Watertravel & Waterside DestinationsThe Köln-Düsseldorfer ship Jeverland passes by Bacharach and Burg Stahleck.

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Stahleck Castle

The first officially recorded mention of Burg Stahleck was in 1135, when it was the possession of Goswin von Stahleck.

Originally, it had been the southernmost property of the bishops of Cologne and also a property of Emperor Barbarossa. It changed hands and came under the control of different families at various times through history, but all of that is of dubious relevance.

Situated above thetown of Bacharach, the castle today dates back all of about 80 years. In 1689 it was totally destroyed during a war with the French, and destroyed again in the 19th century. Between 1925 and 1927, what was left was excavated and reconstructed. It was made into a youth hostel, which is how the castle is used today. Young backpack travelers will find that Burg Stahleck is an excellent place to roll out your sleeping bag, an inexpensive yet elegant base of operations for touring the Rheintal.

Burg Stahleck sits on a hill above the town of Bacharach.
Copyright © Don Douglas