The Reichsburg Cochem, or Imperial Castle in Cochem, is much more than simply a castle. The castle’s old walls majestically tower over the Moselle River Valley, acting as an invitation for all culture and history enthusiasts to come and spend some time exploring one of the highest hill castles along the river. The castle, which is the largest castle on the Moselle River, soars over the town of Cochem on top of a mighty crag, putting guests in awe of its imposing battlements and delicate bays.
This medieval castle in Cochem was severely damaged during a war of succession while owned by the electoral princes of Trier. Reichsburg Cochem was purchased and carefully restored to a Neo-Gothic style that is associated with the nineteenth century’s German castle romanticism by Louis Ravené, the Counselor of Commerce. Visitors will find impressive interior rooms as they explore the castle, including the Bower, the Trophy Room, the Dining Hall, and the Knight’s Hall.
Reichsburg Cochem is generally thought to have been constructed by the palatinate count Ezzo, the successor and son of count Hermann Pusilius, in approximately the year 1000. The castle in Cochem was first noted in a document in the year 1051, when the oldest daughter of Ezzo and former Queen of Poland, Richeza, gave the castle to palatine count Henry I, her nephew. The Cochem castle still remained in connection with the title of palatinate count, even after the family of Ezzo ceased to be palatinate counts.
Many years later, King Konrad III ended a dispute about the succession by occupying Reichsburg Cochem with troops in 1151. With this action, he was finally able to take control of the castle in Cochem, which became an imperial fiefdom. This resulted in Reichsburg Cochem becoming an imperial castle during the reign of the Staufer dynasty in Germany. Since this time, imperial ministers, who were give a “Lord of the castle” title, were installed to serve as administrator of the castle, as well as the properties surrounding it.
Along with guided tours of the castle in several languages, visitors can come together on Fridays and Saturdays at Reichsburg Cochem for a medieval style dinner. The event is called the “Knights’ Feast,” and is a four-hour dinner program that features maids, minstrels, and many chances to laugh. The evening meal is favorite among locals for groups, individuals, or even company parties. Following a guided tour of Reichsburg Cochem, guests are led to the cellar halls to enjoy a rustic feast, as well as be completely immersed in medieval practices, customs, and maybe even punishments. After some wine, songs, and contests, the night culminates with a knighting.
The castle festival occurs annually during the first week of August. The festival features artisans, medieval performers, other various folke that welcome visitors to enjoy a unique event within the walls of the ancient castle. Guests are invited during the festival to become a part of the lively medieval market set against the proud walls of Reichsburg Cochem.
Schlossstraße 36, Cochem, Germany, Phone: 49-2-67-12-55
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