1. Castle Eltz — Burg Eltz Castle Eltz hide away in a quiet forest a few kilometers from the shores of the Moselle River. His image adorned the bill in the 500 DM sample 1960. Many centuries their own representatives of the same noble family — already in the 33 th generation.
Erected as experts suggest, in the XII century, the first time it is mentioned in the dedication to the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
The castle is a so-called Ganerbenburg, or castle belonging to a community of joint heirs. This is a castle divided into several parts, which belong to different families or different branches of a family; this usually occurs when multiple owners of one or more territories jointly build a castle to house themselves. Only a very rich medieval European lord could afford to build a castle on his land; many of them only owned one village, or even only a part of a village. This was an insufficient base to afford a castle. Such lords lived in a knight’s house, which was a simple house, scarcely bigger than those of his tenants. In some parts of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, inheritance law required that the estate be divided between all successors. These successors, each of whose individual inheritance was too small to build a castle of his own, could build a castle together, where each owned one separate part for housing and all of them together shared the defensive fortification. In the case of Eltz, the family comprised three branches and the existing castle was enhanced with three separate complexes of buildings.
The main part of the castle consists of the family portions. At up to eight stories, these eight towers reach heights of between 30 and 40 metres (98 and 131 ft). They are fortified with strong exterior walls; to the yard they present a partial framework. About 100 members of the owners’ families lived in the over 100 rooms of the castle.