Most of the riverside castles along the Rhine are now in ruins or exist as modern reconstructions. The impressive Marksburg Castle, a medieval fortress on a hill, is unique amongst its neighbours as the only medieval stronghold to have survived intact. Tours of this castle offer visitors a rare glimpse into a well-preserved, if not long-forgotten, period of history.
The castle can only be visited by a guided tour of about an hour. Tours are given in German; however, easy to follow guidebooks are available in multiple languages. They also offer specific guided tours in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese for international groups. Regular guided tours in English for individual visitors start every day at 13.00 and 16.00 during the summer season.
The tour begins in the rocky, cave-like castle keep - the oldest part of the castle, which dates to the 12th century. After the keep, the tour progresses through the kitchens and dining area, battlements overlooking the Rhine, chapel (with well-preserved medieval wall paintings), bedrooms, wine cellar, and 'torture room' (which is actually the former castle stables).
Our guide suggested that historical evidence shows that the castle changed hands peacefully between ruling powers, thus its long survival, and there is no record of torture ever being used in the castle (though it was briefly used by Napoleon as a prison).
When:The castle is only closed on 24th and 25th December; From 2nd November 2018 to 22th March 2019 (winter season): 11am to 4pm (last admission, guided tours every hour on the hour), from 23rd March 2019 to 3rd November 2019 (summer season): 10am to 5pm