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THE MICE WHO ATE THE BISHOP
Burg Ehrenfels and the Mouse Tower Rhine Castles

Mouse Turm and Ehrenfels Rhine River photoOne of the more impressive castle ruins along the wine region of the middle Rhine River is Castle Ehrenfels, mostly for its perch among the grape vineyards on the hillside slope of the Rhine River shore near Rudesheim. The castle was destroyed by the French in 1689 and has remained a ruin. The main castle rests on the east shore of the river directly across across from two robber castles (see Burg Reinstein and Reichenstein) surrounded by a mighty stone curtain wall stretching along the wine vineyard slope and down to the river. But impressive as the fortress is and its wall as medieval architecture it wasn’t strong enough to withstand cannon fire of first the Swedes then the French. Burg Ehrenfels can be reached by foot trails through the vineyards from Rudesheim or Assmanhausen. Ehrenfels is not developed as a tourist castle as some of the others, particularly Rheinstein, Reichenstein and Sooneck on the western shore.

Burg Ehrenfels photoJoined in its history to the castle and perhaps its more curious feature in the Mouse Tower, actually separated from the burg ruin, the lookout tower stands jutting on a small island in the middle of the river, at the Binger Loch. The Mauseturm has been restored and used as a navigation marker for a couple of centuries, even visible in heavy fogs along the Rhine. The two castles together as viewed from the opposite shore or the deck of a Rhine cruise ship make for a good photo op when the mists lift.

Mouse Tower on Rhine photoThe Mouse Tower (Mauseturm) gets its name either of two versions of the story, from the word mausen, meaning mice, as in being on the lookout for mice for its use as a lookout tower, or more intriguingly for the local legend of the cruel Bishop who tried to escape a mob of mice that swam across the river and gnawed him to death, as he had gnawed the gold from the parishioners under his care. © Bargain Travel Europe

RHINE CASTLE SOONECK
Robber Knight Castle at Trechtingshausen

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SEE ALSO:

KD FLEET RHINE RIVER CRUISES

THE MIDDLE RHINE TRAIN

GRAB YOUR PITCHFORK

WINE AND WURST

BURG HORNBERG