The Wonders Of The Burg Eltz Castle
The Burg Eltz Castle is one of the most well-preserved and beautiful medieval castles in all of Germany. It is surrounded on three sides by the Eltz River, a tributary of the Moselle River, which was one of the most important Roman trade routes of the German Empire.
The castle has the unique distinction of belonging to the same family, the Edlen Herren und Grafen von und zu Eltz family, for 800 years. However, the Eltz family split into clans in the 12th century, which is why there are three different familial houses within the castle walls.
The Rubenach and Rodendorf homes are the oldest, and are the ones open to the public. The Kempenich house was not completed until 1530. The Rodendorf house is noted for the preserved medieval kitchen, a vast whitewashed room outfitted with stone sinks and huge hearth.
Because the Burg Eltz Castle was built by joint heirs, it is considered a Ganerbenburg castle. Castles were extremely costly to build in medieval times, and having three clans of the same family share building costs was often the only way to build one.
The Platteltz Keep is the original section of the castle. Though the exact date of construction is not known, mention of the Platteltz Keep can be found as far back as 1157. The Keep is considered the 'safe house' in a castle, in that it is the most fortified, and would usually be the last part of a castle to fall in the event of a siege.
The Burg Eltz Castle is open from April to November, and offers guided tours in English, French, and Dutch. There are two restaurants on-site, as well as wine available from the Eltz vineyards. There is also a well-stocked gift shop, with items ranging from swords and crossbows to postcards and glassware.