Eltz Castle, Wierschem
Eltz, Moselle tributary at river kilometre 34

The elliptical rocky head rises up to 70 metres above the Eltz, which flows around it on three sides. A castle was built on it in the 12th century and has been in the possession of the noble family for eight centuries.

The Eltz, which is around 60 kilometres long, flows from the Eifel towards the Moselle, passing through picturesque villages such as Monreal and separating the Maifeld from the Eifel. In the past, people never married across the river, not even danced together, my grandmother told me: On this side of the river the proud Maifeld farmers with their fertile soils, climatically favoured between the Elz and the Moselle as part of the Middle Rhine Basin, on the other side of the Eltz the Eifelans with their barren soils in the higher mountains.

Trade routes often led along the streams, presumably also along the Elz. Fortunately, the castle was not often seriously warred against. In the years 1331-1336, the lords of Eltz, together with other free imperial knights, resisted the territorial policy of Archbishop and Elector Balduin of Trier. The Trier prince built the Trutzeltz on a rocky outcrop above the castle and declared the Eltz feud. The free imperial knights lost their imperial freedom. Balduin appointed Johann as Burggrave, as a subject, not as a free knight.

Today, the castle is besieged by guests: schoolchildren from the region and tour groups from the other side of the world make the castle one of the most popular destinations in Germany.

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