The Rhine Valley, where the Rhine carves its way through steep hills topped with countless castles and ruins, is one the most famous and most visited sites of Germany. It is also a World UNESCO site.
Medieval Castles are perched high above the river and towns. Some of them like the Burg Reichenstein Castle are high-end hotels and restaurants.
The Schonburg Castle has a 700-year history and changed hands many times over time from one robber baron to another. What is a Robber Barron? Rights were assigned to a limited number of toll points and because the Rhine was such a narrow river it was easy to impede the flow of traffic and collect a toll. It’s now a luxurious hotel with gardens and a museum. I think it’s fun that below many of these expensive castle-hotels are large RV parks.
Pfalzgrafenstein Castle functioned as a toll-collecting station. A chain was drawn across the river and forced ships to submit, and uncooperative traders would be kept in the dungeon for ransom. They told us a story of a Count who locked his daughter and wife up in the tower so the daughter wouldn’t marry Henry the Lion’s son. The son managed to get into the tower and secretly married the daughter and nine month’s later a son was born. The Count was so happy to have a grandson he forgot about his feud with Henry the Lion.
Beautiful Vineyards are also popular along the Middle Rhine hilltops.