History comes alive

A Celtic burial ground, Roman buildings, castles, palaces, churches, vineyards and magnificent river landscapes - Rhineland-Palatinate has a rich cultural heritage with four UNESCO World Heritage sites. The directorates for castles, palaces, antiquities, state archaeology, state historical monument preservation and the state museums of Coblenz, Mainz and Trier all operate under the umbrella of the Cultural Heritage Directorate General.


Enjoying culture in historical heights

The place itself is strategy: Ehrenbreitstein stronghold is protected on two sides by rough rocky slopes, it can only be attacked from the North, the view goes down to the Rhine River, the Deutsche Eck (German Corner) and the Mosel River, across to the Eifel and Hunsrueck and into Neuwieder Basin. People have been using the mountain as a place of refuge for 3,000 years now. In medieval times there was a castle at the top of the 118 metre high crag. From 1500 on, the castle was gradually expanded to become a stronghold, first of all by archbishops from the Electorate of Trier and then by Prussians in the 19th century. In this form it was one of the biggest strongholds in Europe. The meter-thick walls, moats, tunnels, bridges and gates still characterise the huge building complex today. Renovation work for the BUGA 2011 created a unique cultural ensemble: the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage of Upper Middle Rhine Valley. This is where history and pleasure, and culture and amusement, blend. 

 

Like a ship of stone

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle lies in a picturesque setting in the middle of the river near Kaub. Yet circumstances in and around the castle have never been idyllic. Flood water and ice still eat away at its walls and foundations, and even today it has no electricity or toilets. The interior of the construction is witness to the frugal live of the men who worked here. In 1327 there was only a massive fortified tower in the middle of the Rhine, located on a rocky reef. No ship could enter the narrow Bacharacher Valley unnoticed. After a few years a curtain wall was built and the only access point was a single gate on the north side. The fortified tower had developed to become Pfalzgrafenstein Castle. As a guard station it secured income for its various feudal lords, which is probably why it was never destroyed and why, besides Marksburg, it is the only fully intact castle in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

 

Koblenz - Fortress Illumination

Trifels

It is strategically located high up on a rocky reef: Trifels Castle. Queichtal and Annweiler, sprawl at its feet, towards the East lies the Rhine plain and in a westerly direction one sees the valleys and mountains of the Palatinate forest. The region was one of the Empire's politically most important and economically strongest regions in the High Middle Ages and Trifels was one of the mightiest Salian and Staufer castles. In the period from 1088 to 1330, the imperial castle was at the centre of political events. It was home to the crown, sceptre and orb imperial regalia and served as a prison. It's most famous prisoner was King Richard the Lionheart. The castle originated in the 11th century and in its present form results from alternating phases of renovation, disintegration and reconstruction covering almost 1,000 years to this day: a historically developed testimony to construction.

 

 

A forum for finds: The largest Roman golden treasure, magnificent Roman mosaics, a late antiquity silver jug with Christian motifs or the famous Diatret glass the Rheinische Landesmuseum in Trier shows a collection of world-class archaeological finds on a floor space of 3,500 square metres. Visitors can experience the history of Trier and Trier regions in a full guided tour in the five halls for “Roman religion, “Large buildings in the ancient city”, “Roman imperial residence” and “Rural life”, and they can view the large collection of coins. The exceptional wealth and quality of the testimonies of the Roman era – the era when the city of Trier took on the most important role in its history – is unique and distinctive. The collection is regularly extended with new archaeological preservation finds.

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