One of the best decisions we made in Germany was renting a car! We were able to leisurely move about the country, drive the Autobahn and stop at roadside gas stations and eateries whenever we felt like it. And on our roadtrip adventure agenda was a stop at a German castle. My first choice of castles on the way down to Rothenburg was Burg Eltz, but seeing as it was closed for the winter, we stopped at Rheinstein Castle which was just as great.
Perched high above the Rhine, Rheinstein Castle is just one of many castles along the winding river. While I love British castles, especially ones along the coastlines, there is also something that makes a river castle just as enchanting.
When we arrived at the castle, we parked at the bottom and began the trek up the hill to the castle door. It was hard to get a good picture of the castle from our angle and we couldn’t really see just how high up the castle went….but we would get a good understanding soon enough. We paid our entry fees and Van took over as tour guide. He was pretty pumped about his first German castle.
Van and I basically had the castle to ourselves and we wandered around with the guidebook and took in the gorgeous views of the Rhine.
The history of this castle is pretty much like other castles…various owners, used for differing reasons to protect different peoples, etc, etc. Construction of the castle began in the 14th century and served to protect the Mainz territory on the south Middle Rhine. It eventually fell to ruin but restoration of the castle soon took place and has continued over the years.
The interior of the castle was open for exploration as well. And good thing since it was really chilly that day! I always love when a castle is set up to look the way it did back when it was in use. I love to imagine what castle life must have been like. Rheinstein is not a large castle and I think life would have seemed a little bit isolated here. Castles dot the river but I'm not sure if they were friendly with each other....I need to brush up on some of this history!
We eventually got to the point of the tallest tower after browsing the interior. With only a very narrow staircase leading to the top, I was terrified to go to the top. But of course, I did….someone has to take the pictures around here!
And then it was time to haul butt down becasue I was about to start hyperventilating!
Rheinstein Castle was a great introduction to German castles and it was super cool to have the place to ourselves. Our own little royal day. A day to remember!
We are hoping to visit Neuschwanstein in a few days and are pretty excited about it! Have you been to any German castles?
Linking up with these ladies bonnie, courtney, yalanda, & cynthia for Travel Tuesday!