A popular subject for photographers the world over! The French writer Victor Hugo was once impressed by this castle in the form of a stone ship with a tower for a mast. Built on a rocky island in the Rhine in the 14th century, it is a prime example of a toll castle. A tour of the toll castle is definitely worthwhile.
Its location alone explains why Pfalzgrafenstein Castle was once part of one the most profitable toll posts on the Rhine. Standing in the middle of the current, the bulwark is only accessible via ferry. The Count Palatine and later Emperor Louis IV had a five-sided bergfried built on the small Rhenish island as the first part of the fortification - much to the displeasure of the bishops of the time and even the pope, who were concerned about the profitable supremacy of the Church in the levying of toll. With the building of the curtain wall and battlements starting from 1340, Pfalzgrafenstein Castle’s resistance was significantly increased. In 1504, it even withstood the 39-day siege in the Bavarian-Palatinate War of Succession undamaged.
Without a doubt, “die Pfalz” is today one of the most photographed motifs in the Middle Rhine Valley. A small passenger ferry brings visitors dry-shod from Kaub to the “stony ship”.