Cochem Castle for little lords and ladies

Cochem Castle for little lords and ladies

by Courtney Woodruff
Stripes Europe

After more than two years in Germany, we’ve toured our fair share of castles and attended numerous medieval festivals with our kids. Consequently, we’ve collected a small armory of child-sized swords, shields, helmets, crossbows and battle-axes. I’m pretty sure our boys would give up every one of their favorite modern toys, including Legos and video games, for the opportunity to experience how a real knight lived in the Middle Ages. Thank goodness for them — they don’t have to. Cochem Castle, or Reichsburg Cochem, offers unique and unforgettable opportunities for little lords and ladies to take a peek inside castle walls with special children’s tours and family-friendly medieval banquets.

A brief history

Cochem Castle boasts a long and colorful history. The fortress is believed to have been keeping watch over the Mosel River from its high hilltop perch for more than 1,000 years. In 1688, French Sun King Louis XIV forced his way inside the walls. Once the city had been completely overtaken by his troops, the castle was burned to the ground. The ruins dotted the city landscape until 1868, when Louis Ravené purchased the property for a small fee to build a summer home for his family. Ravené used what remained of the late-Gothic structure to restore the castle, and it stayed in his family’s possession for 75 years. Today, it is owned by the city of Cochem, and visitors are welcome to tour the fascinating furnished rooms year-round.

Castle tours

Guided tours of Cochem Castle are available daily in the summer months from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with English presentations at 12 and 3 p.m. Opening hours change in the winter months, so be sure to check the website before you go. During school holidays (Easter, summer, fall and Christmas) guided tours for children are available in German at 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Reservations are not required. Admission is 6 euros for adults and 3 euros for kids ages 6 to 17. Parents plus two children under age 18 can save by purchasing a family card for 16 euros. For more information, visit www.burg-cochem.de/home.html.

RTT Travel’s family special

RTT Travel has a special day trip planned to Cochem Castle for kids and their families on Oct. 29. Children are encouraged to dress in medieval costumes to play the part. After free time to enjoy the village, a guide will lead the group up to the castle for an interactive, educational adventure through its fascinating rooms, including the dungeon and armory. Kids will learn about the architectural features, as well as the type of weapons, fabrics and herbs that were used in medieval times.

After the tour, families will gather in the Knight’s Hall to enjoy a special feast of medieval-style chicken legs and flat bread. The price of the day trip is 59 euros for adults and 49 euros for children ages 4 to 15. The fee includes transportation to and from Ramstein Air Base. Children ages 3 and younger are free. To reserve your spot on the tour, visit www.rtttravel.com/regulardepartures/ cochem-castle-family-special.

Visit on your own

If you can’t make the day trip or miss one of the special events for children, don’t worry. Kids are welcome to join any of the guided tours and medieval banquets. Keep an eye on the calendar for special events, including festivals and Knight’s Meals.

If you plan to bring a stroller — you can fold it up and leave it outside the souvenir shop for the duration of your tour — I highly recommend taking the shuttle from the city center up to the castle and then walking back down. This way, you can skip the steep, uphill hike without missing out on experiencing the beautiful scenery, shops and narrow cobblestone streets on the way down. The bus runs from downtown Cochem to the castle April 29 to Nov. 1.

The chance to experience a traditional medieval feast within the walls of a real castle is a dream come true for our boys. If you’re looking for something special to treat your little lords and ladies to, get dressed up in your best knight and princess attire, and enjoy family-friendly adventure at Cochem Castle.

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