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Germany's Rheinstein Castle

A castle fit for a fairytale awaits in Germany along the Rhine River.

Rheinstein Castle overlooks the Rhine Valley, image
Photo caption
The majestic Rheinstein Castle overlooks a panoramic Rhine Valley landscape.

 

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.