Nature and heritage lovers will discover in Rhineland-Palatinate, a region located in the west of Germany on the border with France, Luxembourg and Belgium, a territory of predilection for indulging in splendid hiking or by bike. The walks are punctuated by the visit of exceptional monuments: the castles of Romantic Germany. These imposing buildings steeped in history take place at the top of hills, on rocky outcrops, in the heart of forests, overlooking streams and vineyards to form one, including with the towns at their foot which are as many 'stages where to stroll, participate in a wine tasting and taste the regional gastronomy. Here are the 10 most beautiful castles in Romantic Germany.

The former palace of the prince-electors and the Basilica of Constantine in Trier

An excursion to Trier is an opportunity to discover a city with a rich heritage. It was founded by the Romans and preserves splendid vestiges such as the Porta Nigra. Then direction the Basilica of Constantine, built under the emperor whose name it bears in 310. It was originally a Roman aula and impresses in particular by its exceptional dimensions. Several times modified during its history, it regained its initial appearance in the 19th century. Today a Protestant place of worship, the monument is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next to the basilica is the former palace of the prince-electors. Modified in the 13th century in a Renaissance style by the Archbishop of the city of Trier, the monument today draws crowds for its Rococo wing built between 1756 and 1762. Not to be missed: the artistic staircase designed by Johannes Seiz in the interior and the French-style park where Baroque statues, flower beds and water features are found.

Trifels castle

Originally a Salesian monastery, the castle of Trifels impresses with its geographical position, on the heights of the town of Annweiler and overlooking a green valley, like a Garden of Eden. Undoubtedly built in the 11th century, the castle was intended to protect the empire and housed the three crown jewels (crown, scepter, orb). It was also said at the time that "Whoever owns Trifels, owns the empire". The monument is also known to have served as a prison and to have welcomed some famous people like Richard the Lionheart who was held there on his return from the Third Crusade. Partly restored, one should not miss to contemplate its architecture in the smallest details and to go to see the symbols of power preserved in the chapel. Guided tours in French are available.

Hambach castle

Hambach Castle is another eye-catching monument due to its location, overlooking the vineyards and forests of the southern Palatinate. It is also a symbolic stronghold, considered the cradle of German and European democracy. Because if it was built in the Middle Ages, it was indeed in the 19th century that it reached an exceptional scale, bringing together 30,000 people who came to plead for fundamental rights, as well as for tolerance, equality and democracy. in Germany and Europe. It was in ruins for a long time before being rebuilt in 1960. In passing, you should not miss the permanent exhibition "On the way to the castle!" ", A fascinating journey through the history of democracy.

Marksburg Castle - Braubach

The medieval city of Braubach is surrounded by vineyards, which makes it a choice stopover for wine tourism enthusiasts. The magnificent castle of Marksburg, built in the 13th century, dominates the picturesque alleys of the old town as well as the Rhine river of legends, at more than 160 m in height. It is an exceptional testimony to history since it is the only fortified castle in the valley not to have been destroyed. The visit of the building offers a wonderful trip to medieval times and castle life, during which we discover its main spaces such as the kitchen and its imposing fireplace, the knights' room, the women's apartments, the dining room. 'weapons and the ramparts.

Landshut Castle

Passing through the historic center of Bernkastel-Kues, one can help but stare at the ruins of Landshut castle. After taking a charming stroll through the vineyards or taking the “Burg-Landshut - Express” shuttle, direction the castle, whose origins date back to Roman times. On site, we take a cultural walk around the building and the information panels reveal the history of its construction. You can also enjoy the breathtaking view of the Moselle, the forest, the vineyards and the town below. Then, we take a well-deserved gourmet break by joining the restaurant which delights the taste buds with its fresh and local cuisine.

 The ruins of the Fortress of Mount Royal

Above the town of Traben-Trarbach stand the ruins of the fortress of Mount Royal. A path at the top of Römerstrasse leads to the site which is well worth a visit. Because the ruins are part of these vestiges that tell the story, and that of the Fortress of Mount Royal begins in the 17th century, when Louis XIV had it built by Vauban as part of his policy of annexation and expansion to the east. If it could accommodate up to 12,000 men at its peak, it was finally dismantled, because it was too expensive and then destroyed by the French in 1698 after the Treaty of Rijswijck. If not much remains of the fortress, the few ruins allow you to immerse yourself in its history.

Cochem Imperial Castle

Located in the heart of the Moselle-Sarre-Ruwer wine region, the romantic village of Cochem seduces by the traces left by the time of the Middle Ages, and in particular its very beautiful half-timbered houses, the narrow and picturesque alleys and the charming promenade that one can perform on the banks of the Moselle. On the heights of the town is the Imperial Castle (Reichsburg), which offers an incredible view of the valley, the village and the vineyards. The building was built around the year 1000, then left in a state of ruin until 1868, when the trader and future commercial advisor Louis Ravené of Berlin decided to buy the land and have the monument rebuilt in a neo-Gothic style. A visit is in particular the opportunity to admire its superb turrets surmounted by pinnacles.

The Roman fort of Bodobrica

During a stay in Rhineland-Palatinate, fans of Roman architecture should make a stopover in the city of Boppard. It was indeed one of the most important Roman cities of the Middle Rhine Valley, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Celts also left their mark on the city. After strolling through the streets of the city center and stopping in a few bars to taste a few local beverages, you shouldn't miss visiting the ruins of the Roman fort of Bodobrica. Beautifully, the stones offer a journey back to ancestral times and we observe here and there that nature seems to take back its rights.

Ehrenbreitstein fortified castle

This Prussian fortress is one of the best preserved in Europe. However, we know that its history dates back to the time of the Celts. It proudly dominates Koblenz and was part under Prussian domination of a fortified belt deployed around the city. From the building, the view of the confluence of the two rivers, the Rhine and the Moselle, is simply breathtaking. The Ehrenbreitstein castle also offers the possibility of strolling in a park and strolling through its monumental exhibition rooms. Various themed tours are offered to the public to relive the history of this prestigious monument. A cable car is available to visitors to reach the castle.

Eltz Castle

Whether you look at it from afar or visit it, you realize that Eltz Castle is one of the most beautiful in Germany and also one of the best preserved. For 800 years, it has been owned by the descendants of the Earls of Eltz and the current residents are happy to welcome visitors to discover all of its splendor and relive its history, which begins in the Middle Ages. This fairy-tale castle primarily appeals to its location, perched on a rocky peak in the Eifel hills, overlooking the Eltzbach river and bordering the Moselle valley. Inside, a visit to the various rooms reveals superb murals, period furniture and a large collection of art objects.