33 Generations and counting - a trip to Castle Eltz
Munstermaifeld Travel Blog› entry 4 of 10 › view all entries
It has been raining since Monday, and so I was hesitant to go anywhere today, but am glad that I ventured out nonetheless. After nearly two hours of driving and getting lost, I arrived in the town of
I was happy to hike from the parking lot in the forest down into the valley where the castle was situated.
Due to its secluded location and the diplomacy of its owners, the castle avoided destruction during the 30 years war and the Palatinate War of Succession, which apparently destroyed the majority of the castles along the
First mention of this castle was in the 12th century, and has since passed down through the Eltz family.
The tour was wonderful, as any castle tour is always an insider look into the past, and a great history lesson. It began in the reception hall, which now resembles an armory. The collection had everything from 15th century firearms to Turkish scimitars.
Next room on the tour was a 15th century living room, including awe-inspiring religious paintings from Cranach the elder and Pacher, and Flemish tapestries from the 16th century.
We continued up some narrow winding stairs into a bed chamber, which completely had me in awe. From wall to ceiling this open and spacious room was adorned with foliage of all sorts and colors. These adornments date back to the 15th century, but were later restored in the romantic period of the 19th century. The dreamy bed was elevated on a platform, at which one had to climb stairs to get in. This was a common building practice due to heat rising and making it more comfortable in the colder months.
The knight’s hall, like all medieval castles, was the center of life and the highlight of the tour.
After the knight’s hall came another living room with 16th century Franconian furniture, 18th century children’s portraits, and household ceramics. Two further rooms attested to the sumptuous lifestyle of the nobility -with elegant vaulting, stained glass, and tiled stove from
The tour ended in the kitchen, something right out of the Middle Ages, where cooks and servants slaved over large boiling cauldrons, hung on a hook, above an open fire.
The treasure chamber in the floors below is impressive, considering that nearly everything here either belonged or was used by members of the Eltz family. A stunning collection of gilded drinking vessels, armor, hunting weapons, jewelry, medieval coinage, religious objects, and curiosities.