The Rhine River Gorge is a stretch of the Rhine River so beautiful and historic that all 40 miles of it have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you travel this stunning part of the Rhine, which extends from Koblenz to Rüdesheim in Germany, you will be treated to incredible views of rolling hills that cascade into the water and sights of lush vineyards, charming small towns, and an astounding number of castles.
The castles are one of the main draws to this area, and with over 40 in as many miles, you will want to have your eyes constantly tuned to the hills. It is hard for even the most vigilant voyager to spot every single one.
So here are five of the most interesting castles in the Rhine River Gorge that you don’t want to miss:
- This castle sits on a hillside and is a very impressive sight from the river. Built during the middle ages, it fell into ruin before being restored in the 19th century. It is now the location of a museum, restaurant, and hotel, making it a one-stop-shop for history and culture.
- In 1823 the ruined fortress that once stood in this spot began to be transformed when Prussian crown prince Friedrich Wilhelm IV, commissioned it remodeled as a summer home. The palace was finally completed in 1842 and now stands as a stunning example of that period’s romanticism.
- Built sometime during the early 13th century, the Marksburg Castle is remarkable for how well-maintained it has been over the years. While most castles from this period have had to be restored to varying degrees, here you will find the original construction. So seeing this castle is like being transported back in time.
- This little white castle actually served as a toll station along the Rhine from the 14th until the 19th century. One of many such locations, what makes Pfalzgrafenstein Castle unique is not how it functioned, but where it is located: on a tiny island that you will cruise right past.
Katz and Maus Castles
- Located quite near each other on opposite banks of the Rhine, these two castles were originally called Katzenelnbogen and Thurenberg castles. After rumors began to circulate that the residents of each of these castles were spying on each other, they got nicknamed Katz (cat) and Maus (mouse) respectively, and are still known by those names to this day.
These are just a handful of the incredible castles you will see on your Rhine River Cruise, which is sure to be a highlight of your trip. Your cruise manager will narrate your journey as you go, and you may also get to enjoy a warm and bracing cup of Rudesheim Coffee on your ship as well!
For more information about a River Cruise on the Rhine, feel free to reach out to me at any time.
Kira Gartner is the owner of Blue Sky Destinations, a boutique travel agency specializing in river cruises, luxury expedition cruises and customized European vacations. For years she has helped curious travelers plan vacations that allow them to unwind, reconnect, and immerse themselves fully in a destination. Reach out to her for a free consultation - and let her start designing your dream vacation!