Culture and history abound in the beautiful town of Bernkastel on the Moselle River.
Perched high above the picturesque town of Bernkastel, the ruins of Landshut Castle sit majestically on a pinnacle looking over the Moselle River. Surrounded with verdant vineyards and rolling hills, it is the perfect location to experience the splendor of the lush Moselle Valley. With AmaWaterways, you will have the opportunity to hike up to this scenic viewing point after a short tour of the town.
Your tour of Bernkastel will lead you through the lively Old Town center and past architectural delights from the medieval and Renaissance eras. View the half-timbered houses and local culture that has thrived for 400 years in the historic Market Square, including the Town Hall, which was built in 1608. The vibrant coloring and noble, Renaissance style of the hall make it a sight that you don’t want to miss.
The famous Spitzhäuschen’s (Pointed House) unique architecture has drawn people from all walks of life to capture its image via photograph. This house earns its name from its uniquely shaped structure, as the base of the house is very thin, with a wide second floor that overhangs the floor below and a tall, pointed roof that would once have been used to store food for winter. It is the archetypal example of an old Moselle-style winegrower’s house.
Then, pass by Graacher Tor, the last remnant of the eight outer-gates that allowed entrance through old Bernkastel’s walls. This entranceway now acts as a museum of local culture, and is a symbol of the town’s history. Saint Michaels Church is next, standing proudly with a beautiful Baroque façade that completely juxtaposes its sturdy, stone bell tower that soars to 56 meters in height. Along with the hills surrounding the town and Landshut Castle, this church is a recognizable piece of the town’s dazzling skyline.
After strolling along this scenic route, you will begin the short trek up to the castle look-out point. Wander up the winding paths through grape vines and grassy knolls to reach the majestic, hilltop site.
People have been drawn to this spot for thousands of years, and evidence of an ancient Roman fort lies beneath the ruins of the castle, dating back to the 4th or 5th century. The castle that is seen today was constructed on top of the Roman fort in 1277, and stood proudly intact until the late 17th century. In 1692, a fire raged through the castle, transforming it into the ruins that now act as a lookout point on the Moselle. The castle now contains a restaurant within its walls, and is undergoing massive renovations to restore it to its former glory.
Find adventure and history on this panoramic hike through the gorgeous flora and cultural landmarks of Bernkastel.