On the West bank of the Rhine above the small town of Oberwesel stands the magnificent Schönburg Castle.
Construction on the castle commenced in the first half of the 12th century - probably at the behest of the archbishop of Magdeburg.
By the 14th cerntury the castle had been extended to provide three seperate living quarters as well as three towers. This was occasioned as the somewhat unusual practice of dividing the inheritance between the sons (instead of its passing on solely to the eldest son) had been adopted.
As with many castles in the Rhine Valley, it was destroyed by the French during the war of succession in 1689.
Restoration only begann again in 1885 when the German-American T.I.Oakley Rheindlaer bought the castle.
Rheinlander died in 1947 and the heirs sold the castle to the town of Oberwesel in 1950.
The northern section was turned into a youth hostel and the southern section into an hotel.
72 hectars of vineyards surround the castle and the wines produced from these vineyards bear the name of the castle.
The hotel is superb - both accommodation and food - I know as we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary there.
A delightful hiking trail connects Schönburg and Oberwesel.