WHO ATE THE BISHOPOne
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
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 and the Mouse Tower Rhine Castles
Joined 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.
The 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