Germany is home to many castles that look like they came straight from fairytales. Cochem Castle in the town of Cochem is one of these castles. Although Cochem today is respectively a small town in Germany, in the past, it caused a lot of disputes, experienced wars, and saw destruction. Similarly, Cochem Castle has seen its fair share of them as well. The castle constantly changed owners and was affected by the different groups that held Cochem at different points in history. While the castle we see today is a 19th-century renovated version, the original castle’s story begins nearly a thousand years ago.
The first mention of Cochem’s name comes from a 9th-century source. In those times, Celts and Romans probably settled in Cochem for short amounts of time but in 1000, the town belonged to the palatinate counts. One of the counts, Enzo, built a castle overlooking the river as a representation of his authority. Moreover, Enzo wanted to collect taxes from the ships passing the river as well. However, when Enzo died, the question of who gets the castle and consequently Cochem, caused a bitter rivalry.
Different members of the nobility claimed the castle; however, none could finalize the transaction. Seeing that the disputes would never end and continue to cause damage to the area, the King of Germany Konrad III himself occupied the castle with his soldiers and claimed it as his own. While this ended the conflict, it also gave Cochem an imperial status. Cochem Castle remained the property of the crown until the French destroyed the castle in the late 17th century.
A century later, Cochem once again became a part of Prussia, ending the French occupation. Seeing the castle was in ruins, a businessman from Berlin bought the castle grounds and started to renovate it. Although he could not see the end result, Cochem Castle owes its grand appearance to the renovations and the man from Berlin.
The renovations turned Cochem Castle into a neo-gothic masterpiece. It also carries traces of classic German architecture with Renaissance and Baroque furniture as well. Although they got lost during WW2, the castle had an extensive art collection belonging to the castle owner’s son.