Construction of Pfalz-Kaub (correct name Pfalzgrafenstein) commenced in 1327 shortly after King Ludwig granted town rights to Kaub (1324).This charming little "Island Castle" was built as a toll station(and functioned as such until 1876) to exact dues from ships sailing on the Rhine.
The toll was regarded as excessive and this led to an ongoing dispute with Pope John XXII which in turn led to a strengthening of the castle.The outer wall is over 2 meters (6 foot) thick and twelve meters (36 foot) high.As the castle survived the turbulent history of the area up to the present day without ever being destroyed it would seem that the fortifications were adequate.
Early in 1814 the castle came into prominence once more as it was here that the Prussian general Blücher crossed the Rhine with over 80.000 troops and more than 300 pieces of artillery (see Bluecher Museum )on his way to Waterloo where he arrived to help Wellington and turned the tide of battle which led to the defeat of Napoleon.
This is one of our "favourite Rhine castles" - all our visting friends are taken there.
Trips to the castle are possible throughout the year with the exception of December. A tour takes about 40 minutes -so not too long and is well worth while.
Particularly interesting is the inner keep which goes down to water level. Here a wooden raft was kept on which unfortunates who were caught trying to sail past without paying toll were placed and kept until the tolls were paid. A small openeing allowed food to be passed down to them but how many succumbed to these rigors (especially in winter) before the toll money was paid I shudder to think!!