Travel Review: Marksburg, Castle on the Rhine

2 Oct

378Woops–I nearly forgot to do my Marksburg review!

As I mentioned in a previous post, due to leaving Schoenburg late and running into some public transport confusion, the initial plan to visit Rheinfels and Marksburg in the same day fell through. Having been to both, I don’t recommend seeing them both in one day, anyway, so I’m glad things worked out the way they did, even if it meant missing out on some castles further south along the Rhine.

We decided on Marksburg instead of those three castles simply because it was one of the castles I had heard the most about. Marksburg sits above the town of Braubach on the Rhine, and it is gorgeous! The castle is the only one on the Rhine that has never been destroyed, and has in fact been lived in for the past 700 years.

391It’s one of those places that really looks like a castle out of a fairy tale, at least from the outside. We saw it as we approached on our KD cruise and were already impressed–though we were wondering how difficult it was going to be to get up that hill! It turns out, it’s a walk, but it’s not impossible. There’s also transport by some sort of shuttle that can be met relatively close to the dock. Otherwise, the hike up is well marked by signs. It was pretty warm and we were both foolishly in jeans, so we weren’t hugely comfortable on the walk but if you were appropriately attired it shouldn’t be an issue.

Marksburg is another “tour” castle, so you can only get in to see the 396rooms on a guided tour. We purchased our tickets in the gift shop for 6 Euro each and were told we had just 5 minutes to wait for the English tour. I’m not sure if the KD cruises are specifically lined up for that or what, but it was a great surprise! Apparently English tours only run twice a day at Marksburg–1 p.m. and 4 p.m.–while German tours run every 15-20 minutes, at least during the summer season. If you can’t catch either of the English tours, an information sheet will be provided to you in your own language and you can follow along with a German tour.

Anyway, the tour group was a nice-sized–probably 10 or 15 people all up. Our tour guide spoke great English and made the tour fun and 404informational, giving us an idea of what life was like in the castle hundreds of years ago. We thought the toilet story was particularly humorous. He also gave us all the time we wanted in each room, which was great. One of the things I don’t like about tours is that they usually rush you through, but I didn’t feel rushed on this one at all.

You’ll wind your way through the gardens, women’s quarters, wine cellar, kitchen, and smithy, among others. There is plenty to see and plenty of stories to hear. We were very happy with our choice to visit Marksburg and would recommend it to other travelers!

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