bit renovations were happening to preserve the fortress to what we see today.
And in the course of time, only the Eltz-Kempenich or the Eltz of the Golden Lion family survived and became the sole owner of the entire property since 1815.
Nevertheless, between the years of construction and renovation, there was a severe attack on the Eltz Castle.
It was known as The Eltz Feud, which occurred between 1331 to 1136.
The feud began when the lords of the Eltz Castle confronted Balduin, the Archbishop of Trier.
There are records of cannon attacks from the northern Alps in 1331 due to the confrontation.
When this proved futile, a siege castle called the Trutzeltz was erected Balduin to besiege the Castle with heavy stone balls and catapults.
Ultimately when the knights of Eltz conceded in 1333, the three Lords signed a peace treaty in 1336 with Balduin.
However, the end of that feud left the castle demolished and not utterly destroyed.
Since that feud, the castle had not seen any battles or attacks.
And because of skilful diplomacy, the castle survived the Thirty Years’ War when the French conquered almost all the Rhine castles.
Today two sections of the castle are open to tourism, and the third section is still a residence of the Kempenich family.
The fortress is best known for its eight towers of 30 to 40 meters height, eight floors, and fully heated 100 rooms, an exotic medieval construction.
At present, the descendants of the initial owners possess the castle.
They don’t stay here full-time as they have moved to Frankfurt.
Now what they do after the tourist hours cannot be comprehended by me.
But I am sure they’re up in that place to host some epic events and get-togethers!
Did you know? The Eltz Castle was meant to be a residence, not a castle or fortress.
And the fantastic part is that the blueprint of this magical utopian castle drew inspiration for designing the animated castle in Cinderella’s film!
2. The Burg Eltz Haunting Tales
Let me bring notice that this magical castle has a creeping story that has been kept alive for ages.
It’s a beautiful yet tragic tale of Agnes Eltz, the daughter of the 15th count who lived in the Burg Eltz in the 16th century.
She was raised by her brothers, and she was a one-of-a-kind girl who loved playing warriors with her brothers.
It happened that Agnes was engaged with the Knight of Braunsberg.
Many say the knight was rough and rude, contrary to the good-natured Agnes, who made her hate him.
While some say that she found him boring and often ignored him.
But the result was that the knight of Braunsberg left with anger to take revenge on the family.
However, amidst the guards securely protecting the castle, one version of the story says that the knight one day lured the comrades-in-arms and the count out of the castle.
The other version says that the Eltz family left their watch thinking that the Knight lost his interest and went on a hunting trip, leaving a few servants behind.
But they never knew that it was the time that the knight was waiting to take revenge.
Ultimately, the climax is that the knight of Braunsberg managed to enter the castle with his troops and slaughtered all the people who came his way. Another version says that the knight wanted to take Agnes by force to his place and hence took the castle by force.
2.1 Our Brave Agnes
Now, the knight is not aware of the brave side of Agnes. Both versions admit that Agnes was not hesitant. Instead, she put on her brother’s armour and fell into fighting with the knight.
However, in the thicket of the fight, she gets killed with his crossbow.
One version ends with the knight removing the helmet to see that he shot his beloved.
Another version states that she fought simultaneously with the other servants and was shot by an arrow by the knight.
However, seeing her death, the servants furiously fought with the knight and killed him and his escort.
To find out which is the true version, you can reach the Comtesse room of the castle to read the story of Agnes. And to prove that the story is real, you can also find the armour worn by Agnes hanging on the wall with a hole of the arrow on her breastplate.
Now, wasn’t that a happy, sad story on the rock?
You can explore more if you’re actually there.
So, keep reading to reach that historical opulence you might never get anywhere in the world!
3. How to Reach the Eltz in Germany?
You may not find similar castles tours like this in the heart of a forest in Germany, away from the urban areas.
But this is an extraordinary place that offers a variety of ways to reach and step back in time into the world of wonder and luxury!
3.1 Taking a Car Drive
This is the top way to reach Burg Eltz. Just type in the locale into Google Maps and zoom you go to reach there.
However, you must pay a parking fee of €2 for cars and €4 for cars with trailers or camper vans.
It’s a drive through some windy forests that offer some stunning views as you drive through them.
Then, it’s a 600-meter walk from the parking lot to the castle’s base.
3.2 Taking a Public Transport
But these are limited options as you can avail a service only during weekends (during summer).
But if you are starting from the Moselkern station, it’s just a 5km walk to the castle you can make if you wish to visit during weekdays.
Check here on how to get to Eltz Castle from Frankfurt!
3.3 Taking a Hiking Trail
This is the best way to explore Germany while travelling to the castle.
Depending on where you begin hiking, some routes offer amazing views of the forests and vineyards.
Some famous hiking trails are furnished below for you to choose from;
3.3.1 Hiking the Eltz Castle Panorama
This is a 5-hour hike in the Rhineland-Palatinate that covers 12.6 km.
This hike allows you to tour around the Eltz via the Eltz Forest, the Southern rises of the Maifeld and the Eltzbach Valley.
3.3.2 Hiking Up the Romantic Eltz Stream
This 2.5 km hike that lasts up to 35 minutes starts its trail from the Ringelsteiner Mühle in Moselkern on a light to medium ascent.
Then it follows the Eltzbach via the nature reserve Eltz Forest up to the Eltz Castle.
3.3.3 Hiking from Müdener Berg to the Eltz Castle in Germany
Seasoned hikers, this 1.7 km hike along a gorgeous and sporty route for 35 minutes is created just for you!
You might hike over some steep parts but get stunning views of the Pyrmont and Eltz Castles.
3.3.4 Hiking from Karden to the Eltz Castle in Germany
Yet another trail for seasoned hikers that runs for 7 km from Karden to the Eltz through meadows, vineyards, and forests for 2 hours.
And nonetheless, you get some spectacular views of the Hunsrück, Maifeld, and Moselle.
3.3.5 Hiking from Pyrmont to the Eltz Castle in Germany
This beautiful 9.5 km hike for 2.5 hours between two castles offers breathtaking views of the Eltz Valley in its glory.
You can also take the shuttle between the castles during weekends and public holidays.
3.3.6 Hiking from Moselkern to the Burg Eltz
From the Moselkern Railway Station, this is an 80-minute hike to get the best scenic views Germany has to offer.
4. Things to Keep in Mind When You Step into the Castle
4.1 Reach Early
The Castle usually has its opening hours around 9:30 to capture cool photographs at the iconic bridge at Eltz without anyone stuck into your photos.
4.2 Taking Photos Inside the Castle is Prohibited
Once you enter the castle, you cannot click pictures, nor is there a pass to purchase and take photos. You can click as much as you want outside the castle.
4.3 Pets are Prohibited Indoors
During the castle tour, pets are not allowed, unlike other castles in Germany.
4.4 The Castle has Two Restaurants
You can enjoy as much here inside the castle as these reasonably priced restaurants offer various meals, snacks and beverages.
4.5 Eltz Guided Tour
This is the only way to make the best explorations inside the castle. But you might not get the ticket immediately for English tours as they are the ones highly sought after.
So, it’s best to head out there first to get yours!
Amazing Fact: Did you know? Postal stamps featured Burg Eltz between 1977 to 1982, published by the post office in Germany.
I hope this article is a kickstart with all the vital information you need to travel to the castle and experience the medieval world of grandeur and extravagance.
If you have already taken a trip there, don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below to continue spreading the echoes of the past!
And be sure to scroll through related articles that are worth your time from our website!