Standing proud atop its craggy perch 300 feet ((91.5 meters) above the River Moselle, Cochem Castle seems to grow organically out of the rock, and it has been that way for a millennium, as its origins lie in the 10th century. Its many massive stone pinnacles, towers, turret, terraces and spires are liberally decorated with colorful frescoes, and a drawbridge sitting on the top of thick defense walls adjoins the castle to the small town of Cochem. Views from the tower across the river and the fertile, rolling countryside are utterly spectacular.
Although much of the castle was remodeled in the 19th century, parts of the interior maintain the medieval fantasy with rich adornment by frescoes, stone-carved fireplaces, suits of armor, and ornate gilding on the vaulted ceilings. In summer there are daily falconry shows to continue the medieval vibe alongside banquets around long trestle tables where wenches serve great plates of food and jesters entertain.
Reichsburg Cochem is in the town of Cochem and is open daily from mid-March to October from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs €5 for adults, €4.50 for students and €3 for children under 17. Forty-minute guided tours are available daily and are given in German with translation sheets available. Shuttle buses run up to the castle from the town; otherwise it’s a steep walk to get there.