Beautiful, lonely, majestic and surrounded by water, Eltz Castle lies a little off the beaten track of the Moselle valley. It has never been destroyed in a war. Its 500-year building history unites all styles, from Romanticism to the early Baroque period.
The family von und zu Eltz have owned the Randhausburg for 800 years. Today the castle consists of eight towers built around a courtyard. Once up to 100 family members lived in the towers in an almost equal number of rooms.
On three sides, the river Eltz flows around an elliptical rock with a height of 70 metres, which serves as the foundation of the castle. In 1268, the brothers Elias,
In 1331, Elector Balduin of Trier had the Trutz- or Baldeneltz built on a rock in front of the castle. From there he fired stone balls at Eltz Castle, which can still be seen today in the inner courtyard. Balduin cut off the supply routes and forced the Eltz family to give up in 1333. In 1336, the peace of Eltz was signed. 1354 Emperor Charles IV gave the castle to Eltz Balduin to the fief. Therefore, the noblemen of Eltz were no longer free imperial knights but feudal men. The Eltz feud was the only military conflict of importance in the history of the castle.
The possessions of the von Eltz family were extensive. The Eltzer courts of Koblenz, Trier, Boppard, Würzburg, Mainz or Eltville illustrated the interests of the house. In 1736, the family acquired the dominion of Vukovar in Eastern Slavonia (Croatia). In 1717, Prince Eugene had repelled the Turks to Belgrade. In the following decades, the settlement of the mostly depopulated conquered areas began. Vukovar was the most important property of the von Eltz family. From the middle of the 19th century until the expulsion and internment of Germans in concentration camps by Tito in 1944, the Vukovar dominion was the main residence of the Eltz line of the Golden Lion. Since the World War II, the Golden Lion family has lived in the Eltzer Hof in Eltville at the Rhine. There was nothing left of Eltz Castle in Vukovar at the Danube river after the Balkan war. In the town on the border between Croatia and Serbia there was hardly a habitable house left.
The current owner of the castle, Count Jakob von und zu Eltz-Kempenich, called Faust von Stromberg, lives in Eltville, where his family owns a world-famous vineyard. Since the middle of the 18th century, managers have been living at Eltz Castle.
The inhabitants of Moselkern have long been dependent on the lords of Eltz. However, in difficult times like the 30 Years War or the World War II, the castle offered them protection.