Anyone who has ever geeked out over a summer renaissance festival or simply lusted over a chapter of Game of Thrones, does nothing short of completely fall in love with the Burg Eltz, at first sight. Germany’s 12th century medieval masterpiece, sits almost perfectly preserved, beckoning you to scale its walls and pillage her history.
The green gully, pastoral fields and half-timber villages of the Moselle Valley, are all poised like living romantic era paintings. Navigating tight streets, weaving through steeply terraced vineyards hewn onto vertiginous water carved walls, the vistas along the way are simply dreamlike.
Making a short pilgrimage on foot, down a tree lined path, each step seems to take you further back in time as anticipation builds in your belly.
You see the fortress and instantly, she welcomes you into the lush valley below with stoic beauty. Her sense of strength casting a lasting shadow of home throughout the flower filled meadows.
Images of peasants, ladies in long dresses, knights in their armor, horses & livestock dance through your imagination as if their spirits still cultivate the soil at the castle’s feet.
Joining a tour, you are guided through her inner chambers. Fashioned in a Ganerbenburg style, the castle’s interior is almost maze-like. Inhabited by three separate families over the course of 33 generations, their presence within the walls is almost palpable.
Close to 100 souls dwelled within the household’s 100 rooms, year after year, sharing the internal space but always retaining their familial privacy.
Beautiful rooms adorned with tapestries, fresco wall paintings and coats of arms. Another marked with the weapons of the time reminding patrons of the castles fabled past. The highest room, constructed with the holy draping of a chapel. Window wells intended for reading into the twilight hours, a visual reminder of the many lives housed through history within the chambers.
A living piece of history and a true treasure of German heritage, the privately owned Castle Burg Eltz is a lasting experience and one very worth exploring.