Braubach, DE

The weekend after we returned from Florence, we stayed somewhat local and visited Marksburg Castle.  It’s located in the town of Braubach, which is just over an hour away from us.

The first glimpse we got of the castle was just as we were approaching the town.

We stopped in a parking lot to take some photos of it.

Once we parked the car, it was a little bit of a walk up to the castle.

That was just one section of the stairs and hills you have to navigate.

The first section of the castle that you get to is the Drawbridge Gate.

The gatekeeper’s room used to be just inside.  It’s now a bookshop.

The only way you can get inside the castle is with a guided tour, which in the winter is given only in German.  Luckily you can rent these English guidebooks to help you out. 

Just next to where you buy your entry ticket (6 Euro each at the time of our visit) and rent your guidebook is a little café.  We had almost 30 minutes before our tour so we went into the café where Sean had a coffee and I had a hot chocolate.  The prices were not bad and the cashier was a friendly, helpful young woman who spoke English. 

The castle overlooks the Rhine river and in is an area called the Upper Middle Rhine.  The entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Marksburg was built in 1117.  It is the only medieval castle along this section of the Rhine that has never been destroyed, although it did sustain some damage during World War II.  Today, Marksburg belongs to and is the head of the German Castle Organization.

There is a medieval garden area on the castle grounds.

About 150 different plants are grown here, including some that used to be used by witches and some that are poisonous.

When you look at this next photo, focus on the length of the bench.

That’s how thick the walls of the castle are.

Here you see the kitchen area.

This fireplace was big enough to roast an entire ox.

Notice the bars on the windows here.

In the 1800s, the castle was used a prison and bars were added to the windows to prevent prisoners from escaping.

Of course every castle has to have a torture chamber!

The building you see here that overlooks the Rhine was the gun battery.

It was built in the year 1711. 

This section of rock is called the Riders’ Stairway.


The rock here was hewn away to form stairs that led to the stables.  The purpose was to make it easier for horses to get up the slope, and the horses could be ridden directly into the stables.

That was pretty much the end of the tour, which lasted just about an hour.  Other areas of the castle that we saw included the wine cellar as well as a bedroom, a banquet hall, a chapel and chaplain’s room and a weaving room.   Some rooms in the castle can be rented out for banquets and other functions.

To be honest, even after asking someone I wasn’t quite sure whether I was allowed to take photos.  So, I pretty much just took them when I saw other people taking them, which is why I don’t have photos of every room we saw.

One other room that we saw was the armory, which apparently contains quite an impressive collection.  Unfortunately I’m just not into armor enough to have appreciated it, but if you’re passionate about armor you should probably visit this castle. 

On the drive back down the hill, I asked Sean to stop so I could take a photo of this sign I’d noticed on the way up.

I have never seen a sign like this and am not quite sure what to make of it.  Are we supposed to beware of squirrels eating nuts in the middle of the road?  I’m not quite sure so it’s probably a good thing we didn’t see any squirrels.

Marksburg Castle, because it has never been destroyed, is very well-preserved.  After visiting it, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of it and seen it sooner.  If you’re ever in this area of the Rhine and plan to visit a castle anyway, think about making it this one.

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