This is a photo tour of Burg Rheinstein -- Rheinstein Castle -- situated on the Middle Rhein in Germany.
Burg Rheinstein dates from the middle of the 13th century, erected by the Archbishop of Mainz. It was contructed to protect Mainz against Rhine bandits and/or to lay siege to castle Reichenstein next door. It gradually fell into disrepair until it was purchased in 1823 by Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, a cousin of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, and rebuilt itn the Rhine Romantic style. In 1975 the opera singer Hermann Hecher puchased it and had it re-restored again. The castle contains valuable and noteworthy medieval to 19th century Prussian artifacts.
This slideshow is arranged in the order of my tour through the castle more or less how you would walk through it. I've tried to include some of the interesting details (such as the original suits of armor -- don't see many of those in Colorado) as well as views from the castle so you can get a feel for the setting. I photographed virtually every room, so by following it you will get a good idea of how it actually unfolds and certainly how it looks, which is really pretty awesome. This was easily worth the two hours (and small entrance fee) I spent there.
The castle's own website can be found at: http://www.burg-rheinstein.de.
This, as well as about 40 other castles/ruins, are convenient to Sankt Goar and Bacharach, two nearby cities which I can recommend for anchoring a Rhine castle tour. Also, many of the castles (including this one) can be visited by boat caught from any of the main tourist towns on the Rhine from Mainz to Coblenz.
When planning trips to Germany my first source is: Rick Steve's Germany which I highly recommend as a budget travel guide -- budget both in the sense that the book's not expensive and neither are most of the places he reviews. The only problem is that it gives a single path through Germany, and thus it is not comprehensive. On the other hand, if you are going on your first trip, it would be hard to go wrong following his path.
The best general travel guide I've found is: Eyewitness Germany I really like all of the Eyewitness guides - they also have excellent special editions for Munich, Vienna, Venice, Amsterdam, and lots of other cities as well. I just don't use their hotel recommendations much.
Michelin's Green guides (e.g Michelin Green Guide Germany) are also good, giving site opening times, must-see rankings, etc., but I tend to like the Steve's guide for planning cheap trips, the DK Eyewitness guides for local details and reference, and either the Red guide or my laptop for food -- when I don't just pick something from the bakery situated at almost every train station in Europe.
For restaurant and hotel ratings that you can carry with you, there are no books more definitive than the Michelin Red guides: Michelin Deutschland. The contents are in German, but the star/fork ratings are universal and it comes with an explanatory legend to the ratings which is in many languages, including English. This book isn't as necessary if you're carrying a laptop and want to dial in to get local food recommendations, but I lived by the Red guides for years of travel before the internet became what it is today. It is also very useful for spur of the moment decisions. For example if you are traveling without a fixed plan and find yourself on the outskirts of Erfurt without the slightest idea where to stay and no wireless connection in sight, the book can give you some good ideas and has handy internal maps locating all the entries.
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