Mosel Valley Region Attractions
The beautiful river Mosel (French spelling Moselle) is one of the longest of the Rhine's tributaries (545km/339mi). It owes its name to the Romans (Mosella, the "Little Meuse"). It rises at the Col de Bussang in the southern Vosges (France), and between Perl and the junction with the Sauer at Oberbillig forms the natural frontier between Germany and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
The section of the river between Perl and Trier is known as the Upper Mosel (Obermosel), the section from Trier to Bullay as the Middle Mosel (Mittelmosel) and the section from Bullay to Koblenz as the Lower Mosel (Untermosel). Since 1964 the Mosel has been canalized, its gradient being regulated by ten dams (at Trier, Detzem, Wintrich, Zeltingen, Enkirch, St Aldegund, Fankel, Müden, Lehmen and Koblenz).The most beautiful stretch of the Mosel Valley is between Trier and the junction with the Rhine at Koblenz. After passing through the wide Trier basin, it makes its way in innumerable bends through the Rhenish Uplands between the Hunsrück and the Eifel to enter the Rhine valley at Koblenz. The ever-changing landscape, particularly between Bernkastel and Cochem, is marked by a succession of old castles on the slopes of the valley and in side valleys, and by a string of old-world little towns and villages. The winding course of the river and the narrowness of its valley have prevented the development of any large towns, but by the same token have preserved the peace and charm of the Mosel.The Mosel Route mainly follows the specially signposted Moselweinstrasse. From Koblenz to Treis-Karden there are alternative routes, one on the left bank and the other on the right bank.
Mosel Valley Boat Trips
A pleasant way of seeing the Mosel valley is by boat (e.g. between Koblenz and Beilstein and between Bernkastel and Trier).
Koblenz to Trier - Left Bank
Winningen (Mosel - International Folk Festival)
Kobern has two ruined castles; in the Oberburg is the beautiful Early Gothic chapel of St Matthias (c. 1235). Gondorf has two 13th C. castles.
The village of Hatzenport has a beautifully situated Late Gothic parish church with good 15th C. stained glass. A detour can be made to Münstermaifeld (5km/3mi northwest), with a fine Stiftskirche (SS. Martin and Severus; 10th-14th C).
Burg Eltz, Moselkern
At the junction of the Eltzbach with the Mosel lies the old-world little village of Moselkern. In the Eltz valley, picturesquely situated on a steep-sided crag, is Burg Eltz, which with its tall gables, towers and oriels is one of the finest of German castles. Built round a narrow courtyard, the castle dates from the 13th-16th centuries and contains original furnishings and works of art. On a hill facing Burg Eltz is Burg Trutzeltz.At Treis-Karden (with Karden on the left bank) the Mosel route on the left joins the one on the right.
Koblenz to Trier - Right Bank
In the village of Alken, which once had a municipal charter, are a number of old houses and remains of medieval walls. Above the village is Burg Thurant (built c. 1200, with much later alteration).
The attractive village of Brodenbach, on the right bank of the Mosel, has a Rococo church with a beautiful high altar. To the south, in a side valley, is the Ehrenburg, one of the finest ruined castles in the Mosel area.At Treis-Karden (with Treis on the right bank) the two Mosel routes join.
Koblenz to Trier - Main Route
The little town of Treis-Karden, with its bridge over the Mosel, forms a link between the Hunsrück and the Eifel. Treis has a Late Gothic church, Karden a former Stiftskirche, the three-towered church of St Castor (12th-13th c.), which preserves part of a Romanesque cloister and chapterhouse (Stiftsmuseum).From here, the Mosel Route continues on the left bank of the Mosel.
Cochem, with its old castle perched high above the town, is one of the most attractive places in the Mosel valley. In the old part of the town is St Martin's Church (15th c., rebuilt 1736). Town Hall (1739) in the Marktplatz. Above the town rises Burg Cochem (built c. 1020; destroyed by the French in 1689; restored in 19th c.).
Above the Rhine stands the celebrated castle of Reichsburg. The castle is thought to have been built in 1000 and it was revitalized in the 19th century in the Neo-Gothic architectural style. Reichsburg is filled with Baroque and Renaissance furniture, which belong to long time summer residents - the Ravené family.
Address: Schlosstrasse 36, D-56812 Cochem, Germany
Opening hours: Mar 15 to Nov 1: 9am-5pm
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €12.50, Adult €4.50, Group discounts €4.00, Child 17 & under €2.50, Child 6 & under FREE
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
At Ellenz there is a picturesque view of Beilstein, on the opposite bank (ferry), with the ruins of a castle destroyed in 1688.
Alf an der Mosel Bullay
Alf on the left bank and Bullay on the right bank (bridge and ferry) are the gateway to the region in the middle Mosel valley. 5km/3mi south is the Marienburg, with the ruins of a Premonstratensian monastery destroyed in 1806. From here there is a fine view of the 12km/7.5mi long loop in the Mosel known as the Zeller Hamm.
At the south end of the Zeller Hamm the Mosel Route road crosses to the right bank. Just before this point lies the well-known town of Zell, with considerable remains of its old walls, St Peter's Church (1792) and a Schloss (1542) of the Electors of Trier.
On the east side of the long straggling town of Enkirch stands a Late Gothic monastic church (14th-15th c.).The Mosel Walley Route road continues south, passing below the scanty remains of the Starkenburg.
Straddling the Mosel River is the little town of Traben-Trarbach, with half-timbered buildings, handsome patrician houses and the Museum of the Middle Mosel. On Mont Royal, within a loop in the river, are the excavated remains of a French fortress.Here, the Mosel Route road returns to the left bank.
Kröv, once the capital of a self-governing territory within the Empire, and Ürzig, a few kilometers farther on, are typical old villages. 2.5km/1.5mi beyond Ürzig can be found the old Cistercian convent of Machern.
The Mosel Route road leads to Wehlen and Bernkastel-Kues. On the right bank of the river, below Burg Landshut (view), is Bernkastel, with its pretty Marktplatz, its Town Hall of 1608 and its pillory. On the banks of the Mosel stands the Early Gothic St Michael's Church. A bridge leads over the Mosel to Kues, with the Cusanusstift (St Nicholas's Hospital; Late Gothic cloister), founded by the cardinal and philosopher Nicolaus Cusanus (Nikolaus Krebs, 1401-64), whose heart is buried in the Gothic chapel. In the library are his astronomical instruments and apparatus, including the oldest celestial sphere.The Mosel Route road continues along the right bank.
Across the river from Bernkastel-Kues is Piesport.Here the largest surviving Roman press has been excavated and reconstruction is underway. During the first weekend in October local grape growers tread the grapes in a recreation of a Roman harvest. The Rococo church of St Michael has spectacular painted ceilings.
Neumagen occupies the site of the Roman Noviomagus. Material recovered by excavation, including the famous carving of a ship (copy in the town), is in the Landesmuseum in Trier.Here, the road crosses to the left bank.
Trittenheim has a handsome church of 1790-93. Above the town stands St Lawrence's Chapel (16th C.).The road continues by way of Klüsserath and Mehring to Trier, Germany's oldest town.