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With a population of around 5000, Cochem is the district town of the Cochem-Zell district and thus the smallest district town in Germany. This fact often arouses astonishment, because the numerous visitors and tourists and the many hotels and retail shops actually make the town seem much larger and more spacious. Cochem was first mentioned in 886, but the area was already settled in Celtic and Roman times. Since 1332, Cochem has had town charter, of which the people of Cochem are still very proud today. Until 2009, Cochem was an independent town with its own administration. Since 2009, the town has belonged to the municipality of Cochem and there are still a number of Cochem residents who mourn its independence.
In 1932, the previously independent fishing villages of Sehl and Cond were incorporated into Cochemem. Today, the border between Sehl and Cochem is only recognisable to initiated citizens, and the district of Cond on the other side of the Moselle is connected to the old town by two bridges. Both districts have historic half-timbered buildings and a small town centre has survived to this day. In Sehl, for example, there is one of the oldest half-timbered buildings on the entire Moselle dating from 1374 and the so-called Sehl Cathedral dating from 1493.
Cochem as a whole is characterised by tourism and winegrowing. The townscape is dominated by the majestic Reichsburg Cochem castle, perched on a hilltop high above the Moselle. The many hotels, inns, restaurants and street cafés accommodate holidaymakers from all over the world. The beautiful Moselle promenade, several kilometres long, invites you to stroll, walk and cycle. A few small yachts are moored in the harbour and the many river cruise ships anchored in the area create an almost Mediterranean flair.
The Imperial Castle of Cochem
The Imperial Castle was first mentioned in a document in 1130 and was occupied by French troops of King Louis XIV in 1688. They destroyed it in 1689 during the Palatinate War of Succession. It was not until 1868 that it was rebuilt according to original plans by the Berlin merchant Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené.
The ruins of Winneburg Castle
Winneburg Castle was first mentioned in a document in 1304. In the years that followed, it was steadily expanded, but remained in the possession of the Lords of Winneburg. After this dynasty died out in 1637, the castle came into the possession of the von Metternich family in the middle of the 17th century. The Winneburg was also captured and blown up by French troops in 1689. The Winneburg was not rebuilt from then on and remained a ruin. In 1832, the famous Prince von Metternich bought the castle ruins. Unfortunately, however, it was not rebuilt. Since 1932 it has belonged to the town of Cochem. Today it is part of the Moselsteig hiking trail and still a worthwhile hiking destination. Cochem Town Hall on the Market Square and the Martin Fountain The baroque-style town hall is a former electoral official residence that was destroyed by fire at the end of the 17th century and rebuilt and extended at the beginning of the 18th century. In front of the town hall on the market square is the market fountain, first mentioned in 1459, which probably bore a statue of St. Martin even then.
The Catholic Church of St. Martin
The chronicle mentions a St. Martin's Church as early as around 1130; a second one is mentioned around 1456. The "Old Choir" of the present church dates from this time and is its oldest part, which also survived the Second World War. The church in Cochem, which is rather plain on the outside, surprises with many beautiful stained glass windows on the inside. These were designed by the glass artists Graham Jones and Patrick Reyntiens from London. The Oberlinger organ in the church of St. Martin in Cochem is also a special feature of the church building.
The Capuchin Monastery
Old, winding stone steps lead from the market square up to the monastery hill. The Capuchin monastery, located on a hilltop and founded around 1623, was a monastery until 1802 and is now the town's cultural centre.
The town gates and the old town wall
The town gates of Cochem and parts of the preserved town wall are well worth seeing.
The Martin Gate
was built in 1352 by Elector Balduin of Luxembourg, who was also Archbishop of Trier. The name Mäuschesportz, which is commonly used for the city gate, refers to its former use as a toll gate. A customs chain (Haspel) was laid between the Reichsburg and the opposite bank of the Moselle. This allowed ships to be stopped in order to enforce the payment of customs duties.
The Endert Gate
The gate was built in 1332 by Elector Balduin. It served as the northern passage of the city wall. The Endert Gate protected the city from attacks from the Endert Valley. It was very well known among travellers, as the passengers of the stagecoaches to Cologne and Frankfurt gathered here or in front of the neighbouring Torschenke for departure. For a time, the Endert Gate also served as Cochem's town prison. The gate is still completely preserved. There is also a gatekeeper's house belonging to it. Today it is located in the city's busy pedestrian zone.
The Balduin Gate
The narrow stairways along the old city wall on the Klosterberg are also romantic. From the Balduinstor you also have a great view of the Reichsburg Cochem.
The Fox Hole
It is easy to overlook the so-called Fuchsloch (Fox Hole) in a corner of the dense development between two hotels in Cochem. Yet it is particularly attractive to venture through it. From the Moselle promenade you can enter the pedestrian zone through the "Fuchsloch", a passageway that was once the smallest town gate in Cochem, in the direction of the Balduinstor.
Wine walks around Cochem
Calmont via ferrata Climb the steepest vineyard in Europe. Experience live what steep vineyard cultivation means. The path leads over ladders past striking rock spurs. Steel ropes give you a foothold as you pass a rocky ridge. And reward yourself with a magnificent view of the towns of Bremm and Ediger-Eller and the view of the Stuben monastery ruins on one of the most beautiful Moselle loops. The sometimes alpine charm up to 300 metres above the Moselle and across the steepest vineyards in Europe is a real challenge even for more experienced hikers.
The Moselsteig connects the "Highlights on the Moselle" with each other - on a total of 365 kilometres of trail and 22 very different stages between Perl on the Upper Moselle and the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz. In the holiday region "Ferienland Cochem", the Moselsteig runs from Neef - Ediger-Eller (length: 11.0 km), Ediger-Eller - Beilstein (length: 18.0 km), Beilstein - Cochem (length: 14.0 km), Cochem - Treis-Karden (length: 23.5 km) and Treis-Karden - Moselkern (length: 12.5 km).
The Cochem RitterRunde
A colourful adventure trip with lots of scenery, two mighty castles, great panoramic views and the slate rock reefs so typical of Mosel country. A harmonious and impressive day hike, but demanding due to its length and relief, which requires absolute surefootedness and a certain level of fitness. Because of its figure-of-eight shape and intersection at the chairlift, however, this tour can easily be divided into two rounds, a "Winneburg Round" and a "Reichsburg Round".
Wine hike with wine tasting
Hiking the wine You can hike along the Mosel Heights Trail above the river, or through the middle of the vineyards or directly along the Moselle. The 18 themed hiking trails that are part of the Mosel.Erlebnis.Route alone offer variety for numerous explorations on the themes of wine, archaeology, flora/fauna, religion, art and literature. Distance and circular walks between 3 and 15 kilometres are possible. These guided walks usually include a wine tasting - either in the middle of the vineyards or in a local winery. There, too, you will learn exciting and interesting facts about wine and the cultural landscape of the Moselle. Wine experience hike with the winegrower Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Guided hike through the "Cochemer Klostergarten" vineyard and expert wine tasting at the winery with vintner's snack. The hike starts at the winery at Brausestraße 1 in Cochem-Sehl, very close to our hotel. After a welcome by the young winemaker, the path leads through the monastery grounds of the time-honoured Ebernach monastery. During a tour through the vineyard "Cochemer Klostergarten", the wine lovers are familiarised with the work of the winemaker in the vineyard. Of course, a glass of wine in the vineyard is not to be missed. After about 1 hour and a hike of around 3 km, you will arrive back at the winery. There, the old vaulted cellar with the wooden barrels, the wine press station and the bottle store will be visited and expertly explained. Afterwards, participants can look forward to an expert wine tasting (6 samples) and a hearty snack in the winegrowers' house with the Cochemer Straußwirtschaft.
In the romantic Elzbach valley, near Moselkern and Treis-Karden, lies the Sleeping Beauty Castle of the Mosel region, Eltz Castle, one of the most beautiful original castles in Germany.
The Martberg - Gallo-Roman temple complex
The Martberg near Pommern - about 180 metres above the Moselle - was an important cult site in Celtic and Roman times. In the heyday of this cult site (around 200 AD), numerous temples stood here. One of the temples was dedicated to the Roman deity Mars and still gives the mountain its name: mons martis - Martberg. A magical place for Celtic and Roman gods, vividly reconstructed on a high plateau above the Moselle.
Historic Mustard Mill Cochem
Experience under expert guidance how the finest cold-ground gourmet mustard is once again produced in one of the oldest mustard mills - Anno 1810.
Stuben Monastery Ruins
The Stuben convent ruins bear impressive witness to a large nunnery that was built opposite the Calmont in the 12th century. Today, only the ruins of the convent church, built in 1685/87, are visible. It serves as a cultural forum, and the music events in the Stuben convent ruins are highly recommended.
Cochem Chairlift and the Pinner Cross
High up on the Pinnerberg, which can be reached easily and comfortably by the Cochem chairlift, is the Pinnerkreuz, a vantage point with a magnificent view of the Moselle valley. The name goes back to a shepherd who wanted to save one of his stray animals from falling and died in the process. The cross was erected in his memory.
Guided tours of Cochem - bookable at the tourist information office
Guided tour of Cochem Traditional guided tour of Cochem. Get to know Cochem and its historical places.
Tour with the Cochem night watchman
Accompany the Cochem night watchman as he makes his rounds through the old town of Cochem in the evening with his lantern, horn and halberd.
In the footsteps of the Capuchins
Join us on this unusual guided tour through the historic walls of Cochem and experience the special features of the former Capuchin monastery, which can only be visited as part of this tour. The monastery, whose construction began in 1625, is one of the most important sacred buildings of the Baroque period on the Moselle. After extensive renovation and conversion work, the complex has been used since 2008 as the "Capuchin Monastery Cultural Centre" for cultural, private or public purposes. Learn interesting facts about the life of the Capuchins within these historic walls and experience the end of the tour in the "Nuns' Garden", which is unique due to its location. Over a delicious cup of Moselle wine, enjoy the magnificent panoramic view of the vineyards, the town of Cochem, the Moselle and the Reichsburg Castle.