Discover the Timeless Beauty of Reichsburg Castle: A Journey Through History and Romance

Step into a world of enchantment and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of Reichsburg Castle. Nestled high above the picturesque town of Cochem in Germany, this magnificent fortress takes you on a journey through history and romance. With its commanding presence and breathtaking views of the Moselle River, Reichsburg Castle captivates visitors from all corners of the globe.

Reichsburg Castle Cochem

Dating back to the 11th century, this medieval masterpiece has stood the test of time, surviving war, destruction, and reconstruction. As you wander through its well-preserved halls and courtyards, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder at the stories that unfold within these walls. Imagine the lives of knights, noble ladies, and kings who once roamed these very grounds.

Reichsburg Castle offers a range of captivating experiences, from guided tours that delve into its rich past to vibrant medieval festivals that bring history to life. Whether you’re a history buff, a hopeless romantic, or simply seeking a unique adventure, a visit to Reichsburg Castle is an absolute must.

History of Reichsburg Castle

Reichsburg Castle has a rich and storied history that dates back over a thousand years. It was originally built in the 11th century by Count Ezzo and was a symbol of power and authority in the region. Over the centuries, the castle changed hands multiple times, witnessing the rise and fall of various noble families and even surviving the ravages of war.

One of the most significant events in the castle’s history occurred in the 17th century when it was captured by French troops during the Thirty Years’ War. The castle was partially destroyed and left in ruins for many years. However, in the late 19th century, a wealthy businessman named Louis Ravené took on the ambitious task of restoring the castle to its former glory.

Ravené’s restoration efforts were meticulous, ensuring that the castle retained its original charm and authenticity. Today, Reichsburg Castle stands as a testament to his vision and dedication, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the splendor of a bygone era.

Architecture and Design of Reichsburg Castle

The architecture and design of Reichsburg Castle are a fascinating blend of different styles and influences. The castle’s exterior reflects its medieval origins, with its imposing stone walls, towers, and battlements. As you approach the castle, you can’t help but be in awe of its grandeur and the incredible views it offers of the surrounding landscape.

Inside the castle, you’ll find a mix of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements. The Great Hall, with its high ceilings, intricate woodwork, and ornate chandeliers, is a sight to behold. The Knight’s Hall, adorned with suits of armor and medieval weaponry, transports you back to a time of chivalry and honor.

One of the most striking features of Reichsburg Castle is its stunning courtyard. Lined with beautiful arcades and surrounded by colorful flower beds, it’s the perfect place to pause and take in the beauty of your surroundings. From the courtyard, you can also catch a glimpse of the castle’s charming chapel, which features intricate stained glass windows and a peaceful atmosphere.

Notable Features and Rooms of Reichsburg Castle

Reichsburg Castle is home to a number of notable features and rooms that offer a glimpse into the past. The castle’s main tower, known as the Donjon, provides panoramic views of the Moselle River and the surrounding countryside. Climbing to the top of the tower is a must-do experience, as it offers a unique perspective on the castle and its surroundings.

The castle also boasts a collection of beautifully decorated rooms, each with its own unique charm. The Count’s Room, with its lavish furnishings and stunning tapestries, gives you a taste of the opulence enjoyed by the castle’s former inhabitants. The Ladies’ Room, adorned with delicate frescoes and elegant furniture, provides a glimpse into the lives of noblewomen from centuries past.

One of the most intriguing rooms in the castle is the Wine Museum. Cochem and the Moselle region are known for their excellent wines, and the castle’s Wine Museum showcases the history and production of these fine beverages. You can learn about the winemaking process, explore the cellars, and even participate in wine tastings to truly immerse yourself in the local culture.

Legends and Stories of Reichsburg Castle

Like any castle with a long history, Reichsburg Castle is steeped in legends and stories. One such legend tells the tale of a beautiful princess who was held captive in the castle by an evil sorcerer. According to the legend, the princess was rescued by a brave knight who fought his way through the castle’s defenses and defeated the sorcerer in a dramatic battle.

Another popular story is that of the “White Lady,” a ghostly apparition said to wander the halls of the castle. Legend has it that the White Lady was a noblewoman who was murdered by her jealous husband and now seeks revenge on anyone who enters the castle. While sightings of the White Lady are rare, her presence adds an air of mystery and intrigue to the castle’s already captivating ambiance.

Whether these legends are based on fact or fiction, they add to the allure of Reichsburg Castle and help to create an immersive and enchanting experience for visitors.

Exploring the Surroundings of Reichsburg Castle

The beauty of Reichsburg Castle is not limited to its walls and interiors; the surrounding area offers a wealth of natural beauty and attractions. The town of Cochem, nestled at the foot of the castle, is a charming and picturesque destination in its own right. Stroll through the narrow streets lined with half-timbered houses, visit the local shops and cafes, and soak in the relaxed atmosphere of this quaint town.

For nature enthusiasts, the Moselle River provides ample opportunities for scenic walks and boat rides. Take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank and admire the vineyards that cling to the steep slopes. Alternatively, hop on a boat and cruise along the river, taking in the breathtaking views of the castle and the surrounding countryside.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also explore the nearby Eifel region, known for its picturesque landscapes, forests, and hiking trails. The region offers a variety of outdoor activities, from cycling and horseback riding to canoeing and zip-lining. Immerse yourself in nature and experience the beauty of the German countryside.

Events and Festivals at Reichsburg Castle

Reichsburg Castle comes alive throughout the year with a variety of events and festivals that celebrate its rich history and heritage. One of the highlights is the Medieval Festival, held annually in the summer. During the festival, the castle is transformed into a medieval village, complete with costumed performers, jousting tournaments, and traditional music and dance.

Another popular event is the Wine Festival, which takes place in the castle’s courtyard. Visitors can sample a wide range of local wines, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy live music and entertainment. The Wine Festival is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s wine culture and experience the vibrant atmosphere of a traditional German festival.

Throughout the year, the castle also hosts various concerts, art exhibitions, and theater performances. Keep an eye on the event calendar to see what’s happening during your visit, as these events add an extra layer of excitement and entertainment to your experience at Reichsburg Castle.

Visiting Reichsburg Castle: Practical Information and Tips

Visiting Reichsburg Castle is a straightforward and enjoyable experience, but there are a few practicalities to keep in mind. The castle is open to the public from March to November, and guided tours are available in multiple languages. It’s recommended to book your tour in advance, especially during peak tourist season, to ensure availability.

The castle is perched on a hill, so be prepared for some uphill walking. Comfortable shoes are a must, as some areas of the castle can be uneven. Additionally, the castle can be quite busy during weekends and public holidays, so consider visiting on a weekday for a more relaxed experience. There is a shuttle bus you can get in the main square in Cochem that will take you to the castle for a small fee.

Don’t forget to bring your camera, as the castle and its surroundings offer countless photo opportunities. Capture the stunning views, the intricate details of the architecture, and the magical atmosphere that pervades every corner of Reichsburg Castle.

Lastly, take your time to fully immerse yourself in the castle’s history and ambiance. Listen to the stories of the knowledgeable guides, explore every nook and cranny, and let your imagination run wild as you step back in time. Reichsburg Castle is a place where dreams come alive and memories are made.

Nearby Attractions and Activities

If you have extra time to spare, several nearby attractions and activities complement your visit to Reichsburg Castle. Just a short drive away is the historic town of Trier, known for its well-preserved Roman ruins, including the iconic Porta Nigra. Explore the ancient amphitheater, visit the impressive Cathedral of Trier, and soak in the rich history of this fascinating city.

For a different perspective on the Moselle River, consider taking a scenic boat trip from Cochem to the charming town of Bernkastel-Kues. Admire the vineyards, castles, and quaint villages that line the riverbanks as you leisurely cruise along the water. Once in Bernkastel-Kues, explore the medieval town center, sample the local wines, and relax in one of the many cozy wine taverns.

If you’re a fan of outdoor activities, the nearby Calmont Klettersteig offers a thrilling adventure. Known as the steepest vineyard in Europe, this hiking trail takes you along narrow paths and steep cliffs, providing breathtaking views of the Moselle Valley. It’s an exhilarating experience that rewards you with unforgettable vistas and a sense of accomplishment.

Ships docked on the Moselle River

Mosel River Cruise

Taking a Mosel River Cruise is a great way to visit Reichsburg Castle, Cochem, and other charming wine villages along the river.

Europeanbarging offers cruise itineraries from 5-night to 9-night along the Rhine and Mosel Rivers.  A-ROSA and Croisieurope cruise lines offer 5-night to 7-night cruises on the Rhin and Mosel Rivers.  AmaWaterways offers 7-night to 9-night cruise itineraries.

For more information on river cruises  and barge cruises cruising the Mosel River, please get in touch with us at jan@europeanbarging or 713-240-6753 / 888-869-7907

Cologne Cathedral, a Renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site

Situated in the vibrant city of Cologne, Germany along the banks of the Rhine River is the Cologne Cathedral, a High Gothic five-aisled basilica that is considered a masterpiece of world architecture. Its immense twin spires soar to 157 meters, making this renowned cathedral visible from many parts of the city.


Cologne Cathedral at Night

Construction first began on this iconic church in 1248 in order to house the purported relics of the Biblical Three Kings. However, it was not officially completed until 1880, over 600 years later! Despite this lengthy construction timeline, Cologne Cathedral remains largely unchanged since medieval times and provides visitors with an authentic look into Gothic architecture and design.

In 1996, this magnificent cathedral gained recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its exceptional universal value as an outstanding example of Gothic cathedral design.

Key reasons this site earned its prestigious status include:

Architectural History: As the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, the Cologne Cathedral gives profound insights into medieval design practices with features that influenced many other churches in the region.

Religious Importance: The Cathedral has been a renowned pilgrimage destination since the alleged relics of the Three Kings arrived in 1164. To this day, the church remains highly significant to the Catholic faith.

Landmark Status: Its immense size and striking twin towers established the cathedral as a tangible icon of Cologne’s identity, even inspired folklore that attributed magical protection to the city.


What to See at the Cologne Cathedral

A tour of the Cologne Cathedral allows visitors to take in elements from over seven centuries of design:

Impressive Exterior: The cathedral’s facade stretches almost 160 meters long and features soaring pointed arches, flying buttresses, and pinnacles. The design epitomizes classic Gothic style.

Elaborate Interior Treasures: Inside, flickering candlelight illuminates the fantastic stained glass, gilded sarcophagi of past archbishops, and glittering choir stalls.

Treasures of the Three Kings: In the famous Shrine of the Three Kings, visitors can glimpse the ornate sarcophagus said to hold the relics that have made this cathedral so significant to religious pilgrims.

Views from the South Tower: After climbing over 500 steps up endless medieval staircases, visitors who brave the South Tower are rewarded with sweeping views over Cologne’s majestic spires and rooftops.


Legacy as an Architectural Wonder

As one of Europe’s most acclaimed cathedrals renowned for its size, beauty, and completeness, Cologne Cathedral leaves a lasting imprint. The soaring Gothic towers rising dramatically over the Rhine River skyline serve as testaments to visionary medieval architects who designed one of history’s architectural wonders.


A-Rosa Clea out door lounge

A-ROSA Cruises
When booking an A-ROSA Rhine River cruise, the cruises start and end in Cologne, so you have time to explore this great Cathedral.  The pick up and drop off point for the cruise line is the Cologne Train Station, which is next to the Cathedral.  A-ROSA offers 5-night, 7-night and 9-night cruises, offering such itineraries as:

Amsterdam and Rotterdam on the A-ROSA Sena
Holland on the A-ROSA Alea, Clea, and Aqua
Rhine and Mosel Rivers aboard the A-ROSA Alea, Clea, Silva,  and Aqua



A-ROSA Sena Family CabinOn most cruises, children 15 and under cruise free with at least 1 adult.  During the summer there are several dates that the ships offer a children’s program with activities.  All ships (except Alea and Clea), feature really relaxing spa services with hot tub/jacuzzi and treatment rooms.

From May 1 – May 31st, 2024, if you book one of the Rhine A-Rosa cruises, you will receive a 14% discount.  Rate includes, beverages, all meals, Wi-Fi and 1 excursion on a 7 night cruise or longer.

For more information on the A-ROSA Cruise line, please contact us at  or 713-240-6753  /  888-869-7907  or

Cruise the Rhine in Style with European Barging

While cruising the Rhine River, enjoy a view of the UNESCO Cologne Cathedral. This journey through the heart of Germany combines river cruising on the storied Rhine with a visit to the magnificent Gothic Cologne Cathedral. With fairytale castles, charming riverside villages, and stunning scenery, this is a Rhine River cruise vacation not to be missed!


Cruise on a River Cruise

Our cruise ship carry up to 174 passengers for a relaxed, personalized cruising experience. Guests can expect sophisticated, elegant decor and exceptional service from our friendly crew catering to your every need. After days filled with sightseeing, retire to your finely appointed cabin or relax on the spacious sun deck under panoramic blue skies.

Cologne Cathedral at Night

Marvel at the Cologne Cathedral

The magnificent Cologne Cathedral amazes all who enter. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it boasts soaring vaulted ceilings, stunning stained glass windows, and artistic treasures galore. Our expert guides reveal tales of its long construction and religious relics that will deepen your appreciation of this Gothic wonder – one of Europe’s most impressive cathedrals.


Relax on Deck with Panoramic River Views

There’s no better place to unwind with a glass of Riesling and admire the passing scenery than on the open-air sun deck. As we sail through the Rhine Gorge, take in spectacular panoramas of vineyards marching up hillsides and historic castles perched on high. Picturesque villages with medieval charm drift by. Our ships offer front-row views of the river’s constantly changing vistas.


Learn from Expert Guides

Our guided excursions are led by knowledgeable locals who provide insider perspectives. Hear intriguing stories about the Cologne Cathedral on an in-depth tour. In riverside towns, guides suggest the best cafés to try and share tales that reveal the destination’s heritage. We’ll take you behind the scenes through the eyes of real local experts.

Cable car ride thru the Rudesheim Vineyards

Bike and Hike Along the River

For active guests, we offer opportunities to bike and hike right from the ship to explore riverside trails. Guests can hike through vine-covered hills above Rudesheim and bike along the Rhine from Bacharach to Kaub. Guided biking tours also travel through the Rhine gorge countryside. With options to get outdoors, our cruises appeal to travelers’ adventurous side.

Cycling along the Rhine by the Cologne Cathedral

Savor Sunset from the Rhine Deck

As dusk falls, join us on the sun deck with a glass of Riesling in hand. Soak up the magic of sunset over the river, as the water turns molten gold. Watch the sun sink over vineyard-blanketed hills and the glittering lights of medieval castles come alive. Sunsets from our sundeck create memories to last a lifetime.


River Cruises Visiting the Cologne Cathedral

AmaWaterways offers 7-night Captivating Rhine, Enchanting Rhine, Rhine Castles and Swiss Alps, Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle and 11-night Rhine and Moselle Fairytales .

Croisi Europe offer 7-night cruise on the Rhine between Amsterdam and Basel, 6 and 7-night cruises between Strasbourg and Amsterdam.  There is also a 5-day Rhine and Dutch Christmas cruise  between Strasbourg and Amsterdam.

Join us for the journey of a lifetime on the legendary Rhine! Contact European Barging to book your Cologne Cathedral – Rhine River cruise and unlock castles, cathedrals, villages, and more.  713-240-6753  /  888-869-7907


Valrhona Chocolate in Tain L’Hermitage

chocolate-1360809-mValrhona Chocolate – A Chocolate Lovers Dream

“Being the chocoholic that I am, whenever I am in Europe I scope out all I can on chocolate. My first introduction to the really fine Valrhona Chocolate was when I was on a Provence River cruise several years ago and I stopped into a chocolate shop along the Rhone River. I bought a few pieces of several brands. Unbeknownst to me, the Valrhona chocolate company was just across the river. By the time I returned to Paris after the cruise, I was ready to find more. As I have mentioned before, I love dark chocolate and Valrhona has a nice selection. I know most people think the chocolate squares are the true chocolate but I like something with my chocolate – such as chocolate covered almonds, hazelnuts, (and my favorite) dark chocolate covered orange rind and so on.

Enjoy Chocolate and Wine in Train L’Hermitage

As Valrhona has contracts with cocoa bean growers in South America and Africa, they have some really fine quality chocolate. As they are in the Cote du Rhone Wine region of France, they call some of their chocolates Grand Cru. While in Galleries Lafayette, who has a Valrhona Candy department, I was looking for a business gift and found a special wooden box of special limited chocolates – Like great wines, Vintage Single Origin chocolates bear the name and sensory signature of their specific terroir. Highly anticipated by connoisseurs, Valrhonas Vintage Single Origin chocolate bars are produced in limited quantities depending on the crop. This was the perfect gift for a fellow wine and chocolate lover. Again, as Valrhona is in the wine region of France, they have many recommendations for chocolate and wine pairing and even chocolate and beer pairing.

Cruise the Rhone River and Taste Fine Chocolate at Valrhona

While on a barge or river cruise on the Rhone River, A-ROSA river cruises offer a tour and tasting at Valrhona. We also offer several barge and river cruises with chocolate as the theme. Give us a call for more information at 713-240-6753 / 888-869-7907  or email  or visit our website:

An Overview of the Historic Attractions of Prague

Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and one of Central Europe’s economic and cultural centers. Prague is considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities.



Charles Bridge

Prague Astronomical ClockMany of the city’s most famed landmarks are located here, including:

  • Charles Bridge, which is the city’s oldest surviving bridge. Charles IV commissioned the bridge in 1357 and it was completed in 1390. It is notable for its striking Gothic towers on either side as well as the historic statues that can be found along its length.
  • Hradcany Castle, which was once the seat of the country’s rulers but is currently the Czech president’s official residence. Established in the ninth century, it is a complex encompassing 45 acres where many historical landmarks can be found.
  • St Vitus Cathedral is a must see attraction in the Hradcany Castle complex. It is where the coronation ceremonies of Bohemia’s kings were once held. The cathedral also has several underground tombs were a number of kings are buried.
  • The Prague Astronomical Clock, which is installed outside of the Old Town Hall in Old Town Square. Originally installed in 1410, the clock is the oldest one of its type to be still operating. It’s marking of the hour draws visitors from all over the world.
  • Prague Castle, which overlooks the Lesser Town and dates back to the ninth century. The castle complex encompasses an area of nearly 70,000 square meters and includes ecclesiastical buildings and palaces in a variety of architectural styles ranging from the Gothic to the Romanesque. It has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • St. Vitus Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral notable as an outstanding example of Gothic architecture. Located in the Prague Castle complex, the cathedral is currently the seat of Prague’s Archbishop.

St Victus Cathedral located in Prague

Visitors who want to learn about Prague’s rich history can visit some of the city’s many museums. The most interesting of these include:

  • The Jewish Museum is a complex of preserved monuments that include synagogues, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Jewish Ceremonial Hall. Walking through the cobblestoned streets of the exhibits offers visitors a glimpse into the history of Prague’s Jewish community.
  • The Museum of Communism shows how Czechs lived under Communist rule from 1948 until 1989. Visitors can view multimedia exhibits as well as the museum’s collection of propaganda and other artifacts from the period.
  • The St. Cyril and St. Methodus Cathedral is an Orthodox Church whose basement hosts a memorial to Czech resistance fighters who assassinated the city’s Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich in May 1942 and hid in the cathedral’s crypt afterwards. The church itself is of historic interest since it was Prague’s first Orthodox cathedral.

There are several ways to visit Prague, including river cruises from Prague.

We offer river cruises on the Elbe River and Vitavia River aboard an 80 passenger Paddleboat – Elbe Princess I and II.  Cruise itineraries include 7-night round trip Prague and 9 day Elbe River Cruise between Belin and Prague.

Another way to see Prague from a river cruise tour is with as pre or post land program from a Danube or Main-Danube River Cruise or Mosel River Cruise.  There are even Christmas Market cruises between Budapest and Nuremberg or Budapest and Vilshofen, so you can enjoy Prague Christmas Markets.

For more information contact us:  888-869-7907 / 713-240-6753