Castles of the Rhineland with Historical Trips

Rudesheim am Rhein, town in the Rhine Gorge, Germany
Rudesheim am Rhein, town in the Rhine Gorge, Germany
Marksburg Castle at the River Rhine
Marksburg Castle at the River Rhine
Vineyards of Rudesheim
Vineyards of Rudesheim

The magic of the stunning Rhineland awaits. Dramatic castles perched on hilltops that overlook winding rivers, incredible vineyards belonging to revered wineries, and undeniably rich history can be found in this glorious part of Germany.

From romantic ruins to castles still magnificently preserved, we visit a variety of architecturally and historically engaging sites, and the expertise of our Guide Lecturer will bring them vividly back to life before our eyes. We will be treated to special access at the cathedral in Trier, charming towns will be ours to discover on walking tours, and culture will be revealed to us in exciting ways.

  • Exclusive access to the underground excavations at Trier cathedral
  • Indulge in the incredible wines of the region with a special tasting
  • Visit truly stunning castles that are rich in history and heritage
  • Experience authentic German cuisine during meal times
  • Tour sites of religious significance and admire the architecture

Themes

  • Historic Churches

Practicalities

  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We fly from London to Frankfurt and travel to our hotel, where we have a talk from our Guide Lecturer. 

Day 2

This morning we drive out to Rüdesheim am Rhein to enjoy a walking tour along the cobbled street of Drosselgasse to view the medieval buildings, as well as the aristocratic residences. After lunch, we visit the ruins of Rheinfels Castle, overlooking the Rhein at Sankt Goar. Established in the 13th century, this was once the largest castle in the Middle Rhine region. Constructed by Dieter V von Katzenelnbogen it was besieged for a year and 14 weeks in 1255/ 56 by the Rhenish League after an increase in the Rhine tolls. The siege was unsuccessful.

Day 3

We have a short trip to Marksburg Castle in the morning, located just above the town of Braubach. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was never destroyed, and so gives a beautiful impression of a Bergfried (a great stone tower similar to a Keep or donjon). The castle was probably originally established c.1100 to control tolls on the river.

In the afternoon, we make our way to Koblenz (the Roman Confluentes because it is situated at the confluence of the moselle and the Rhine), to visit first the Ehrenbreistein Castle and wander the halls of the Landesmuseum Koblenz. Ehrenbreitstein is the second largest fortress is Europe, occupying a site where archaeology has recovered evidence from 400BC onward. It overlooks the ‘Deutsche Eck’ or ‘German Corner’ where the two rivers meet.

Day 4

Today we travel to Andernach. The city traces back to the Celts who settled here first, before the Romans occupied the territory under the name Antunnacum. Here, we will view the Rheintor, the Round Tower and other medieval remains. The Rheintor or Rhine Gate formed the prinicipal entrance through the fortifications of Andernach from the River Rhine. It was probably originally built c.1200.

After lunch, we will drive to the shores of the Laacher See to visit the Benedictine Maria Laach Abbey. Dating from c.1093 to c.1250 it is one of the most stunning Romanesque monuments in Germany, a basilica church with western towers, a crossing tower, transepts and a crypt.

Day 5

Our morning will be spent at the Medieval Eltz Castle, overlooking the Elzbach River and nestled in the hills. Its strategic location, perched on an oval crag, is surrounded by the river on three sides, some 70m below. The afternoon will be spent visiting the Imperial Cochem Castle. This, even higher being some 100m or more above the Mosel River, was first documented in 1051. The core of the building has its origins as a massive Romanesque Keep.

Day 6

Today we transfer to Trier. In the morning we pay a visit to the famous Porta Nigra (or black gate after its discoloured stone). This vast structure was builtc.170AD as a gate in the Roman city wall and, in the Middle Ages, was converted to hold two medieval churches, one monastic and the other for the public. Trier, an exceptionally large Roman city with fine remains including an amphitheatre and a basilica hall also has an Archaeological Museum and the birthplace of Karl Marx. In the afternoon we will visit the High Cathedral of Saint Peter, the oldest bishop’s cathedral in Germany.

Day 7

In the morning we journey to Heidelberg Castle, to view the remains of one of the most important Renaissance buildings north of the Alps. Originally two castles, the upper one was destroyed in the 16th century and the lower one ruined by war in the 17th century and fire in the 18th century. After lunch, we make our way to Rheinstein Castle, situated in a strategic position on a rocky ridge overlooking the Rhine. The name dates from its reconstruction in the 19th century, called this because of its position on cliffs above the river. We travel further to our last stop, Frankfurt.

Day 8

We check out of our hotel this morning and journey to the airport, where we catch our flight back home to London.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

Enquire now

Have a question or just want to find out more?

Book now

2019 Tour Details

Sat 1st June - Sat 8th June

Available

£2,495

inc.

sgl supp: £325

RHL19A

Led By: Brian Ayers

Guide Lecturer

Share tour with friends