Castles, chapels, culture, and lots of charm – a visit to Kobern-Gondorf
Kobern-Gondorf is an old romantic town of some 3.500 inhabitants on the left bank of the lower Moselle, one of Germany’s warmest regions. Composed of different districts, Kobern-Gondorf stretches out over 3 kilometers along the riverside. Due to its low altitude, the historic town center of Kobern has been flooded quite often.
Rich in tradition and history, Kobern-Gondorf offers various sights, castles, ruins and relicts, romantic old houses and medieval streets. And you can enjoy a large selection of cultural events and leisure time facilities. If the well-preserved historic parts of the town with carefully restored buildings could tell their own stories…
A touch of Stonehenge issues from the mystical “Goloring” upstream Kobern, one of the oldest Celtic sanctuaries in the region. But Romans and early Christians left traces as well. At the spur’s foothills you will find a single tower, serving as a bell tower for the Kobern parish churches since the 13th century. The Gothic chapel from the 15th century in the cemetery is also worth a visit.
The story of the stolen crane
The supposed theft of the head of the apostle Matthias may be a town legend. In 1221, Henry II, a crusader from Kobern, brought the apostle’s crane home with him from Egypt. In honor of the relict, and to keep it sheltered, the Romanic Saint Matthias chapel was erected. The cultural monument on a ridge above the town shows clearly some oriental influence.
Excavations in Gondorf unearthed a burial ground from late Roman and Merovingian times, very important in size and opulence. A scientific evaluation of the finds suggests a late Roman population of a certain wealth in the 6th century. Within spitting distance of the river, the ancestral seat of the noble family von der Leyen, Gondorf Castle, can be seen. The so-called “Gondorfer Oberburg“, the upper castle, is the only moated castle in the Moselle valley with Gothic und Renaissance elements. Inside, you may visit a museum of local history. “Schloss Liebig”, the lower castle, had been rebuilt from a Romanic residence tower by Cologne architect Vincenz Statz in the 19th century. The castle used to be the ancestral seat of the barons of Liebig.
A “Tatzelwurm” and the oldest half-timbered house
On the historic square market, you may admire the “Tatzelwurm” fountain statue, a creature half-lion, half lindworm, once supposedly hiding in the Gondorf tunnels. And the oldest well-preserved half-timbered house in the province of Rhinelande, belonging to Saint Mary’s Monastery, is nearby. The so-called Knight’s Hall on the other end of the market used to be part of the gothic domicile of the Romilian family. Relicts of the tower belonging to the construction are to be found close-by.
Celebrating and more …
Characteristic of the Moselle region are the local parish fairs and fire department festivals in the villages. The annual “Wine and Castle Festival” in Kobern on every first weekend in July is also very popular. And the annual Wine Fair in Gondorf invites us on the second weekend of September. Of course there are also many wine tasting opportunities all year long, and even a Wine Museum. Outdoor activities such as Moselle cruises, water sports, fishing, hiking, bike riding or carriage rides are also much appreciated.