Burg Eltz Castle Germany is an authentic Medieval castle located in the Burg Eltz Mosel Valley. The same family has maintained possession of the castle since the 12th century (34 generations!) and it is one of Germany’s most famous castles.
Some would consider Eltz Castle the most beautiful castle in Europe, giving Neuschwanstein castle a run for its money.
There is just something most appealing about this perfect little castle that has remained virtually undisturbed, tucked away in a lush 300-acre forest in Germany, for 865 years.
A trip to Castle Eltz Germany is a virtual trip back to the middle ages! You are simply going to adore its decidedly fanciful fairy tale exterior.
The castle is located in the Rhineland-Palatinate Germany state of south west Germany. It is situated in the Eifel Mountain Range in Germany, between the Moselle River and Rhine River.
Eltz is a favorite castle of many and is without a doubt a favorite of mine!
Due to its isolated location deep in the forest Burg Eltz Castle Germany has never been destroyed, preserving almost 1,000 years of history.
The castle was able to withstand a 5-year siege (astounding!!!) To have survived all of these centuries without destruction is quite an impressive feat.
The original castle was added onto through the years leaving it with a fanciful mix of architectural styles.
The current structure has notes of Medieval architecture, Romanesque architecture, Baroque architecture, and Gothic architecture.
Where is the castle located?
Burg Eltz is located in Wierschem nestled in the hills above the Moselle River (Mosel River) The castle is surrounded on three sides by the Elzbach River, a tributary on the north side of the Moselle valley.
Eltz is nestled in a dense forest. Eltz forest has been named a nature preserve.
The castle was an important part of the Holy Roman Empire because of its location on one of these important trade routes.
the official address for Burg Eltz Castle Germany:
Burg Eltz 1, 56294 Wierschem, Germany (plug in it into your GPS or Google Maps and they should take you to the parking area – Burg Eltz Parken )
Information about getting to Burg Eltz castle can be found further down in this article.
Touring Burg Eltz
The Only way to visit Eltz castle is a guided tour of the castle. The guided castle tour lasts 35-40 minutes.
Tours can be given in English and French as well as a German tour. Information sheets in Chinese, English, French Italian, Japanese, Dutch tours, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish are available.
The Treasury can be visited independently from the guided tour.
April 1-Nov 1 daily (including public holidays) 9:30 am – 5 pm (17:30) including public holidays.
(subject to change, consult the official website for the most current information)
The most current and up to day information on cost of entry can be found on the castle website.
At last check they do not accept credit cards for parking, shuttle bus fees, restaurant purchases, or entrance fees. If you spend a minimum amount in the gift shop you may be able to pay with a credit card.
How much time do I need to visit Burg Eltz?
It is recommended that you allot 2.5 hours for your visit to Burg Eltz but with the trails, gift shop, and tasty food options you may want slow things down a bit and make a full day of it.
When is the best time to visit Burg Eltz?
Visit early morning or late afternoon to beat the crowds. Early morning is a great time to cast the scenic golden morning light as it illuminates the castle.
Animals not allow
The Eltz Castle Inside
Many of the original furnishings from 800 years ago still remain in the Eltz Castle interior. Interiors that have remained in large part unchanged throughout the centuries.
Photos are not permitted inside the castle and so out of respect I do not have photos if the castle interior.
Inside the Eltz castle you’ll find suits of armor, swords, gold and silver artifacts (treasure!)
(Look for the fool’s heads, representing freedom of speech, on the wall of the Knights hall.)
The Eltz castle inside the treasury:
Here are a couple of my favorite items in the treasury:
The Eltz Castle Inside the inner courtyard:
Interesting facts about Castle Eltz Germany
One interesting fact about the castle Eltz is that from 1965 to 1992 the castle was depicted on the German 500 Deutsche Mark note Burg Eltz castle has also adorned German postage stamps.
There’s a castle shop where you can shop for souvenirs.
Burg Eltz Restaurant
There are two Restaurants at Burg Eltz. They are more like snack stands serving brats, flammkuchen, currywurst, soups, sandwiches and desserts. but the food is quite good!
You’ll find food at the IMBISS (snack stand, smells like heaven) at the castle, quite good food in fact!
There’s a little trail just outside of the castle that leads to the stone bridge where you can get another perspective on the caste. The area is teaming with hiking trails. For more information see the “hiking” section further down in this article.
The paths surrounding the castle afford different views and perspectives of the castle:
The official Burg Eltz website has a really great map of the castle grounds. You can navigate to a high quality map on their site by clicking this link:
Burg Eltz history and the Eltz Castle family
The Eltz Castle family and castle are named for the Elzbach River that winds around the castle.
There was a castle here prior to 1157 although the exact date of its construction is not known. “Platteltz, a Romanesque keep, is the oldest part of the castle, having begun in the 9th century as a simple manor with an earthen palisade.” -wikipedia
1157 was the first documented mention of the Eltz castle and its inhabitants.
In 1268 ownership of the castle was divided among 3 brothers who were the Eltz Castle family heirs.
Castles were expensive to build and a single Lord rarely had the means to build so local Lords often came together to build one castle to house their families. So, joint ownership was an ideal situation for the 3 heirs to Burg Eltz.
The 3 branches of the Eltz family heirs to the Eltz Castle were: the Rübenach “ house of the Silver Lion ,” the Rodendorf “ house of the Buffalo Horns ,” and the Kempenich branch “ house of the Golden Lion ”
In the years that followed, the 3 branches of the Eltz family that were joint heirs to the castle set about constructing their private quarters in the castle.
The castle took shape as the 3 sections were constructed. The Kempenich section was completed early on, while what you see of the caste today that is known as the Rodendorf section was completed in the 16th century. The Rübenach section is a 17th century late Gothic style.
In 1786 the Rodendorf branch of the Eltz family died out.
In 1815 the barons of eltz-Rübenach branch of the family sold their share of the castle to the counts of Eltz-Kempenich, leaving this branch of the family the sole heirs to the Eltz Castle.
In the 19th century Count Karl zu Eltz went about the restoration work and preservation of the castle at an expense of what today would be tens of millions of dollars.
Today the Rodendorf and Rübenach families’ homes in the castle are open to the public, while the Kempenich branch of the Eltz Castle family uses the other third of the castle. They still today maintain private apartments at Eltz.
The current owners (2022) of the castle Eltz are Dr. Karl Graf von und zu Eltz-Kempenich, 34th generation of the Eltz family.
It is really quite amazing that not only has the castle Eltz endured through the ages, untouched, it has remained in the same family since its name was first recorded 865 years ago!
Getting to Burg Eltz Castle
There are a variety of ways to get to the castle, including the easiest way, driving right up to the car park.
Castle Parking lot address:
Parkplatz Burg Eltz ( Burg Eltz Parken )
address: K38, 56294 Wierschem, Deutschland
Parking fee: 4 euros, 8 for camper vans and coaches
The road leading up to the castle Eltz is a private road and it’s a .6 mile walk from the parking lot to the castle. You can walk or you can take the castle shuttle bus which leaves the parking lot every 10 minutes. Price per person 2 euros.
Hatzenport train station: Public transport is also possible to reach Burg Elz. The castle website suggests traveling to the train station in Hatzenport which is about 6 miles from the castle. You will need to then take a bus no. 365 to the castle.
Moselkern train station plus a hike: Or you can take the trail to Moselkern and walk from there which is what we did. When I heard about the walk through a fairy forest I knew that I would be taking the route through the trees! We left our car parked at our hotel in Cochem and took a short train ride from Cochem to Moselkern. Our walk began at the train station in Moselkern.
The entire hike from the train station to the castle Eltz was about an hour. As you approach the end of the hike the trees part and you’ll get your first view of the beautiful castle.
car/ hike combo
We enjoyed the hike BUT the first half of the hike was through the tiny town and along the outskirts so not really very scenic.
Car/ hike comb
The hike is a great option but there is an even better option. The Best way I think is to drive to Hotel Ringelsteiner Muhle which is located about half way through the hike and cuts off the dull part of the hike. (Elztal 94, 56254 Moselkern, Germany) from there the rest of the hike was all trails through forest.
The second half of the hike is the best part anyway, and it will cut your hike nearly in half. Parking at the hotel is e 3,00 from there it’s about 1.5 miles a 36-minute hike to the castle.
Hiking in the Eltz Forest ( wandern Burg Eltz )
There are hiking trails all around the castle in the deep forests of the Eifel Region.
Here are two top picks:
Trutzeltz Castle trail
Trutzeltz Castle trail is a 2 mile out and back trail that includes views of Trutzeltz castle ruins.
Here’s a map of the trail from alltrails with the castle circles.
Rundweg trail is a 4.6 mile loop BUT it includes the walk to Hotel Ringelsteiner Muhle which was discussed earlier. If you prefer just to walk the loop surrounding the castle I believe it cuts off 3 miles from the hike total.
Here is a map of the Rundweg trail
Ich Gehe Wandern (I go hiking) website has information on additional hikes in the Burg Eltz Castle area.
The beautiful Burg Eltz Castle in Germany makes a great day trip and is a wonderful addition to your itinerary.
Berg Eltz Castle Note:
A common misspelling is “ Berg Eltz Castle ” spelled with an “e” rather than the correct way with a “u.” In German a “ berg “ is a mountain, while a “ burg “ is a castle! No matter which way you found this article I hope that you find everything you need to visit the amazingly wonderful Burg Eltz Castle in Germany!
this is part of a larger trip
to read about the full trip follow this link
attention: privacy notice
photographs are permitted of Burg Eltz for private use only. The photos published here are for educational purposes only. all photographs on this site are property of Angie Kunze and are not to be duplicated without express permission.