reichenstein
Admission: 4,00 €
Guided tour: none, but can be arranged after an advanced reservation
Hotel: yes
Café/Restaurant: yes
Information: a small folder for 20 Cent, a detailed brochure for 2 €
Souvenirs: at the entrance

Location: on the left bank of the Rhine in Trechtingshausen, ca 7 km from Bingen
Approach: you can drive up the hill and park right in front of the castle

The admission fee for the castles includes the visit to the museum. The castle yard, which is reached over a bridge is unfortunately the only part of the whole site that is accessible to visitors. That´s a pity, because the di- mensions of the castle are rather impressive, but that kind of escapes your notice once you´re inside.
(When asked if any other parts of the castles were free to visitors the lady at the counter answered: "Thank god, no! They would destroy everything!". Well, I wouldn´t...)
The long stretched inner yard is equipped with cannons and offers a beau- tiful view of the Rhine. From there you enter the museum.
The museum is odd. Spread over three floors, it offers a potpourri of an- cient weapons, knight´s armours, cast-iron oven-and Takenplates, rooms decorated in neo-gothic fashion and the most extensive antlers collection I ever came across.

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The museum evokes rather curiosity than passion, for far too abruptly it changes from one theme to the next. But exactly this feeling of never knowing, whether the next room will entertain you with ovenplates, semi- precious stones or a knight´s hall with skulls as table decoration provides you with quite some pleasant diversion.
At the time of my visit, I was the only visitor. The atmosphere in the buil- ding is quite special, you walk through the really beautiful gothic vaulted halls, upstairs, downstairs, your hear your steps echoing, it is quiet and pleasantly cool and you find yourself in an almost sacral spirit.
The windows facing the hill offer views of another narrow castle yard, but they could be paintings as well. You can climb the keep and be impressed by looking down on this huge site.
The restaurant and the hotel are located outside the chargeable area, be- hind the first gate. The view of the river is nice, I´ll give you that, but you can hardly see the castle from there. The personal is experienced and impersonal. You most definitely do NOT have the impression of being in a castle.

Résumé: If it wasn´t for the really special atmosphere in the museum, this castle would probably not invite anyone to enjoy spending much time there. Well, maybe I´m being unfair, but this castle seems so promising from far away, and once you´re inside there´s so little to explore...If you want to be impressed by its size after all, drive by on the right bank of the Rhine and look at it in awe. Why don´t they present this castle better??? And what´s inside all the other buildings???

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reichenstein
History: Built in the early 11th century, Burg Reichenstein was given to the Lords of Bolanden as a bailiwick at the beginning of the 13th century. A decision of grave consequence, as their successors turned out to be robber-knights of the worst kind.
In 1253 the Rhenish League of Towns decided to destroy the castle as to restore peace and order, but only a second destruction in 1282 put an end to the excesses.
In 1344 the castle came into the possession of the archbishop of Mainz and was rebuilt once more.
But the castle - like so many others - couldn´t withstand the strategy and weaponry of the 15th and 16th century. It fell into decay and was finally abandoned.
At the beginning of the 20th century the ruin was purchased and recon- structed by Baron Nikolaus von Kirsch-Pucelli.

Links: http://www.burg-reichenstein.de/

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