Tuesday, 7 July 2020

burgen und bunker

Having decamped early, H and I packed and headed along the Moselle first to the well-preserved village of Beilstein, whose untouched charm is sometimes compared with Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and is dominated by the ruin of Castle Metternich, one of the holdings of the noble house of prince-electors and also the namesakes of the sparkling white wine (Sekt) Fรผrst von Metternich.
Later on, we continued to the town of Cochem, settled since ancient times by the Celts and Romans and with its first documented mention in 886.

Towered over by an imperial castle (Reichsburg Cochem) whose immediacy was already confirmed by the mid-twelfth century, the residence was sacked by French forces during the War of the Palatine Succession (der Plรคlzischer Erbfolgekrieg) in 1688. The compound lay in centuries in a state of disrepair until purchased by a Berlin businessman in the late 1860s and rehabilitated in the Gothic Revival style of the day, though true to the original form.
Not a day to spend in an underground bunker even if tours had been available, but maybe something to see next time—there lies in an unassuming neighbourhood a formerly secret safe—der Bundesbankbunker, disguised by two houses above it that contained a reserve of fifteen billion mark banknotes that the West German government could put into circulation in case of economic disruption from the Eastern bloc. The money never needed to be used.