Along the Rhine

December 21, 2014  •  3 Comments

On the afternoon of the eleventh day and during the dark of that night on our river journey, we departed Wertheim, sailing past Miltenberg and Aschaffenburg and Frankfurt, before leaving the lovely Main River and merging onto the Rhine near Wiesbaden and Mainz the next morning.  It was chilly and foggy, but the skies opened up enough to see ruins, castles, and churches.  On your left, on your right, straight ahead.  They were everywhere.  Even with my trusty map of monuments along the Rhine, I, unfortunately, do not have accurate descriptions of half of the photographic subjects.  However, one castle, Pfalzgrafenstein, is literally hard to miss.  Behind it, in the fog, is Gutenfels Castle.

Pfalzgrafenstein (castle) on Pfalz Island, Kaub, GermanyPfalzgrafenstein (castle) on Pfalz Island, Kaub, Germany

Sitting in the middle of the Rhine, Pfalzgrafenstein was built as a toll castle. Appearing to be a ship floating on the river, it is actually situated on the Falkenau or Pfalz Island.  Portions of it were built in the 1300s by King Ludwig, others were added centuries later.  According to Wikipedia, "Unlike the vast majority of Rhine castles, "the Pfalz" was never conquered or destroyed, withstanding not only wars, but also the natural onslaughts of ice and floods by the river. Its Spartan quarters held about twenty men."

Leaving the wake of Pfalzgrafenstein, we headed through the Lorelei narrows of ballad, myth, and legend, and past Katz (Cat) Castle.  The vertical layers of what is probably slate, are clear in the foreground.

Katz Castle near LoreleiKatz Castle near Lorelei

As the ship followed the curves of the Rhine, we arrived in early afternoon at Koblenz for a tour of Marksburg Castle.  This is a view of the river from the castle.

Marksburg Castle am RheinMarksburg Castle am Rhein

As with most castles, Marksburg (a castle museum) holds rooms dedicated to armament and torture, including the rack, but we'll skip those for now.  Being the holidays, I thought it was more appropriate to include the kitchen area as well as the beer cellar.  What is not to like?

Kitchen, Marksburg CastleKitchen, Marksburg Castle Kitchen, Marksburg CastleKitchen, Marksburg Castle beer cellar, Marksburg Castlebeer cellar, Marksburg Castle

May you relish every meal and experience during the season, and notice every second of increased daylight following the Solstice.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]




Terry Thompson(non-registered)
I remember doing a one day cruise on the Rhine when I lived in England in the late 60's. When I look at your photos and think back to those days of beer, sausage, bread and cheese my mouth waters uncontrollably. Thanks for bringing back those memories. I'd love to do a longer trip like you did. Happy Holidays to you and Fred.
Daryl Black(non-registered)
Thanks, Steve. Spartan lives indeed. For one thing, these places must be seriously chilly. Fred always has the urge to wrap stone buildings in rigid insulation! Of course, if you keep the same ten layers of clothing on the entire winter, that might help!

Have wonderful holidays and thanks for keeping the blogosphere alive!
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Yet another enticing post from the Main and Rhine. One ponders the Spartan lives of the twenty hearty men defending Pfalzgrafenstein. That's a mouthful. What a trip you had.
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