Koblenz, a 2000-year-old historical city in Germany, situated at the junction of the Moselle with the Rhine River. The UNESCO-listed town has a history that goes back to the 13th century as one of the first cities founded by the Teutonic order, marking a point where the vast Frankish Empire remained divided till the 800 AD. Koblenz tourist attractions are a treat for history buffs.
During the 1800 ’s, the statue of Kaiser Wilhelm was constructed here, to commemorate this rich history, creating history in the process as well for the status now stands as a prime symbol of the city of Koblenz. It is also one of the top points of interest of Koblenz. Upriver from the town of the confluence of rivers, castles and forts intermingle with vines to create the perfect setting for a fairy tale. The best places to visit in Koblenz are Deutsches Eck and the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.
Here's the list of 15 best things to do in Koblenz:
1. Visit the Deutsches Eck
Image Source: wikimedia.org
The statue of Kaiser Wilhelm stands as a symbol of history at the convergence of the Moselle and the Rhine rivers, each spot where the Teutonic Order is believed to have had its early quarters. The history of the Knights in 1216 meshed with that of the World War II when the statue was destroyed in the bombing. The original memorial, of 37m length, was instilled with German nationalistic fervor. After it’s destruction in the war, it was never reconstructed. Yet it retains a strong presence in the city of Koblenz.
2. Take a ride on the Koblenz Cable Car
A key highlight of Koblenz is its cable car, which is used as a unique mode of transportation in and around the city. The line extends upriver on the Rhine, till the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. It runs the length of 900m appx, with eighteen cars and has a capacity to transport more than 7000 passengers in an hour- a world record. The cable car offers a bird's eye view of the mighty Rhine including the Upper Middle Rhine's Landscape that has been declared a world heritage site. Try and get on a car at sunset, and if luck would have it, you might be able to avail the cable car marked 17, with a glass floor and therefore offers the best view.
3. Visit the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
Image Source: wikimedia.org
The cable car will take you to a high spur, 118m above the Rhine. The location has been standing as a fort since the Middle Ages, right from beginning of 11th century, and is famously called the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. The fortress has indeed experienced history, continuously under attack from various forces like the French, Prussian and the Saxon. It has been destroyed many a time, but the last construction done by the Prussians has lived on, and today it is the second biggest fort in the whole world. It is a must in the Koblenz itinerary due to its sheer magnanimity.
4. Explore the Landesmuseum Koblenz
Fortresses today often serve as museums and the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, being the second most significant fortress in the world, houses a particularly remarkable one. The collection exhibits Rhineland and Palestine's culture, history, archaeology, and photography. Next in the series of superlatives within the castle, comes the Grief Canon or the Griffin. More than 5m long, it is believed to be amongst the most formidable weapons of the Middle Ages. However, it is not just history that is captured in the museum. Contemporary art is given place there as well, along with a temporary display of continually changing artwork from local artists. For a connoisseur of art, the museum is a source of unending delight.
5. Marvel at the Schängelbrunnen
Image Source: wikimedia.org
Schängel linguistically refers to the boys in the city who were the symbols of mischief and harmless roguishness. The Schängelbrunnenn is a much-beloved fountain located at the courtyard of the town hall, showing a little boy spitting water intermittently all around him. Surrounded by Renaissance and Baroque Jesuit buildings, the fountain, with its art, adds a sense of frolic into the otherwise heavy ambiance. This is precisely why Carl Burger, a famous sculptor, put it there in 1940, to commemorate the love for roguishness in this German region.
6. Pay a visit to the Schloss Stolzenfel
This is amongst the most important fortresses in German history which the French’s wrecked during the famous Nine Years War which took place towards the ending of the 17th century, located in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Frederick William I of Prussia rebuilt it in 1823 in a Gothic restructuring, when the land was gifted to him. A trek through gloomy gardens through a long-twisted path, the architecture of the castle itself is strongly reminiscent of the Gothic tradition. You will be taken on a tour through the pages of history inside the castle with help of a guide, while also being taught to appreciate the intricacies of the delicate wood carving.
7. Visit the Basilica of St. Castor
The Basilica of St. Castor is particularly remarkable because of the pointy Roman style towers of this old church building that once towered over the entire city of Koblenz. The church was once annexed to a monastery and has a history of more than 1200 years, recording an epoch in the passage of time since it was built. The church is where the negotiations for the division of the Frankish Empire was carried out. Though it took some damage during the IInd World War, it was repairable. The church stands as a tribute to how far Christianity has come since it’s conception and is an important part of Koblenz, Germany.
8. Trek the Rhine Castles Trail
Not many countries can boast of a castle trail in a stretch from one city to another, but Koblenz in Germany stands as an exception to this. From Koblenz to Bingen, there is a string of 20 castles through the river banks. Not only castles, but the trail is also home to 3 of Germany's leading wine growing regions. The path is, therefore, a dream come true for hikers for it is almost a walk-through wonderland. While passing through make sure to stop at the ancient city of Boppard that seems to have been time warped into existing in modern times.
9. Explore the Electoral Palace
Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, uncle to French king Louis XVI built this palace on river Rhine’s left bank in the late 18th century. But it soon came under control of the French after the French Revolution. It was then under Prussian control for 100 years. The palace seems to have taken the brunt of history through wars and then threw in 1944 due to a bombing. However, the structure was quickly reconstructed. Now the Grand Cafe is located inside, with an excellent view and unprecedented historical baggage, and is a must-experience for all traveling to Koblenz.
10. Visit the Jesuitenplatz
The order of Jesuit stayed was in Koblenz extending around a period of 200 years before being expelled in the year 1773. Marks of their influence can be seen the square at the heart of Koblenz's Altstadt, where the town hall is located as well. The Jesuit church constructed during the 1610s is also located here and sculptures to commemorate the existence of the Jesuit cult.
11. Pay a visit to the Liebfrauenkirche
Image Source: wikimedia.org
This is an ancient church in the City of Koblenz that has been around for more than 1600 years, It came in to existence with a hall from the period of Valentinian emperor from Rome was turned into a church by the Christians. The hall has survived the long years of persecution for the Christians, many subsequent bombardments and at long last been converted into one of the most respected churches in the country. A symbol of endurance, this should not be missed from the list of places to visit.
12. Marvel at the German military might at Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung
A movement away from the castles and fortresses in history, this particular attraction is an exhibition of German military technology from the 1910s. While it is mainly for the training of soldiers, the venue is open for public viewing as well. Through 5 floors the exhibit consists of planes, helicopters, tanks, and heavy guns to less severe exhibits like uniforms, artillery. This impressive range of military equipment is indeed awe-inspiring.
13. Visit the fort of Am Plan
The uncle of Louis XVI makes an appearance again in one of the noblest squares of Koblenz- Am Plan. He was the key figure behind the redesigning of the area. It acted as the seat for the commander of the fortress, this has served as an aforesaid station for the better part of the twentieth century, providing a quirky mix of reasons to visit the place.
14. Visit the mountain of Kastorbrunnenen
This is a mountain from the French era and was constructed in the year 1812. It is remarkable for it consists of Frenchman Jules Doazan’s inscription, praising Napoleon's conquest of Russia before it actually happened, rather it was a campaign that actually turned out to be a disaster. After the capture of the city by the Russians in 1814, the new government added a humorous inscription of their own that translates into, “Russian commandant of the city of Koblenz has seen and approved this.”
15. Explore the DB Museum Koblenz
This attraction has humble beginnings in 2001 as the century-old wagon repair shop and is a satellite of the Deutsche Bahn Museum in Nuremberg. Numerous old locomotives and carriages are on display on weekends for tourists to come and visit. Germany stands as the pioneer of classic cars and this provides a cultural window into that aspect of the country. The exhibit has steam engines and iconic trains on display as well.
The city of Koblenz in Germany, therefore, offers a conglomeration of history from its Renaissance castles and fountains to the role of the country in World War II. This is a pantheon of overlapping history and must be visited at least once in the lifetime of every individual.