Your city experience Koblenz!

Koblenz: modern and urban

Art, culture and the Deutsches Eck

When most people think of Koblenz, the first things that spring to mind are usually the Deutsches Eck and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, in other words the historic and the monumental. But the city has much more to offer! One of the great things is that the old town is directly connected to the recently redesigned, expansive riverside promenade. And Koblenz has achieved what many other German cities still dream of; a modern cable car system over the Rhine has been an integral part of public transport between the Deutsches Eck, Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and high-lying districts since the 2011 German Horticultural Show! Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and its vast grounds have benefited enormously from this, with the fortress becoming a centre of cultural activity.

Speaking of culture: did you know that the art collector Peter Ludwig was originally from Koblenz? He and his wife Irene are responsible for the city’s fascinating Ludwig Museum. The museum is celebrating its 30-year anniversary – a good opportunity for a visit.

And there’s no shortage of culinary highlights here either; Koblenz has three Michelin star restaurants to enjoy!

 

UNESCO World Heritage

Upper Middle Rhine Valley and Stolzenfels Castle

Ansicht auf das Schloss Stolzenfels in Koblenz.
Ansicht des Gartens des Schloss Stolzenfels in Koblenz.

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, starts near Koblenz. It’s significance doesn’t just lie in its physical heritage, i.e. landscape and historic sights, but also in its intangible heritage of “Rhine Romanticism”, which is evident in the region’s art, literature, music and architecture. It is all to easy to dismiss this term as kitschy, as something relegated to tourist souvenir shops. But the “Romanticism” taking place in the Rhine Valley during the 18th/19th centuries has to be seen against the backdrop of industrialisation and all its associated consequences. Napoleon’s occupation of areas on the left of the Rhine evoked a romanticising of the pre-revolutionary past and the Middle Ages. Perceived as rugged and unspoilt, the Rhine and Mosel landscape, with it rich cultural and historical heritage, embodied a seemingly untainted world. It’s exactly this Rhine Romanticism that manifests itself at Stolzenfels Castle. The castle in its present form owes its appearance to the Prussian crown prince and later king Frederick William IV. He had the castle built in the spirit of the times according to the designs of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, a famous painter and architect of German Romanticism. Stolzenfels is also considered one of the few monuments of 19th-century aristocratic residential culture. It’s well worth seeing!

 

The Deutsches Eck

You’ll find the Deutsches Eck right where the Mosel flows into the Rhine. The monumental statue of Kaiser Wilhelm Ion horseback is 37 metres tall and was inaugurated in 1897. It stands in a beautiful park with shady trees and a beer garden with views across the Mosel.

Starting at the Deutsches Eck, you can take a leisurely walk along the Rhine promenade and enjoy the waterside views. If you want to take the cable car up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, you’ll find the ground station for this here. Or perhaps a boat trip is more your thing? The excursion boats are anchored here too.
 

 

The Rhine promenade and the Electoral Palace

First stop is the former Prussian government building, which was built in and around 1902-1906 in the Neo-Romantic style. It’s an impressive example of how Kaiser Wilhelm II sought inspiration from the Staufer dynasty to represent his own imperial grandeur. He even made changes to the architectural plans himself. Today, the building houses the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support and the Koblenz Higher Regional Court.

 

Ansicht auf zwei Frauen, die vor dem Kurfürstlichen Schloss ein Glas Wein trinken.
Ansicht auf den Pavillion der Kaiserin-Augusta-Anlagen.

A little further on is the former Electoral Palace (Kürstliches Schloss), one of the last surviving monumental palace buildings of the 18th century and also the first and most significant example of Neo Classicism in the Rhineland. The palace was built shortly before the invasion of the French revolutionary army in 1792/93. Needless to say, the builder and last Elector of Trier had little time to enjoy it! In 2011, the palace garden was remodelled for the German Horticultural Show based on the designs of the Prussian landscape architect and gardener Peter Joseph Lenné. Past and present are interlinked though high-quality modern planting, pergolas, a waterscape and fountains.

The open castle wall creates a transition to the new castle steps on the banks of the Rhine. It’s a lovely place to sit. From the palace, you have the option of continuing your walk to the Kaiserin-Augusta park or heading into the old town and letting yourself be carried along by the city’s hustle and bustle.

 

Koblenz old town and top attractions

Koblenz is known for its many squares and lanes, which are perfect for a leisurely wander and a spot of shopping. The old town is a listed heritage zone and covers the area of a Late Antique/Early Medieval fort that once stood here.

 

Your must sees:

The former Electoral Palace (Kurfürstliche Burg) directly on the banks of the Mosel, which was originally a moated castle surrounded by a wide ditch and circular wall. The base of the east tower most likely dates back to Roman times.

The Protestant Florinschurch, the old shopping and dance place, the Schöffenhaus and the Bürresheimer Hof, together form one of the most beautiful building ensembles in the city. Dating back to around 1100, the church originally belonged to a monastery chapter. Today, St. Florin is both an accessible church and a cultural centre: alongside church services, it hosts exhibitions, concerts, organ recitals and the like from mid-May to early October. So, just drop in!

The Münzplatz got its name from the former mint buildings located there (Münze literally meaning coin). Exhibitions by regional artists are regularly held at the historic Haus Metternich.
Where would the "Am Plan” square be without buildings such as the old town commandant headquarters and historic municipal school? The spacious area with outdoor dining would definitely be only half as lovely. While you’re there, take a look at the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), which was the main parish church of Koblenz from the late Middle Ages until the French Revolution. Its beginnings date back to the 5th century. The two onion-shaped domes are visible from quite some distance.

The Basilika St. Kastor is interesting from both an architectural and historical perspective. Consecrated in 836, the collegiate church was a meeting and mediation place for emperors and kings! It is where, for example, the negotiations between the sons of Emperor Louis the Pious took place in 842, which led to the division of the Frankish Empire in the Treaty of Verdun. The building in its present form dates predominantly from the middle of the 12th century. Be sure to stop by the interesting tombs too! In 1991, Pope John Paul II elevated St. Kastor to minor basilica status. This is an honorary title that marks it out as a church of special significance.

In the Blumenhof just behind it, you’ll find a tranquil place with a paradise garden, a flower garden and a sculpture courtyard.

The Ludwig-Museum, which specialises in contemporary art, is housed in the former Teutonic Order commandery near the Deutsches Eck. Read more below. Built in the 13th century, it was the first settlement of the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden) in the Rhineland. The Deutsches Eck was actually named after it. Our restaurant tip: Gerhards Genussgesellschaft in the Blumenhof.

Shopping tips

Are you interested in all things creative? Then the Kunstgässchen is the perfect place for you. Fancy something sweet? The "Fräulein Diehl" manufactory makes caramel specialities with lots of care and without additives (Firmungstraße 19). Or are spices more your thing? You’ll find them at the "Pfeffersack & Soehne" store on Münzplatz.

 

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress cultural centre

The cable car service at the Deutsches Eck takes you directly up to the extensive grounds of the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. It’s a great place for a picnic! A modern viewing platform offers excellent views across the entire city.

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress is considered the second largest surviving fortress in Europe, and its origins date back to the year 1000. Its current form was completed between 1817 and 1828. As well as being a monument to military history, the fortress has also developed into a modern cultural centre in recent years. Great events take place here, especially of the open-air kind. The Landesmuseum features a variety of interesting permanent exhibitions,e.g. on the history of technology and archaeology in the Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as a selection of temporary exhibitions.

An experience trail takes you to various stations of the fortress’ history. If you have the time, you should definitely experience “The Humfrey File” there, a site-specific theatre production. This does, however, require advance booking.

Museums and modernity

Innenansicht des Mittelrhein Museums in Koblenz.
Ansicht im Museum Romanticum in Koblenz.

The Forum Confluentes houses two museums that are worth a visit: the Mittelrhein-Museum and the Romanticum. The ultra-modern building was designed by the renowned German/Dutch architect duo Jan Benthem and Mels Crouwel and is truly striking. And conveniently, the city’s tourist information centre is also located here.

 

The Mittelrhein-Museum: Permanent exhibitions cover everything from medieval sculpture and paintings, to Baroque art, Classicism and Romanticism, to the Düsseldorf School, Modernism and Contemporary Art. Collections include the work of K. O. Götz, Rissa and Heijo Hangen. There are also themed temporary exhibitions to discover.

The Romanticum: Everything centres on the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site in this interactive and multimedia exhibition. On board a virtual ship, you explore ten diversely designed exhibition areas with a total of more than 70 interactive stations.

 

 

Ansicht auf ein Gemälde im Ludwig Museum in Koblenz.

30 years of Museum Ludwig
Modern art in historic surroundings – a wonderful contrast. At the heart of the collection displayed in this modern museum housed in the Teutonic Order commandery near the Deutsches Eck are contemporary works of French, American and German art created after 1945. As well as featured works by Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Man Ray, you can also see the art of Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Christian Boltanski, Daniel Buren, Jean Dubuffet, Martial Raysse, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, François Morellet, Patrick Raynaud and Bernar Venet. As the name suggests, the museum is the result of a donation made by the collector couple Peter and Irene Ludwig in 1992, exactly 30 years ago. Incidentally, The pair chose to be buried at the old church in St. Aldegund along the Mosel.
The Ludwig museum also hosts a series of interesting temporary exhibitions.

Cultural events

Koblenz has a diverse cultural scene including theatre performances, concerts, festivals and events. The state orchestra, the Rheinische Philharmonie, performs over 60 concerts and plays at up to 80 theatre performances every year.

The city’s theatre has its own ensembles for drama, music theatre, ballet and puppet theatre. It was built in 1787 at the request of the Elector of Trier, Clemens Wenzeslaus, and his sister Maria Kunigunde of Saxony as a private theatre in Neo Classical style, matching that of the Electoral Palace.

 

Ansicht auf die Festung Ehrenbreitstein in Koblenz bei Nacht.

The Rhein in Flammen® (Rhine in Flames) Spay/Braubach - Koblenz experience is the event highlight for the city and surrounding area. A procession of up to 50 boats winds its way along the river. Fireworks and light installations can be seen in Spay, Braubach, Rhens, Brey, Lahnstein and Koblenz. This coincides with a three-day summer music festival that takes place at the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz. Over 300 artists perform on several stages. Vibrant world music concerts, a lounge stage and a silent disco in the charming Schlossgarten have all become very popular.

 

Three outstanding restaurant tips

Ansicht auf ein hochwertig angerichtetes Gericht im Schiller´s Manufaktur.

This didn’t take long to decide!
The Michelin Guide praises the culinary excellence at Schiller’s Manufaktur in Hotel Stein. Mike Schiller creates classic Mediterranean-influenced dishes that you can order à la carte or as a set menu. Dishes to enjoy at home are also available.

The Da Vinci is recommended by Michelin (1 Michelin star ) and Gault & Millau (15 points). You can even combine your visit with an evening at the theatre: an aperitif, starter and main course before the start of the performance, a light appetizer at intermission and a culinary finale after the curtain falls. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Gotthardt’s in the Hotel Fährhaus also shines with a Michelin star. Frank Seyfried delights with Mediterranean-German dishes, served à la carte or as a set menu.

 

Sweet dreams. Our accommodation tips.

Koblenz offers a wide range of accommodation options across all price ranges. You’re sure to find something that suits you! Search & book directly via our online booking platform.

 

Anblick auf den Pool im Wellness-Bereich des Hotels Fährhaus.

We’d like to particularly recommend the Hotel Fährhaus on the banks of the Mosel. It features 37 modern rooms, 10 exclusive suites and its own marina with 8 boat moorings. The restaurant offers delicious cuisine prepared by Michelin-starred chef Frank Seyfried, and the “mopane Spa” is the perfect place to relax.

 

Day trip to the major state exhibition in Trier

The "Decline of the Roman Empire" is the theme of the major state exhibition taking place in Trier from 25 June to 27 November 2022. Three museums will jointly present impressive exhibits and the latest scientific findings related to the end of the Imperium Romanum across 31 exhibition spaces, covering a total area of 2,000 square metres. Trier is a beautiful city in itself, with plenty of sights to see, so a day trip is definitely in order.

You can reach Trier from Koblenz by car in just under 1 ½ hours. Or you can easily travel there by train.

You can find out more about Trier and the state exhibition in our Trier-Tips.

 

 

Book your Mosel holiday now!

24.05.2022
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31.05.2022

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