Cochem is an historic and very photogenic German town with a fairy tale castle atop the hill.
In my travels across Germany, few river cities within the country can match the charms of Cochem. Positioned on the left bank of the Moselle River, the town has natural beauty in all directions.
The Moselle is a river flowing through France, Luxembourg, and Germany, and Cochem is the center of the regional Mosel wine trade, wines made mostly from the Riesling grape.
Cochem has photo opportunities at every turn, including many stylish buildings, cottages, black & tan guild houses and narrow winding streets. The charming town square, ringed by half-timbered houses, is particularly stunning.
A massive suit of armor inside Reichsburg Castle.
A mailbox in Cochem's old town
In the most romantic part of the Moselle River Valley lies the old German town of Cochem. Above the town stands the fairy tale-like Reichsburg Castle. Views from that castle include the town itself, plus beautiful forests, rolling hills and vineyards.
The Reichsburg, dating to 1100, was occupied by King Konrad III in 1151, who declared it an Imperial castle. In 1688, the castle was overrun by French King Louis XIV's troops in the course of the Nine Years' War, then destroyed. Long in ruins, it was subsequently reconstructed in the Gothic Revival style. Since 1978 it has been owned by the town of Cochem.
The castle grounds are immaculate with flowers everywhere. Today it is still well-equipped with Renaissance and Baroque furniture, and remains a very popular regional tourist attraction.
From the Reichburg Castle, this is a view of Cochem and a small slice of the Moselle River Valley
View from the parapet of Reichsburg castle in Cochem, Germany. That is a statue of a helmeted lion, one that (in my opinion) makes that majestic beast look like a frog.
The walk up to the Reichsburg castle is a hilly climb that takes about 30 minutes, but very well worth it. If climbing isn't your thing, taxis run from Cochem's city center.
To return to Cochem's city center the walk down from the castle is a bit steep, but manageable.
A Moselle River view from Cochem, Germany,
A tower atoredp a half-timbe building in Cochem.
Colorful mailboxes are common in Cochem.
Eating bratwurst in Germany is a tasty experience, and when accompanied by a stein of local brew, well, it's even better.
This restaurant occupies a rather typical building in Cochem, Germany. Note how neat the building is and how clean the street is. That's called "pride of place" and German's are very proud of their country.
A quiet, narrow street in Cochem, one only used by residents, scooters and tourists.
This type of corner cafe is found across many parts of Europe, and Cochem was no exception.
Cochem, like many German cities, has many stylish half-timbered buildings with exposed wood framing. In warmer climates the spaces between the wooden timbers are filled with brick, plaster or stone, but in colder climates the timbers could not keep out cold drafts, so exterior walls were then covered with wood or masonry like these. Note the bells atop the center building, and yes, they all ring on the hour.
A wonderful flower wagon on the grounds of Reichsburg Castle in Cochem.
Walking down from the castle I came across this giant maple leaf, and it just begged to be photographed.