Jan and I went to Koblenz in April 2011, when they were hosting the Bundesgartenschau or BUGA (National Garden Show). It was Easter weekend, but unlike this year and the year we went to Worms, the weather on that day was absolutely stunning!
The name Koblenz originates from the Latin confluentes, i.e. confluence, meaning “at the merging of the rivers”, which should give you a clue to the town’s location… Koblenz is situated on both banks of the River Rhine at its confluence with the River Mosel. The headland where the two rivers meet is known as the Deutsches Eck (German corner) and features a huge replica of a statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I (the original was destroyed by the French in World War II).
In May 1953, Theodor Heuss (who was German president at that time) rededicated the plinth of the statue as a monument to German unity and had the coats of arms of all the Bundesländer (including those in the East that, at the time, had been “lost” to the Soviets) installed there. The flags of all the states are also flown at the end of the Eck, along with the Germany flag.
It’s a great place to sit and watch the world (and the river) go by.
Having viewed the famous German corner, it was time to go and look at some flowers! Well, what else is one to do when the entire town has been taken over by a garden show?
The photos above were taken in the grounds of a church right next to the Deutsches Eck, the Kastorkirche (St. Kastor’s Church). Here it is:
After viewing the area around the Deutsches Eck, we took the cable car (installed especially for the BUGA and still in place) up to the other side of the Rhine and the grounds of the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.
There were some flower tents up there and a few other interesting things, including bee hives! Here are some of the flowers we saw in the tents:
Before heading back down into town, we also decided to have a look at the fortress itself. I have no photos taken at the fortress, for some reason, but the museum inside was quite interesting. Here’s what Ehrenbreitstain looks like when viewed from Koblenz:
Back down on the other side of the Rhine, we headed to the third area of the Gartenschau, the Kurfürstliche Schloss or Electoral Palace.
Once in the palace gardens, we followed the sound of tweeting until we found these guys:
The restaurant at the back of the palace was surpisingly inexpensive, and before heading back to the train station, we ate a delicious platter of cheese, grapes and various types of bread, plus a glass of wine each.
Koblenz is a beautiful town, but doesn’t have as many tourist attractions as some I’ve been to. The main ones have been mentioned in this post: The fortress, the Electoral Palace and, most famous of all, the Deutsches Eck. On a sunny day, it’s definitely worth a visit but if it’s raining, I’d maybe give it a miss – other than the museum in the Electoral Palce (which we didn’t visit as only the gardens were open during the flower show), I didn’t really notice anything for visitors to do indoors. Koblenz isn’t my favourite German town that I’ve visited, but I wouldn’t object if I was given the chance to go there again.