Nope, this isn’t a mistake. This is your second Learning Nugget in just two weeks.
As you may have read last week, we’re doing something special this August. We’re giving suggestions for fun day trips to help you enjoy the rest of the summer even if you’ve already taken your big vacation.
Today, our Tip for Trips focuses on a small castle in a place you wouldn’t expect see one: the middle of a river.
Pfalzgrafenstein in Kaub
The wide and mighty Rhine has many small islands in its center. They are usually filled with trees and the nests of water birds, but the island near the town of Kaub is different. There are a few trees, true, but it’s the small castle known as the the Pfalzgrafenstein that catches your eye.
Built in the 1300s, the Pfalzgrafenstein was built for one main purpose: to make money. It was a toll station used by the Holy Roman Empire to make sure that trade ships passing through that part of the Rhine paid for the privilege. It has never been destroyed, but it was expanded often up until the 1700s. Amazingly, it continued to take tolls from passing ships until 1866 – over 500 years after being built.
Today, you can visit the Pfalzgrafenstein by taking a ferry to it from Kaub. You can walk around the island and get a view of the Rhine from a unique perspective as well as enter the castle itself.
Though you can reach Kaub by car, it could make your day even more exciting to get there via a Rhine cruise, like those offered by Köln-Düsseldorfer. And for history buffs, Kaub is also home to the Blücher Museum, the headquarters of a military leader who led a Prussian army across the Rhine at the Pfalzgrafenstein to help drive Napoleon out of Germany.
mighty – gewaltig
catch your eye – Aufmerksamkeit auf sich ziehen
purpose – Zweck
toll station – Mautstelle
make sure – sicherstellen
destroy – zerstören
expand – erweitern, ausbauen
amazingly – erstaunlicherweise
taking a ferry – die Fähre nehmen
history buff – Geschichtsfan
Prussian army – Preussische Armee