I’m just going to cut right to the chase here and tell you that we saw another castle today.
This is Burg Eltz (pronounced “boorg elts”), built in the 1100’s. The castle is located about an hour from our house. It was a chilly day again, but we were better prepared with gloves, hats, and scarves. The sun was just burning off the morning fog when we got to the castle. We parked and walked the 10 minute steep hike downhill into the deep valley where the castle sits.
Unlike previous castles I’ve shared with you, Burg Eltz is strategically unimportant and has been left intact for 700 years and is decorated and furnished much like it was 500 years ago. Elz is the name of the stream that runs past the castle through the valley and empties into the Mosel.
We ended up missing the English tour and took the tour auf Deutsch instead, but it was fine. I was surprised with how much I understood, and I had a handy dandy brochure in English that sufficed as a self-guided tour. It worked out. There was an American family who went along with us and I made best friends with their 3-year-old son. Actually he was two, but he was trying to impress me by telling me he was 3. “B” was a riot and kept calling Dani and I “the ladies.” He was a true charmer, he held my hand the whole time. When I told him he was going to make my husband very jealous he responded with,
“What?! Oh come on…”
He was quite the ladies man. 😉
The interior of the castle is beautiful. It’s a comfortable castle for its time with 80 cozy rooms in all, 40 fireplaces, several enormous wall-hanging tapestries. There were 20 toilets automatically flushed with a rain drain and the historical note of the day was that in the middle ages, people used hay and cabbage leaves as toilet paper. (Sorry about any appetite you may have had prior to reading that.) The elderly countess of Eltz, whose family goes back 33 generations, enjoys flowers and each week for the past 40 years, she’s had grand arrangements in the public castle rooms. There were many other interesting facts we learned about the castle, but since I have no photos of the inside for you to see, I won’t bore you with words.
Our walk back up the 10 minute hike to the car showed the castle in the mid-afternoon light and it was a totally different sight. Stunning none the less.