"Burg Eltz: A Rich Man's Castle" Burg Eltz by hquittner
Burg Eltz Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 65 photos
There are many private castles in the world (or call them estates if you will) that we tourists can visit. They are owned by (wealthy) descendents , purchasers or deed custodians. Tax advantages lead to their being open to the public with the developpment of their exhibited holdings. Some are primarily art museums. This is in contrast to Palaces, which have been contaminated by Royalty (and Governments) for the enlightenment of tourists and citizens. We have been to many of each type. How do we rank the Castles as attractions and particularly Burg Eltz? Certainly Burg Eltz ranks very high among those in Germany. On a sclae of 10 , we would give it an 8 ( as comparative examples we rate Chenonceau or the Hearst Castles at San Simeon as 10, a 9 would be the Biltmore Estate in Asheville or Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore--the Villa Medici is hors de combat). These are opinions of course. Try your own.
Begun in the 12C with a squareRomanesque keep in the SW corner (Platt-Eltz), the family branches successively erected buildings along the outcrop. Three groups were constructed around a central courtyard between 1472 and 1651. They resided here separately and together under a mutual contract (Burgfriedensbriefe). This is the persent Burg. Through attrition and survival skilss, the lines have reduced to a single family, most notably Karl Count zu Eltz who spent the equivalent of 8 million Euro on its restoration through the 1840's and 50's . (The family treasures were also preserved and other related itms acquired).Since then damage by a fire in 1920 has been restored. 5 generations after Karl (the 33rd in all) the family attends to its preservation living not far off , but excluding one building for itself. In the 1970'sa Museum of the family Treasure was created and opened in1981.
We arrived by car from the direction of Mayen through the towns of Munstermaifield and then Wierschen. The website gives instructions and in our case a GPS was a helpful reassurance. One can truly call this "off the beaten path"! The road opens in a parking are identified by the St. Antonius Chapel at the end. (We have a tip on this). It is about 30 minutes from Cochem and the two places can fill a day if you are not staying there. That is what we did. There are walking (hiking?) trails from places with parking (3 of them at least) listed as the Ringelsteiner Muhle near Moselkern, the Osterhof near Muden and a longer one from Karden. Each takes 2 hours or more (each way) but we are long past that. We took the shuttle-bus down and up from the Chapel.
- Pros:Worth the Detour
- Cons:No photography or video is allowed
- In a nutshell:We rank this as a fine experience
From the St. Antonius Chapel parking area you can either walk down to Burg Eltz 800m away or take the minibus. The bus... more travel advice
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