A castle fit for a fairytale awaits in Germany along the Rhine River.
Stained glass and stone walls, turreted towers and suits of armor, a drawbridge and a portcullis—Rheinstein Castle has all the features you’d expect from a picturesque medieval fortress.
Built in the late 13th century on a steep, rocky hillside above the Rhine River west of Frankfurt, Rheinstein was home to a centuries-long succession of archbishops whose legacy lingers in the site’s neo-Gothic chapel. Burgundy grapes, once used to make sacramental wine, still grow on the 200-year-old vines in the garden.
The castle endures as a symbol of strength and solitude after being restored and rebuilt in the 1820s by the prince of Prussia. (He and his family reside in the royal crypt.) Docent-led or self-guided tours transport visitors to an era before the Gutenberg Bible and Martin Luther’s theses.
Photography by Iain Masterson/Alamy
This article was first published in November 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.