I told you last week we were traveling aboard the AMAKristina along the Rhine River and this week I was going to share with you what we saw. Growing up young girls always dream of princesses and princes in fancy castles. They imagine they are Belle or Princess Aurora and rule over an entire kingdom. This trip on the Rhine was a child’s dream come to life. We passed no less than thirty castles. There were so many that the daily guide actually listed which side of the River each was on so we were able to follow along and know what we were looking at.
The feeling of cruising down the river as you sip on wine while medieval castles pass you by is something I will never forget. Just as Greece is famous for its white stucco buildings with bright blue roofs Germany has its comparable in castles. Some were massive like cities within themselves while others were a crumbling testament to their time on this Earth.
In Roman times the Romans constructed a long paved road along the left side of the Rhine River while in the Medieval ages castles were constructed during the 12th to 14th centuries as customs control over the trade routes. However, by the 14th century, the abuse from canons and firearms had damaged the castles to near uselessness and they began their slow decline to ruination. Only three castles remain relatively intact among the upper valley, Marksburg Castle, Burg Rheinfels Castle, and Burg Eltz Castle.
The middle of the Rhine has high cliffs from which castles can be seen towering over the settlements below as if they were standing watch over their people as they once did in all their regal glory. Nestled amongst the hills between the cliffs and the towns you’ll find the perfect area for growing grapes with an abundant amount dance of vineyards scattered throughout. Any wine connoisseur would love to spend a few days traveling through here to visit the many family-owned vineyards.
AMAKristina’s program director was sure to point out to us that many of the Berman castles along the Rhine have been transformed into hotels with high-end luxury accommodations. Sorry Disney but your Cinderella castle has got nothing on these modernized medieval beauties here on the Rhine.
Check back next week for more castles on the Rhine.