Admission: 2,10 €, the boating is 2,00 € there and back
Guided tour: a short explanation of the castle´s history on arrival
Information: booklets and books from 3,00 € up
Souvenirs: none (maybe I missed a tiny knight...)
Location: on an island in the Rhine at Kaub (On the right bank of the Rhine ca 20 km from Rüdesheim)
Approach: you park in Kaub at the shore and go to the island by boat. The boat leaves every 30 minutes in summer
The first fun of this trip is the boating. You can go back as late as you like, so why not take a picnic basket along and stay on the island for a while af- ter the castle visit...
When the waters are low you can reach the small woody island in front of Pfalzgrafenstein on dry foot.
Keep in mind: there are no toilets on the island.
Now, back to the castle: As soon as all passengers of the boat have en- tered the castle yard the nice, resolute lady at the counter explains the his- tory of Pfalzgrafenstein.
Everyone gets a map with a ground plan of the castle and descriptions of the interior for the duration of their stay.
After that you can walk through the castle at your own pace.
Everything is rather austere but the red sandstone set off against the white walls, the view from every window on the Rhine flowing by directly under- neath, the (copies of the) original furniture; all that creates a special atmo- sphere.
Thick, creaking planks make you occasionally feel like you are on a boat on the Rhine, the spiral staircase up to the tower is the narrowest I´ve climbed in an castle and even from the garderobe you have a picturesque view.
Everything is somehow different from the "normal" castles, beginning with the bizarre shape of Pfalzgrafenstein to the compact appearance of the site on to the obvious absence of any signs of a residential castle.
There is no Rhine romanticism here and no sword flourishing middle ages; Pfalzgrafenstein was a fortified custom castle and that´s that. Maybe that is what makes the impression of the castle so convincing.
It´s quite some fun to climb all the stairs and galleries with the ground plan in your hand and as there isn´t much room for a lot of people in the small boat and everyone starts discovering the castle from a different corner you are quite often alone in "your" part of the castle.
Facing the island across the river in the town of Kaub is a beer-garden with shady trees from which you have a nice view of Pfalzgrafenstein and Burg Gutenfels (unfortunately of the B42 as well...).
Very friendly and down-to-earth personal though it´s not a culinary high- light of the trip.
Résumé: Quite an enjoyable trip. (especially if you like being on a boat as much as I do...).
Like I said, something quite different from the huge mighty Rhine castles but just as interesting. The visit is a nice combination of "getting explana- tions" and "finding out on your own".
The small island is sweet and too good for returning to the mainland right after leaving the castle.
History: The palatine count and German king Ludwig the Bavarian fell into disgrace in the middle of the 14th century when he claimed excessive Rhine tolls from Burg Gutenberg.
Instead of letting himself be excommunicated he built a tower in the middle of the Rhine on a rock-island enabling him thereby to control the narrow shipping lane at the right Rhine bank.
Subsequently the tower became a fortified castle.
In Napoleon´s time between the years 1806 and 1813 the revenue of the much yearned for tolls of Kaub found their way into the French treasury; probably the castle owed its survival to this fact.
In the course of Napoleon´s pursuit and expulsion the legendary Rhine- crossing of the Prussian troops under field-marshal Blücher took place on the new year´s night of 1813/14.
After that the castle came into the possession of the Prussian kingdom and now belongs to the land Rheinland-Pfalz.