Luxury, romance and a fairytale atmosphere — that’s how we imagine life at the medieval Eltz Castle. But what is it really like to live there? Spoiler: there are 80 rooms, all of which require a little maintenance. DW’s Hannah Hummel asks owner Jakob Graf zu Eltz about life at the castle back then and now. The castle resident has even set up his home office there. Would that be something for you, too?
Eltz Castle is different. It remained unscathed by wars. It has been owned and cared for by the same family from when it was built until today. Its architecture has no comparison and many of the original furnishings of the past eight centuries still remain in place. It houses rustic suits of armour, swords and halberds as well as magnificent courtly gold and silver artefacts. It towers high on a large rock set deep in a valley. It stands in the midst of the Eltz Forest, a nature reserve of serene beauty, which offers numerous hiking trails and outdoor areas for sports and recreation for all age groups.
DW Travel – Castles, palaces, vineyards, and a romantic river valley: experience a train journey along the Rhine with DW’s Hannah Hummel. It is considered the most beautiful train route in Germany!
RIVER RHINE VALLEY
The West Rhine Railway is one of the most beautiful and famous railway lines in Germany. It runs from Cologne via Bonn and Koblenz to Mainz. Its most recognisable part is from Koblenz to Bingen where the trains run directly along the Rhine and its numerous bends. This part of the valley even is part of the World Heritage. Famous trains as the Rhinegold used to run here, however since the high speed line between Cologne and Frankfurt is in operation the majority of long distance trains take this shorter and faster line instead. There are still many trains running on the Rhine Railway including hourly long distance trains.
WEINHEIM, a town of Germany, in the grand-duchy of Baden, pleasantly situated on the Bergstrasse at the foot of the Odenwald, 11 m. N. of Heidelberg by the railway to Frankfort-on-Main. Pop. (1905) 12,560. It is still in part surrounded by the ruins of its ancient walls. The Gothic town hall; the ruins of the Castle of Windeck and the modern castle of the counts of Berckheim; the house of the Teutonic Order; and three churches are the principal buildings. The town has various manufactures, notably leather, machinery and soap, and cultivates fruit and wine. It is a favourite climatic health resort and a great tourist centre for excursions in the Odenwald range. Weinheim is mentioned in chronicles as early as the 8th century, when it was a fief of the abbey of Lorsch, and it was fortified in the 14th century. In the Thirty Years’ War it was several times taken and plundered, and its fortifications dismantled.
Bonn is a city in western Germany straddling the Rhine river. It’s known for the central Beethoven House, a memorial and museum honoring the composer’s birthplace. Nearby are Bonn Minster, a church with a Romanesque cloister and Gothic elements, the pink-and-gold Altes Rathaus, or old city hall, and Poppelsdorf Palace housing a mineralogical museum. To the south is Haus der Geschichte with post-WWII history exhibits.
Cochem is the seat of and the biggest town in the Cochem-Zell district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. With just over 5,000 inhabitants, Cochem falls just behind Kusel, in the Kusel district, as Germany’s second smallest district seat. Since 7 June 2009, it has belonged to the Verbandsgemeinde of Cochem.
Discover the Eifel Region with DW Travel Guide Nicole Frölich! The low mountain range in western Germany extends through parts of the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North-Rhine Westphalia. The region has a special geological feature: volcanic activity! Nicole travels through the Eifel National Park and explores the fascinating natural beauty of the region with its geysers, volcanic lakes and dense forests.
Video timeline: 00:00 Intro 00:34 Monschau 02:16 Volcanic Activity 05:34 Eifel National Park 07:34 Ordensburg Vogelsang, Former Nazi Estate 09:00 Lake Laacher See 11:11 Maria Laach Abbey
In the summer of 2021, nature showed its destructive side: the Eifel region was hit by serious floods; locals and the tourist industry are still picking up the pieces to this day. The area is also home to a sinister place of remembrance: the former Nazi estate of Ordensburg Vogelsang, a training site for Nazi cadets during the Third Reich.Nicole’s trip to the Eifel took place in the fall of 2021. It begins in the picturesque medieval town of Monschau.
Worms is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, situated on the Upper Rhine about 60 km south-southwest of Frankfurt am Main. It had about 82,000 inhabitants as of 2015. A pre-Roman foundation, Worms is one of the oldest cities in northern Europe.
Mainz is a German city on the Rhine River. It’s known for its old town, with half-timbered houses and medieval market squares. In the center, the Marktbrunnen is a Renaissance fountain with red columns. Nearby, a distinctive octagonal tower tops the Romanesque Mainz Cathedral, built of deep red sandstone. The Gutenberg Museum honors the inventor of the printing press with exhibits, including 2 of his original bibles.
Saarburg is a city of the Trier-Saarburg district in the Rhineland-Palatinate state of Germany, on the banks of the river Saar. Now known as a tourist attraction, the river Leuk flows into the town center and makes a spectacular drop of some 60 feet before joining the larger Saar that bisects the town. The waterfall is the result of a 13th-century project to redirect the Leuk through the city center.
Frankfurt, a central German city on the river Main, is a major financial hub that’s home to the European Central Bank. It’s the birthplace of famed writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose former home is now the Goethe House Museum. Like much of the city, it was damaged during World War II and later rebuilt. The reconstructed Altstadt (Old Town) is the site of Römerberg, a square that hosts an annual Christmas market.