Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rhine Getaway: Marksburg (4/22/2014)

Still Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Light lunch buffet at Aquavit Lounge. cold items
Light lunch buffet at Aquavit Lounge, hot items
Lunch appetizers: Fresh Fruit Platter, and Stuffed Artichokes with cream cheese & olives.
Entrée: Braised German Beef Roll with root vegetables, spätzle, and braising jus.
Sandwich: Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich: fried shrimp, bun, cocktail sauce, and pickled peppers.
Soup: Pumpkin Cream Soup with orange foam and pumpkin seed oil.
Pasta: Spaghetti a la Fromage with gorgonzola sauce and fresh herbs.
Desserts: Red Wine Pear with saffron sabayon, or Banana Split with vanilla ice cream, banana, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

The Viking Gullveig arrived in Koblenz (KM 591.5) with Pfaffendorf across the river.
Kirche SS Peter & Paul/Church of Sts Peter & Paul
(rebuilt in 1950s after the
1902 plan of  Leopold Schweitzer)
Koblenz Kurfürstliches Schloss/Elector Prince Palace
(1777-86 neo-classical)
Provinzialregierung/Provincial Government Building
Seilbahn/cable car across the Rhine
Pegelhaus/Water level house
Cable car gondola and Kaiser Wilhelm I
I returned to the room before the afternoon excursion, to find Kent had made my jacket into something like a towel animal sculpture!
A lame duck?
The included shore excursion this afternoon was to the castle of Marksburg. Having passed these castles many times, I was excited to go into one of them. Marksburg is the only castle in Germany that was never attacked, although U.S. troops "captured" it in March 1945, thus it is one of the best preserved of the castles.
We seemed to have a new crew of buses and drivers, and were driven most of the way up the mountain on a one-lane road with pull-off areas in case you met someone going the other way. There was no leisurely option for this trip, as we still had a zigzag path to follow with steps to reach Marksburg.
Kent and Paul went to the restrooms, while our group was herded through Fuchstor/Fox Gate and the door was locked behind us! They had to join another group.
Fuchstor/Fox Gate
Fuchstor/Fox Gate was once large enough to allow knights on horseback to enter, but has since been made smaller; same with Schartentor/Notches Gate.
Schartentor/Notches Gate (KSS)
Schartentor/Notches Gate also has the protruding attachment from which stones could be dropped, or perhaps boiling pitch.
Inside Schartentor/Notches Gate was a hall with the coats-of-arms of all the owners of the castle. We then climbed the Reitertreppe/Knights Staircase cut from the slate rock, now worn and slippery.
Reitertreppe/Knights Staircase
Bridge from where they could
shoot arrows at attackers (KSS)
Some infrastructure work (KSS)
Kleine Batterie/Small Battery with rear-loading cannon
The Great Hall (1239) once had bigger windows and more windows
Große Batterie/Big Battery with front-loading cannon
Cannon with stone balls (KSS)
View from Rheinzwinger/Upper Bailey
Rheinzwinger/Upper Bailey contains the
Burggarten/castle garden
The Burggarten/castle garden had three sections of plants from medieval times, used for witchcraft, medicine, and cooking.
Burggarten/castle garden
Burggarten/castle garden (KSS)
View from the Burggarten/castle garden (KSS)
View from the inland rampart
The three chimneys are among several in the area that vented lead, copper, and silver mines. Now the former mine below the castle is Germany's largest auto battery recycling plant.
Auto battery recycling plant
Wine press (1767) (KSS)
Weinkeller/Wine cellar (17C) with wine barrels and pitchers
The pitchers held a soldier's daily allotment of wine. The bellows were used to filter the wine.
Wine bellows (KSS)
The Gothic Hall (1435) was set up as a kitchen
with a fireplace large enough to roast an ox
More kitchen implements
Kitchen stool (KSS)
Medieval ice box
Cutaway to show wattle and daub
wall construction (KSS)
The iron door on the left allowed servants
to stoke the heater without
disturbing the bedroom occupants
The winter bed
The winter bedroom was paneled to keep it warmer
A strongbox
Wall paintings in the Rittersaal/Knights Hall
Rittersaal/Knights Hall with a plank table
The table is not fixed and can be changed for another with new dishes.
The door to the left leads to the privy.
The privy where the hole empties outside the castle wall
Rittersaal/Knights Hall window seat
Burgkapelle/Castle chapel (1372)
with ceiling frescoes of St Mark
A narrow stairway like one we used
Linen room where disabled soldiers worked flax into linen
The armor collection included
armor for a horse
The Bergfried/fortified tower or keep
was entered above ground level
The stables displayed instruments of torture and punishment
You could not be punished unless you confessed, so there were ways to make you confess. Punishment was usually some type of humiliation.
Burgschmiede/Castle forge
We had some free time for the gift shop and café.
Gift shop mailbox
VDL bus made in the Netherlands
The narrow road to Marksburg
We were taken by motor coach the 25 minutes back to the Viking Gullveig in Koblenz, arriving by 16:30.
Next: Koblenz.

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