Enchanting Excursions on the Rhine River, Germany

Castles, Romance, and Witches

Exploring Fairytale Excursions on a Rhine River Cruise

Castles are awesome! I love how I feel when I step into an old castle. My mind goes wild! Flashes of fair princesses and knights of valor bounce around my head as if I’ve gone back to a time of wooden swords in my childhood. One thing that has been on my bucket list for a long time is to take a Rhine River cruise to explore its medieval fortresses, castles and palaces. I love cruising, and a river cruise gives you the opportunity to get off the boat for way more ground time. Time for exploring castles of course.

The Rhine River

The Rhine River

There are loads of enchanting, storybook moments to be had along the magical waters of the Rhine River. With a stunning skyline of jaw-dropping castles, the infamous Romantic Road, sleepy medieval villages, and even a proper medieval banquet in a 12th century castle, there is no way this trip would be anything less than a fairytale. Oh and we must not forget the witches, what would a fairytale be without its witches?

Needless to say, I have sorted through the most fairytale of all fairytale excursions on these river cruises and I have stumbled upon some pretty enchanting stuff. Here are some tips on common excursions for the most enchanting experience along the Rhine.

Wurzburg

Prince Bishop’s Resident Palace

Explore the splendors of this 18th century German Baroque palace where the former Prince-Bishops of Würzburg resided in the Marienberg Fortress until he died in the late 18th century. This Wurzburg centerpiece is one of the stunning examples of Baroque architecture in Europe and part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. You can also enjoy wine tastings in its underground cellars.

Germany’s Romantic Road

Prince Bishop’s Residence is one of the highlights of the Wurzburg section of Germany’s Romantic Road. Wurzburg is home to many more sights that emulate the romanticized fairytale culture that this part of Germany radiates. Stift Haug, the Cathedral of St. Kilian, Marienburg Kapelle, the Town Hall, and the Main Bridge are also great highlights of the popular tourism route.

Marienburg Kapelle along the Romantic Road

Marienburg Kapelle along the Romantic Road

A Witch Trial Tour

In Wurzburg you can take a guided tour and learn the history of the largest mass execution in the Early Modern Period known as the Wurzburg Witch Trials. From 1626-1631 over a thousand men, women and children were burned at the stake after being found guilty of witchcraft. Or so it is said.

Koblenz to Bingen

Along the Rhine Gorge, Rheinstein Castle

Along the Rhine Gorge, Rheinstein Castle

Rhine Gorge Castles

The slopes of the Rhine River in Rudesheim are something straight from a storybook. Here you will see some of Germany’s most spectacular castles. This area is also known as the Upper Middle Rhine Valley and stretches between Koblenz and Bingen, Germany. Due to its unique combination of geological, historical, cultural and industry, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 2002. 

Schloss Stolzenfels along the Rhine River

Schloss Stolzenfels along the Rhine River

Some of the structures you will see commanding the skyline are; Burg Katz, Stolzenfels Castle, Marksburg, Burg Pfalzgrafenstein at Kaub, Burg Gutenfels, Werner Chapel at Bacharach, Burg Rheinstein, Mouse Tower, Ehrenfels Castle, and Burg Stahleck Castle.

A Medieval Dinner at Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle

This 12th century castle is the only one in the Middle Rhine region that was never destroyed. It is perched high upon a hill in Braubach, Germany where it was constructed to maintain a watchful eye of the town and served to protect it. One of its interesting features is the herb garden from the medieval period. It boasts witching herbs like hemlock and deadly nightshade and even mandragora (mandrake) like the herb from the Harry Potter movies. They also host a candlelight dinner by an open fire in the castle’s Gothic Great Hall. You can get a private tour of the castle as well.

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About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

5 Comments on this post

  1. Don’t forget to mention the Loreley, just between Koblenz and Rüdesheim, near St. Goarshausen! It’s just a statue, but the story behind it is still interesting.
    Besides, on the way there you pass about five castles on either side of the river, some of which are amazingly illuminated by night.
    Koblenz itself also has a few sights to behold, including a fortress high above the city, the “Deutsches Eck” (German Corner), where Moselle joins the Rhine and a clock in the city centre that will stick a tongue at you.

    PoiSonPaiNter / Reply
  2. That really is a great collection of castles, Christa! The Rhine Valley and Romantic Road sound quite amazing and even if I grew up in Germany, I have never even seen much of the area myself. But since I feel much the same way as you when entering one of the old castles, I should really make an effort to explore this beautiful area of Germany as well… 🙂

    Dennis Kopp / Reply
  3. So beautiful! Love castles, and Germany is wonderful. Such a fairytale place. I really want to road trip around to find all the fairy tale castles

    Sammi Egan / Reply
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