Where do you take out-of-town guest if you want to impress? The best castle in all of Germany, of course. No, not Neuschwanstein Castle , but Burg Eltz.
Burg Eltz is a medieval castle nestled in the hills above the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier, Germany. The castle is still owned by a branch of the same family (the Eltz family) who’ve lived there since the 12th century, 33 generations in case you were wondering. Burg Eltz is one of three castles on the left bank of the Rhine in Rhineland-Palatinate which escaped the many battles in the region.
The Rübenach and Rodendorf family homes in the castle are open to the public, while the Kempenich branch of the family resides in the other third of the castle. The castle and its treasury are open seasonally from April to October. The treasury and armory houses an amazing collection of silver and gold artifacts you have to see to believe.
Getting to the castle, zooming through the hills and winding roads up to the gigantic rock upon which Burg Eltz sits, is as much fun as hiking up to the magnificent castle. Do not take the bus down to the castle make sure you hike the short, beginner-level trails to visit this castle, untouched by the many wars fought in Germany. After a short hike you turn a corner and there it stands atop a rock 70 meters high. An unforgettable moment…
We stopped at the on-site restaurant and introduced our family to the art of ordering quickly and in German. Everyone enjoyed a quick lunch of sausages nestled in delicious, freshly baked bread and pommes frites. Afterwards, we booked a guided tour and learned quite a bit about the home and the furnishings inside, some have been in the house for hundreds of years. The views from the castle, were just as amazing as the views of the castle from the trails.
The castle is surrounded by forest, far away from the nearest town or roads. More than 300 hectares of the Eltz Forest have been declared a nature reserve by Flora-Fauna-Habitat and Natura 2000. The forest comprises the flood meadows of the Eltzbach Valley as well as the forests on the steep slopes that once supplied fuel for the castle. The forest has been declared an “Arboretum”, a forest with a particularly rich variety of indigenous and foreign tree species.