Picturesque Cochem is a stop for most visitors traveling along the Mosel. Even if they had no plans to visit the landmark town, the draw of Cochem Castle (Reichsburg Cochem) on top of the hill lures in thousands of visitors each year.
Of course you should visit the castle and details to plan your visit are provided here, but also explore the lovely old town center, riverfront and local ruins.
The largest hill-castle on the Mosel, Reichsburg Cochem dominates the town's skyline.
The castle has a long history of defense, getting overrun, and being rebuilt. Established in the early 1000s, it was first destroyed in 1688 by French King Louis XIV's troops during the Nine Years' War (or Pfälzischer Erbfolgekrieg). It was rebuilt in 1868 by a wealthy Berliner, Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené, for the paltry sum of 300 Goldmark. Since that time, it has passed through several hands before being purchased by the town of Cochem in 1978.
Today's visitors see the fortress restored to its original condition. Full of grand dining rooms, Neo-Gothic halls, and secret passages decorated with suits of armor and baroque furniture. The castle once housed as many as 40,000 knights.
Even though its imposing spires can be seen from every angle, actually reaching the castle is a bit harder. While visitors can hike to the top, a shuttle bus (from April to November) offers a much easier journey. Especially in the off-season, taxis frequently offer a short run to the site. It is not recommended to drive up to the site as medieval one-way streets and frequent traffic result in some uncomfortable backing-up situations.
While you can approach the castle for free, entry is only available through 40-minute guided tours. Available every day between 9:00 to 17:.00, these are usually in German with a translation sheet available in 12 languages. Tours take visitors through some of the main rooms of the castle, offering a comprehensive look at the history of the site. For visitors interested in a more immersive experience, the Knight’s Meal or Ghost Tour offer a complete experience and authentic meal.
Like many places along the Mosel, the regional specialty of riesling is on offer in Cochem. Germany has been producing riesling since 1435 and you can find elegant wines with grapes grown just outside of the town. Expect world-class wines with light fragrance and body, pale color, and fruity acidity.
The other Cochem product all visitors should take home as a gifts or souvenir is mustard, or senf. Visit the 200-year-old mustard mill at Wolfgang Steffens and discover how this special gourmet mustard is created following self-created recipes that have been handed down through the generations. Guided tours (with tastings!) are available and a shop to take some of this delicious mustard home.
- Address: Stadionstrasse 1, D- 56812 Cochem/Mosel
- Phone: 49 (0) 2671 607 665
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shop Hours: 10:00 until 18:00 - Monday to Sunday
Located on the neighboring valley of Enderttal, the ruins of this 13th century castle are a testament to the many wars fought along the Mosel. Destroyed during the Nine Years' War in 1689, visitors still frequent the site to examine the cost of battle.
- How to Reach the Site: One hour hike up from Cochem's town center
- Address: 56812 Cochem
An impressive lookout point with unparalleled view of Reichsburg Cochem, the easiest way to reach the summit is by chairlift. An enormous cross memorializes the shepherd who lost his life trying to save one of his herd. Take a camera to capture the magic.
For another impressive viewpoint back at the castle, cross over the Mosel to the village of Cond.
How to Reach the Site: Take the chairlift, or go for a hike. Behind Cochem's train station is a footpath to the Pinnerberg.