The Lower Mosel Valley
Burg Eltz is the most beautiful medieval castle in all of Germany. It is located in a small side-valley near Moselkern, at 56204 Burg Eltz, Münstermaifeld. Parts of the castle date back to 1160 AD, but building work continues to the present day. Three branches of the Eltz family built their dwellings in the castle complex, but the whole castle has been owned by the Golden Lion branch of the family since 1815. In the courtyard, the three buildings in different architectural styles can easily be distinguished.
The Best Castles in Germany
Touring Burg Eltz
The castle is full of period furniture and decorations. In contrast to other castles, Burg Eltz has 20 flushable toilets that date back to the 15th century. (The splendid Palace of Versailles, by contrast, has none.) Parts of the building are Gothic with original ornamentation. The late medieval kitchen also survived. The interior can only be seen on a guided tour (usually in German only, but an excellent flyer in English is available.) The treasury has some family heirlooms and can be seen without a tour.
Getting to Burg Eltz
Getting to Burg Eltz can be challenging. The easiest way is by car. If approaching from the Autobahn A48, take the Mayen off-ramp towards Münstermaifeld. From the Mosel road B416, turn off at Hatzneport. From Münstermaifeld, follow the signs to the Schloss – a parking lot is available at the Antoniuskapelle past Wald Wierschem. From here, it is an 800-m (2,900-foot) walk. A shuttle bus is available for part of the journey. Although the inclines are steep, the route is on a paved road.
A more interesting approach is from the small town of Moselkern on the Mosel River. Use the parking lot Ringelsteiner Mühle and hike through the lovely Eltzbachtal (Eltz Stream Valley) – an easy 35-minute walk. This is also the standard approach when arriving by train or boat.
[ Related page: Great Castles of Germany ]
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