Germany is full of castles, especially along the Rhein and Mosel rivers. You know, medieval times, lords and aristocrats, the real deal. One of the more famous castles in this area is the Burg Eltz. The Burg Eltz is one of the few castles in the Mosel Valley that has avoided destruction since it was built, and, as such, is very well-preserved. When I looked it up on Google images, it looked like this:
Castles are a must-see in castle-dense Deutschland, so my host family took me to see the Burg Eltz! Except the Burg Eltz is old. Very old. So old that it suffers serious structural damage, damage that calls for rennovation.
It seems that I was a bit unlucky– the Burg Eltz was undergoing construction! Serious construction, enough to cover half the castle. In fact, to make up for this, the tour center gave out little tokens of compensation:
Only the outside, not the inside, needed fixing. The inside rooms, which my host family and I toured, remained as unchanged as ever. And when I say “unchanged,” I mean it: The Burg Eltz is so well-preserved that the rooms are furnished with the original decor from the castle’s medieval years.
A ticket to the Burg Eltz not only gives you a tour through a small part of the castle, but also admission to the castle treasury. The castle was actually built by three families. Each family, by itself, didn’t have enough money to build a castle of their own. Thus, they combined forces to build the Eltz! After seeing the treasury, though, it’s hard to believe that the families didn’t have enough money to build three castles. Talk about unnecessarily luxurious decor.
After seeing the castle, tourists can enjoy one of the two absurdly expensive restaurants at the Burg Eltz, or take a look at their small souvenir store.
There’s no shortage of castles on the Mosel or Rhein rivers. On the drive home, my host family stopped for a moment just so I could get a picture of a castle not under construction. A castle of this caliber is actually typical around here. A drive on the Rhein River will bring you past tons of these. The Burg Eltz, on the other hand, is a level of its own!