Stolzenfels Castle. Banqueting halls, period culture and glorious views.

High above the Rhine in Koblenz stands the crowning glory of Rhine Romanticism, Stolzenfels Castle – a triumph of the period with its fabulous architecture and beautifully decorated halls and rooms.

Originally a toll castle from around 1250, Stolzenfels was destroyed during the Palatinate war of succession. It was rebuilt between 1836 and 1842 under King Friedrich Wilhelm IV to plans by the great Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Its ochre walls, flat roofs, pergolas and terraces all help to create a light, Italianate feel. The exquisite and often original furnishings illustrate the attitudes and lifestyle of people at the time. Two highlights are the great knights' hall and a smaller knights' hall. The small hall in the medieval residential tower was originally a reception room. Its walls are adorned with frescos depicting medieval German history. The small knights' hall has two doors leading out onto the roof terrace above the castle chapel. Those on the south and the east side offer wonderful views of the Rhine Valley. The romantic castle grounds were landscaped by Peter Joseph Lenné. In 2002 the castle became part of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage site. Nearby attractions: at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle stands the 'Deutsches Eck'or 'German Corner', which is crowned by a monumental equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I. Ehrenbreitstein Fortress is the largest intact fortress in Europe. Its fortifications, which have been in existence since the 16th century, today accommodate the Koblenz Regional Museum and the local youth hostel.

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