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Day 5: Koblanz, Germany (Castles)

And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you, that I'm tired of castles in the air...lyrics from the song "Castles In the Air" by Don McLean

semi-overcast 21 °C

We awoke early berthed at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers with the fortress Ehrenbreitstein directly across from the ship. This fortress was destroyed by Napoleon's troops but rebuilt by the Prussians. You can access this fort via car or cable car.

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However, this was not our objective today. Rather, the castle Marksburg, located in the town Braubach, was where we would spend some time exploring.

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After a short drive and hike up the hill, we were at the main gate of the castle which provided beautiful views of the town, river, and countryside.

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The first part of the visit was exploring the outside of the castle, including the entryways, battlements and views.

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We then entered the castle via the wine cellar which led up to a massive kitchen.

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For some reason, we then passed through the master bedroom on our way to the dining area.

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The dining area included your standard table setting and fireplace but also had some interesting artifacts such as a wall safe and a toilet (the door was kept open so the occupant could listen in on the conversation occurring at the table or it could be closed in case of an attack).

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A small doorway led into the chapel where religious frescos adorned the walls.

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Having said your prayers, you then would move into the armament room getting ready to do battle with all of the implements of war.

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Next, an area dedicated to the development of armor protective gear was in the room adjacent.

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The final room included implements of torture (strange I know!).

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We ended the visit on a happier note.

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After a quick lunch, we started a scenic cruise along the Middle Rhine River viewing the castles in the air. There are 21 castles along the route including the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and the Marksburg Castle. Sprinkled between the castles are small towns and many vineyards (Rhine wines).

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But the stars of the show are the many castles including:

Sterrenberg Castle, a 12th century castle sharing a defensive wall with the Liebenstein Castle,

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the Liebenstein Castle built in the 13th century, the highest castle on the Middle Rhine,

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the Maus Castle, also known as the "Mouse Castle",

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followed by the 13th century Rheinfels Castle now a hotel and museum,

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next in line is the Katz Castle, a 14th century castle damaged by Napoleon's forces and rebuilt in the Victorian era,

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before coming upon the Schonburg Castle we were able to capture some sites along the way,

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then onto the Schonburg Castle itself built in 966,

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up next were a pair of castles namely the Pfalzgrafenstein and the Gutenfels Castles (toll booths on the river),

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the 12th century Stahleck Castle lay in ruins for 237 years before being rebuilt in 1909 and now serves as a youth hostel,

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and then the Heimburg Castle, a 13th century structure destroyed by Louis XIV and rebuilt in the 19th century,

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the Sooneck Castle romantic style dates to the 18th century where the crown prince of Prussia rebuilt the structure,

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as we make our way to the final stretches of the Middle Rhine we come upon the castle Reichensgtein which contains a collection of over five centuries of porcelain, furniture and weapons.

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Although a few more castles were upstream, the final castle that we viewed was the Rheinstein Castle, a 14th-century castle featuring a drawbridge.

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We attended dinner shortly after the sightseeing where we were recognized for our 40th wedding anniversary! The evening was spent on an overview of the lock system where we will spend the next several days traversing (they close the top deck, so you don't bump your head on a bridge). We then headed off to bed but not before viewing a beautiful full moon.

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Posted by Argenti Travel 12:17 Archived in Germany

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