In May 2006 I saw a performance here in the Koblenz City Theater of Die weiße Rose (The White Rose) by Udo Zimmermann (born 1943). This is a short opera about the life and death of Hans and Sophie Scholl, a brother and sister who formed an anti-Nazi resistance group called The White Rose in Munich during the Second World War.
In 1943, eight months before the composer was born, Hans and Sophie were caught distributing anti-Nazi leaflets at the university in Munich. They were condemned to death for this, and were executed the same day.
A new production of the same opera, staged by the actor Christoph Quest and featuring Britta Stallmeister as Sophie, was performed in Frankfurt at the Bockenheimer Depot in March 2007.
The composer Udo Zimmermann is better known as an orchestra conductor and opera manager. He was the General Director (Intendant) of the Leipzig Opera from 1990 to 2001, and held the same post at the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2001 to 2004.
Second photo: People taking their seats in the Koblenz Theater for Zimmermann's opera.
Third photo: Since this opera is about resistance against the Nazis, they were allowed to use a Nazi flag on the stage. Ordinarily it is illegal in Germany to display any sort of Nazi symbols.
Fourth photo: The upper lobby of the Koblenz theater.
The Prince Elector's Castle (Alte Burg) dates back to the 12th century and is the work of a man by the name of Von der Arken. Archbishop Heinrich von Vistingen from Trier added extensions towards the latter part of the 13th century, when it became a residence for the archbishops.
It now houses the town archive as well as the municipal library. You can also find a fine old sandstone spiral staircase which is of great interest to many visitors.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and
Fridays 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
When the town archive is open.
When first you enter through the main gate you can see a little of the defensive features of Marksburg. The path has a hgh outer wall on your right and thehuge stone walls of the castle on your left. The castle is set high on hill and right on the edge of the cliff overlooking Braubach. It would have been very difficult for invaders to gain successful access without being seen.
Then you come to the canon tower and all I could think of was that I wouldn't like seeing one of those pointed in my direction.
Marksburg Castle is about 800 years old and still looks pretty much the same today as it did 8 centuries ago. It holds the distinction of never having been badly damaged even though it has been under attack many times over the centuries. It looks over the town of Braubach on the Rhine and is the headquarters of the German Castles Association which purchased it at the beginning of the 20th century for the princely sum of 1,000 Reichsmarks. The Association restored Marksburg which was starting to look a little weary at the time of the purchase. Later on they added a restaurant which is extremely popular with the visitors. The castle is still the headquarters of the association today.
Marksburg overlooks the town of Braubach and is accessible from Braubach by a walking path which is said to lead you by foot to the castle in about 25 minutes (it would take me longer than that!). Otherwise access is by car in 5 minutes from Braubach. There is a car park just before you get to the castle but the last steep hill must be walked. It is well sealed however and is not a difficult walk by any means.
The Castle is open to visitors every day. It is an easy journey from Koblenz by car.
Yes, as the sun sets in the west, we must say goodbye to Koblenz. I was so fortunate to be staying at the Hotel Rheinkrone because in addition to everything else that made it so memorable, the sunset as seen from the top of that hill was an extra added bonus.
I must admit that I am a sucker for frescoes and these appealed to me extra specially because they looked as though they were the original works. I may be wrong in this assumption, but it certainly looked that way to me. In any event, they were truly magnificent as was the statuary in the chapel. This part of Marksburg was really a peaceful place and it was good just to stand there and try to take it all in. It was definitely a "feel good" room.
The tower which houses Markuskapelle or (St. Mark's Chapel) was built in 1200 and gave its name to the castle which was originally called Burg Braubach.
To say that this part of the castle was a bit grim and gruesome would be a gross understatement. Here there are displayed many items used to torture prisoners when the castle was used as a prison. The mind boggles at the very thought of what some of these instruments were used for.
Thumbscrews, hooks, racks, chains, you name it.
I was certainly glad to pass through this area.
In the military museum you will find many life size figures modelling the changing trends in the history of suits of armour. I don't think that anyone has ever worked out how the knights of old were able to engage in battle wearing all that heavy metal. I believe that there were suits which weighed up to 90 pounds even before the sword was counted in.
The museum also has exhibits of various kinds of weaponry.
This room is not exactly inspiring in its design, but I guess that's how they were decorated in those days. The bed is very short as were most beds back then. This was because many people slept sitting up so that they could get some relief from the lung diseases that were prevalent at that time.
This particular bedroom also features some rather ornate and grand trunks which are richly carved and really beautiful to my mind.
The Great Hall was where the nobility and invited guests were wined and dined. They sat around a huge dining table which was moved out of the room when more floor space was required for dancing etc. There are several very lovely old tapestries on the walls of this room and an alcove is fitted out with a table and built in benches where residents and their guests could relax and maybe enjoy a game of chess.
The room also has a "powder room" for want of a more polite phrase. The toilets throughout the castle presented a bit of a problem to the residents during the Middle Ages because if intruders were able to scale the walls of the castle, they could then enter the building through the toilet. The mind boggles!
The wine cellar houses som huge wine barrels. Apparently it was safer to drink wine than water back in the Middle ages. The reason for this was that the water could be quite germ-laden at times and so the preference was for wine rather than water.
I love the jugs that were used to carry the wine from the cellar to the table.
The kitchen in the castle is really huge with all manner and means of cooking devices and plenty of seating for the hungry castle serfs.
One has to wonder how some of thos humongous iron pots got cleaned after the meal was cooked. I certainly wouldn't want to have been on washing up duty too often. Thank heavens for non-stick cookware and dishwashers, methinks.
Refrigeration back then was achieved by lugging up frozen water from the Rhine and keeping it covered in straw in an airtight cupboard.
There really was a lot to see in the kitchen area, it was a very interesting part of the castle.
The stained glass windows of Liebfrauenkirche were added as recently as 1992. They are the design of HG Stockhausen. They are way more than just eyecatching, they are indeed spectacular and well worth a look. I know that Europe almost suffers from overload in the stained glass department, but these to my mind are pretty special.
The Pegelhaus, and what a busy Restaurant it was!
The Pegelhaus was originally a Rhine Crane, built in an octangal shape between 1609 & 1611 and used for loading and unloading ships and as a Water Gauge house.
With the expansion of the Moselle wharf, the crane house continued to lose importance.
Next to the entrance to the present day restaurant, the highest water levels during the different centuries can be seen. You can see this in my photo. The blue gauge clock is on the left.
Koblenz holds Flower Show's every year. We happened to be there for the Bundesgartenschau 2011 (BUGA Koblenz 2011), the 2011 Federal Horticultural Show.
The whole of Koblenz was in flower, a very lovely sight.
The Show covered three site's from the Electoral Palace to the Blumenhof courtyard between the old town and Deutsches Eck, and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. All the area's were going to be left as permanent features after the 2011 Flower show.
We bought a Day Ticket which in 2011 was 20 euros to enter all the exhibition's.
It was well worth seeing, infact, it was a beautiful sight! We were there early, before it got too busy, I suggest the same if you wish to see next year's show.
modern hotel, very central located. Definitely more comfortable than in a station wagon. Average...more
All the service was nice and friendly. The room was very comfy and sunny. We had tv and shower in...more
Very nice rooms for the price with easy access to the altstadt. Near a bus stop.more