eltz castle facts

Eltz Castle: Unveiling the Secrets and Stories of a Medieval Masterpiece

Set amidst the rolling hills of Germany’s Moselle Valley, Eltz Castle is one of Europe’s finest examples of medieval architecture. This magnificent castle has stood for over 850 years, and is home to the Eltz family, who have owned and managed the property for over 33 generations.

As a testament to its cultural and historical significance, Eltz Castle is visited by thousands of tourists every year, eager to experience its remarkable beauty and unique charm. But beyond its stunning façade and picturesque setting, lies a wealth of fascinating secrets and stories that continue to captivate and intrigue visitors from around the world.

Key Takeaways

  • Eltz Castle is a magnificent example of medieval architecture located in Germany’s Moselle Valley
  • The castle has been owned and managed by the Eltz family for over 33 generations
  • Thousands of tourists visit Eltz Castle every year to experience its beauty and unique charm
  • The castle is home to a wealth of fascinating secrets and stories that continue to captivate and intrigue visitors worldwide

A Glimpse into Eltz Castle’s History

Eltz Castle has a rich and fascinating history that spans more than 850 years. Located in the hills above the Moselle River in western Germany, the castle has been owned and inhabited by the same family since it was built in the 12th century.

The castle was constructed over a period of several hundred years and has undergone numerous changes and additions throughout its history. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, while the most recent additions were made in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Over the centuries, the castle has been the site of many significant events, including battles and sieges. During the Thirty Years’ War, Eltz Castle served as a refuge for the Eltz family and their loyal supporters, and withstood several attacks by enemy forces.

A Symbol of Wealth and Power

Eltz Castle was built by the wealthy and influential Eltz family, who were prominent nobles in the region. The castle served not only as their home, but also as a symbol of their wealth and power. The Eltz family used their status and influence to acquire additional land and estates throughout Germany, making them one of the most powerful families in the region.

Throughout its history, Eltz Castle was also a center of art, culture, and learning. The castle’s extensive library and art collection were renowned throughout Europe, and many famous artists and writers were entertained within its walls.

Preserving a Cultural Treasure

Despite the many challenges it has faced over the centuries, Eltz Castle has survived largely intact. Today, it is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Germany, and is recognized as a cultural and historical treasure.

The Eltz family has worked tirelessly to preserve the castle’s historic integrity, and the castle has undergone extensive renovation and restoration efforts to ensure that it remains a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Visitors to Eltz Castle can experience a glimpse into the past and learn about the fascinating history of this remarkable castle and the family that has called it home for generations.

Architectural Marvels and Unique Features

Eltz Castle is a remarkable example of medieval architecture that has withstood the test of time. Its unique design seamlessly blends various architectural styles, including Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque. The castle’s original construction dates back to the 12th century, with additions and renovations made over the years. The result is an awe-inspiring masterpiece that offers visitors a glimpse into the past.

Distinct Design Elements

One of Eltz Castle’s most striking features is its distinct design elements. The castle’s main building is divided into three sections, each representing a different era of construction. The west wing was built in the Romanesque style, while the east wing features Gothic architecture. The Baroque style is evident in the south wing, which was added in the 18th century. The castle’s towers stand tall and proud, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Defensive Structures

Eltz Castle was built as a defensive fortress, and its design features various defensive structures. The castle’s walls are over 3 meters thick in some places, providing protection from enemy attacks. The castle’s moat, drawbridge, and gatehouse served as additional security measures, making it nearly impenetrable. These defensive structures are a testament to the castle’s strategic importance in medieval times.

Interior Design

The interior of Eltz Castle is just as impressive as its exterior. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and halls, each featuring unique decor and furnishings. The castle’s grand hall is particularly noteworthy, with its vaulted ceiling, intricate carvings, and stunning stained glass windows. The castle’s rich history is reflected in its interior design, offering visitors a glimpse into the daily lives of the castle’s inhabitants throughout the centuries.

Eltz Castle’s architectural marvels and unique features are a testament to the craftsmanship and ingenuity of medieval builders. Its distinct design elements, defensive structures, and interior design make it a true masterpiece of European architecture.

Legends and Myths Surrounding Eltz Castle

Eltz Castle has a rich history, full of legends and myths that have been passed down through generations. Some stories are more believable than others, but they all add to the castle’s mystique and intrigue. Here are a few of the most fascinating legends and myths surrounding Eltz Castle:

Legend/Myth Description
The Ghost of Agnes Legend has it that the ghost of Agnes, the wife of knight Rudolf von Eltz, still roams the castle halls. She died of a broken heart after her husband went to war and never returned.
The Hidden Treasure Many believe that a hidden treasure is buried somewhere within the castle walls. Some say it was left by the knights who built the castle, while others think it was hidden during one of the wars that took place in the area.
The White Lady The White Lady is said to be the spirit of a young woman who was forced to marry a nobleman she did not love. Legend has it that she can be seen wandering the castle, searching for her lost love.

Whether or not these legends and myths are true, one thing is for sure: they add to the enchantment of Eltz Castle. Visitors are encouraged to keep an eye out for any signs of the castle’s supernatural past during their visit.

The Eltz Family: Guardians of the Castle

The Eltz family has been an integral part of Eltz Castle’s history for over 800 years. Records show that the family has resided in the castle since the 12th century, with the first known member being Rudolf von Eltz. Since then, the family has grown and evolved, with each generation contributing to the castle’s legacy and preservation.

One of the most notable members of the Eltz family was Philipp von Eltz-Kempenich, who played a significant role in the castle’s reconstruction during the 19th century. Under his leadership, the castle was restored to its former glory, with particular attention paid to preserving its medieval character and charm.

The Eltz Family Today

Today, the Eltz family still owns and manages the castle, with several members residing there throughout the year. The current head of the family is Karl Graf von und zu Eltz-Kempenich, who inherited the title in 1991. He is also the chairman of the Eltz Castle Foundation, which oversees the castle’s preservation and management.

The Eltz family has played a crucial role in the preservation of the castle’s history and cultural heritage, ensuring that it remains one of the most well-preserved medieval castles in Europe. They have also welcomed visitors from all over the world to experience the castle’s beauty and charm, sharing their family’s rich history and traditions with the world.

Visitors to Eltz Castle can learn more about the Eltz family’s history and contributions to the castle’s legacy through guided tours and informational exhibits. The castle’s gift shop also offers a variety of souvenirs and memorabilia related to the Eltz family and their role in the castle’s history.

Eltz Castle in Popular Culture

Eltz Castle has found its place in popular culture, making its appearance in movies, literature, and artwork. Its unique architecture and rich history have made it an inspiration for many creative minds.

Eltz Castle in Movies

Eltz Castle has served as a backdrop for several movies that were filmed in the castle’s stunning location. The castle was featured in the 2013 German romantic comedy movie “Mann tut was Mann kann” (Men Do What Men Can), where it played the role of a beautiful wedding location. Another notable mention is the 2013 movie “The Physician,” which was based on Noah Gordon’s book and was filmed in several locations, including Eltz Castle.

Eltz Castle in Literature

Elz Castle has been featured in several books, making it an even more popular tourist destination. German writer and journalist, Wibke Bruhns, wrote a book entitled “Eltz Castle: A Journey Through Time” that provides an in-depth history of the castle. In the book “The Conqueror’s Wife” by Stephanie Thornton, Eltz Castle is mentioned as the magnificent home of the Countess Franziska von Hohenheim.

With its unique architecture and rich history, it is no wonder that Eltz Castle has made its way into popular culture. The castle has gained a reputation as a place of romance, mystery, and intrigue, making it an even more alluring destination for visitors from all over the world.

A Hidden Gem: Eltz Castle’s Location and Surroundings

If you’re looking for a fairytale-like castle set in a picturesque location, then Eltz Castle is the perfect destination. Located in the hills above the Moselle River in Germany, this stunning castle is surrounded by verdant forests and rolling hills. The castle’s location and surroundings are as enchanting as the castle itself, making it a dreamy spot to visit for both history buffs and nature enthusiasts.

The castle is situated near the village of Wierschem, in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Eltz Castle is perched on a steep rock above the Elzbach River, which merges with the Moselle River. The castle’s location not only provides a breathtaking view but also strategic protection.

“The natural surroundings of the castle, with the forests and hills, add to the magic of this place, making it feel like a timeless masterpiece.”

The forests surrounding the castle offer numerous hiking trails, making it an excellent spot for a day trip from the nearby cities of Koblenz and Frankfurt. Visitors can explore the beautiful landscapes by taking one of the many hiking trails that lead to and from the castle.

The castle is open to visitors from April to November, and guided tours are available in multiple languages. A visit to Eltz Castle is not complete without exploring the surrounding area. The nearby town of Cochem is a charming spot to visit after exploring the castle’s grounds. Known for its half-timbered houses, the quaint town is a joy to explore.

Eltz Castle’s location and surroundings add to its magic, making it a hidden gem worth exploring. The natural beauty and historical significance of the area make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history or nature.

Eltz Castle’s Preservation Efforts

Since its construction in the 12th century, Eltz Castle has withstood the test of time and survived multiple wars and conflicts. However, preserving such a historic gem requires constant care and attention.

The Eltz family has taken great efforts to maintain and protect the castle over the centuries, ensuring it remains a well-preserved relic of the past. In recent years, the castle has undergone extensive restoration work to repair damage caused by natural wear and tear and to safeguard it for future generations.

To maintain the authenticity and integrity of the castle, all restoration work is carried out using traditional techniques and materials, including wood, iron, and stone. The restoration team carefully analyzes each room and structure to ensure that it is restored to its original state.

In addition to restoration work, ongoing maintenance is crucial to the preservation of Eltz Castle. Measures to prevent damage caused by moisture and insects, as well as regular cleaning and upkeep, are necessary to keep the castle in optimal condition.

The preservation efforts at Eltz Castle have not gone unnoticed. In 2015, the castle was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize, recognizing its outstanding contribution to heritage conservation.

With ongoing restoration efforts and dedication to preserving its history, Eltz Castle will continue to stand the test of time and be cherished for generations to come.

Eltz Castle: A Popular Tourist Destination

Located in the heart of the beautiful Moselle Valley, Eltz Castle has become a must-visit destination for tourists from around the world. With over 500,000 visitors every year, the castle provides a unique insight into medieval life and architecture.

Visitors to Eltz Castle can embark on a guided tour that takes them through various sections of the castle, including the armory, the kitchen, and the living quarters. The guided tour provides valuable insight into the castle’s rich history and architectural marvels. Visitors can also explore the castle on their own, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside as they stroll through the castle’s many courtyards and towers.

Aside from the castle itself, visitors can enjoy a range of activities in the surrounding area, including hiking, cycling, and wine tours. The nearby town of Cochem is also worth a visit, with its charming streets, traditional buildings, and local cuisine.

For those looking to make the most of their visit, Eltz Castle offers a range of visitor experiences, including a castle banquet dinner, where guests can dine in the castle’s dining hall and enjoy a medieval feast fit for a king. Alternatively, visitors can take part in an archery lesson, learning the art of archery just as medieval knights once did.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Eltz Castle has become such a popular tourist destination. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply looking for a beautiful place to visit, Eltz Castle has something to offer everyone.

Eltz Castle: Events and Festivals

Eltz Castle is not only a magnificent historical monument but also a center of cultural activities. Throughout the year, several events and festivals are held inside the castle’s walls, attracting visitors from near and far. From music concerts to theater performances and historical reenactments, there is always something exciting happening at Eltz Castle.

Concerts and Performances

One of the most popular events at Eltz Castle is the summer concert series held in the castle’s courtyard. The series features a variety of music genres, from classical to contemporary, and showcases local and international artists. The acoustics of the courtyard make for a unique listening experience, providing an incomparable setting for the perfect night out.

In addition to the summer concerts, Eltz Castle also hosts theatrical performances throughout the year. Plays, operas, and musicals are among the performances held, with the castle’s interior providing a stunning backdrop for the shows.

Historical Reenactments

Eltz Castle is no stranger to its own history, and visitors can witness reenactments of significant moments from the castle’s past. The castle’s courtyard and interior serve as a stage for actors in authentic costumes, bringing history to life for the audience.

Special Events and Festivals

Eltz Castle celebrates several festivals throughout the year, including the popular Medieval Festival held in early summer. This festival features jousting tournaments, historical craft demonstrations, and traditional cuisine, all in a medieval atmosphere that takes visitors back in time.

The castle also hosts a Christmas market during the holiday season, where visitors can indulge in seasonal treats and find unique gifts for loved ones.

Overall, Eltz Castle’s events and festivals offer visitors a chance to experience the castle’s history and culture in a variety of exciting ways. From concerts and performances to historical reenactments and seasonal festivals, there is always something to enjoy at Eltz Castle.

Eltz Castle Souvenirs and Memorabilia

Visitors to Eltz Castle are invited to step back in time and relive the castle’s rich history through a variety of souvenirs and memorabilia available at the gift shop. From medieval-inspired trinkets to practical items adorned with the Eltz family crest, there’s something for everyone to commemorate their visit to this medieval masterpiece.

One of the most popular items at the gift shop is the Eltz Castle guidebook, featuring stunning photographs and detailed information on the castle’s history, architecture, and legends. For those looking for a tangible reminder of their visit to the castle, there are also postcards, magnets, and personalized keychains available.

Product Description Price
Eltz Castle Guidebook Full-color guidebook with in-depth information on the castle’s history and architecture. $15
Eltz Family Crest Mug A ceramic mug featuring the Eltz family crest. $10
Eltz Castle Tote Bag A canvas tote bag adorned with an image of Eltz Castle. $20
Medieval Knight Figurine A hand-painted figurine of a medieval knight in armor. $25

For those seeking a more personal souvenir, there are handcrafted jewelry items available, including necklaces and bracelets inspired by medieval designs. The gift shop also offers a selection of books on medieval history and architecture, ideal for those wishing to learn more about the castle and its historical context.

Before leaving the gift shop, visitors are encouraged to visit the Eltz Castle stamp station, where they can have their postcards and letters stamped with the official Eltz Castle seal. It’s the perfect finishing touch to a visit to one of Germany’s most iconic historic landmarks.


Eltz Castle’s rich history and enduring charm make it a true medieval masterpiece. Through exploring its historical background, architectural marvels, legends, family lineage, and role in popular culture, we have uncovered the secrets and stories that make this castle a truly unique destination.

Located in the picturesque surroundings of the Rhineland-Palatinate region, Eltz Castle has become a popular tourist destination, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in its history and cultural events. From guided tours to souvenir shopping, there is something for everyone.

Thanks to the preservation efforts undertaken by the Eltz family and the conservation teams, this castle stands today as a testament to the past and a window into a fascinating world. Its ongoing popularity is a testament to its appeal and place in history.

Visit Eltz Castle Today and Uncover its Enduring Secrets

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply looking for a unique day trip, Eltz Castle is waiting for you. Its stories and legends are waiting to be uncovered, its architectural marvels waiting to be explored. Take your time, immerse yourself in the past, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Q: What is the history of Eltz Castle?

A: Eltz Castle has a rich history dating back to the 12th century. It was constructed by the Eltz family and has been owned by the same family for over 800 years. It has survived numerous wars and is considered one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Germany.

Q: What are some unique features of Eltz Castle?

A: Eltz Castle is known for its impressive architectural design, with its multiple towers and turrets. It also features beautiful interior decorations and furnishings that reflect different historical periods. Additionally, the castle has a unique defensive structure, including a drawbridge and fortified walls.

Q: Are there any legends or myths associated with Eltz Castle?

A: Yes, Eltz Castle is surrounded by fascinating legends and myths. Some people believe that the castle is haunted by spirits, and there are stories of hidden treasures buried within its walls. These legends add to the castle’s allure and mystery.

Q: Who owns Eltz Castle?

A: Eltz Castle is still owned by the Eltz family, who have been its guardians for generations. They continue to take care of the castle and preserve its history for future generations to appreciate.

Q: Can I visit Eltz Castle?

A: Yes, Eltz Castle is open to visitors. Guided tours are available, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore the castle’s interior and learn more about its history. It is a popular tourist destination and offers a unique glimpse into medieval times.

Q: Where is Eltz Castle located?

A: Eltz Castle is located in the hills above the Moselle River in Germany. It is situated in a picturesque setting, surrounded by forests and lush greenery. The castle’s location adds to its charm and appeal.

Q: Are there any events or festivals held at Eltz Castle?

A: Yes, Eltz Castle hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. These include cultural and historical celebrations, such as medieval reenactments and music concerts. Attending these events can provide visitors with a unique experience at the castle.

Q: Can I purchase souvenirs at Eltz Castle?

A: Yes, Eltz Castle has a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and memorabilia. These items are a great way to take home a piece of the castle’s history and serve as a reminder of the visit.