Cochem Castle hot spot for excursions, family outings

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
It is definitely a highlight to any Mosel visitor to explore the magnificent castle of Cochem.
Documents say that the castle is thought to have been built around the year 1020 during the reign of Count Palatine Ezzo, but the first documentary evidence of the Cochem castle comes from 1051 when Richeza, Count Palatinate Ezzo's eldest daughter and former queen of the Poles, handed the castle over to her nephew, Count Palatinate Heinrich I. 

The association between Cochem Castle and the Palatine continued even after the era of the Ezzos. Subsequently King Konrad II put an end to a dispute over the Count's title in 1151 by installing castellans in Cochem Castle and reclaiming it permanently when the fief expired. 

In 1688 the castle was occupied by French troops belonging to the French king Louis XIV who was known as the sun king, and who penetrated the Rhine and Mosel areas during the Palatinate War of Succession. After the whole town had been occupied by French troops in March 1689 the castle was set on fire and blown up in 1689. 

The castle remained a ruin until 1868 when Louis Ravene, a businessman from Berlin, bought the land and had the castle restored. The remnants of this late Gothic construction were used as the basis for the rebuilt castle which was restored in neo-Gothic style in line with the Romantic ideas of the 19th century. At this time the reconstructed castle served as a residence for the Ravene family. 

Nowadays Cochem Castle is still magnificently furnished and includes some pieces from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, pieces which the Ravene family collected with great appreciation. Since 1978 the castle has been in the possession of the Cochem Town Council and is managed by a company called Reichsburg GmbH. 

Cochem Castle, which stands on a striking hilltop more than 300 feet above the level of the Mosel river, is a popular venue for excursions and family outings. 

Cochem castle is open now for the 2007 season. Times are daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry is 4,50 euro for adults and 2,50 euro for children and students. Groups of 12 people and more pay 4,00 euro per person. The entry price includes a 40-minute tour through the castle. English speaking tours for groups must be booked in advance. 

Medieval dinners are available at the Cochem castle Fridays and Saturdays, starting in mid-April. Dinners must be booked in advance. Cost is 41,50 euro per person, including a tour of the castle, a dinner and entertainment. The event lasts about four hours. For more information, call 02671-255. 

The first weekend in August, the castle staff hosts a medieval festival, which will be Aug. 4-5 this year. An ancient handicraft market with various stands will be available and entertainment will be provided from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. People can see knights, medieval plays and much more. Music will be played. 

Year-round, the tourist city of Cochem offers shopping, cafes, wine tasting and nice trails for walks and marches.