The original castle at Cochem was believed to to build around the year 1000. It, along with most of the city of Cochem, was destroyed by the French in the 1600s. The castle remained in ruins until 1868 when it was purchased by the wealthy Ravené family. At that time, the trend among the elite was to rebuild an abandoned castle for use as a summer home. The reconstruction/renovations were done in Neo-Gothic style.
The Cochem Castle you see today was built in 1871-1877. It, like most of Germany’s Rhineland castles, is not medieval, not authentic, not really very old. Nonetheless, it’s still cool and totally worth the 5€ admission fee.
Cochem Castle is accessible only by a 40-ish minute guided tour. You’re allowed to photograph the interior (yea!). The downside: tours are conducted exclusively in German. Our guide did speak perfect English; she could have easily led an English tour. But tours are in German. They do have printed info sheets in English and a number of other languages—read and follow along. (Eventually, I will scan and link to the flyer…before it gets lost.)
Somehow you can drive up to the castle. We attempted many times—with the GPS trying to take us through racks of postcards along the pedestrian route—before giving up, parking and walking. It’s a hike up. There is a shuttle bus that leaves from the town. We didn’t do that; we walked. (Like I’ve said before, I’m cheaper than I am lazy.) Nothing real interesting on the hike up, but the views from the castle are spectacular.
M O R E P H O T O S
From Cochem Castle. Shot May 31, 2012 in Cochem, Germany