Moselle’s Crown: Rustic Cochem

Snuggled along the scenic and winding Moselle River, the picture-pretty hamlet of Cochem in Western Germany has a population of just 5,000 inhabitants. It is Germany’s second smallest district seat, which alludes to laid-back days and even more chill evenings.

Cochem is a prime yet understated stopover for many a river cruise, to include AmaWaterways – being the sterling way to sail – which takes travelers to a dozen big towns and little cities – all with their very own charms and quirks for leisurely but curated day trips and exhaustive explorations. Best of all, the once-price tour package already includes all the amenities and land tours, all within a single booking. No add-on costs whatsoever!

This Cochem trip was ideal for discerning river cruise junkies, as regardless of age, gender, mood, or even attitude, there were myriad of activities to choose from. While the active ones opted for bike tours, some friends chose to stay on the boat for their me-time. Others disembarked with no agenda in mind, perhaps to take a garden stroll, but we opted for a tour of the best of what Cochem had to offer. But mind you, not before our wine testing session.

But we are getting ahead of the story. The Cochem of today owes its eclectic yet Gothic style to Berlin merchant and esteemed citizen Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené, who dramatically rebuilt the area based on his personal vision of romanticism.

Here are some spots you should visit on your stopover at Cochem:

Starting Line: Cochem Mosaic

A colorful war memorial, the Cochem Mosaic is the frequent meet-up point for many daytrippers – us included. This modern-style piece of art strategically occupies a staircase. It narrates the history of Cochem in a visual manner – from the Roman and Celtic settlements to the establishment of Villa Cochuma in the year 866 and its founding in 1332, plus significant landmarks, such as the magnificent castles, storied bridges and fabled buildings.

History and Heritage: The Altstadt

We wandered through the cobblestoned streets of the Altstadt, Old Town to you and me, and ended up at the Marktstrasse, known to us as the marketplace, with its very own collection of artisanal shops and unique souvenirs, homely cafes and bespoke clothing lines. The square is likewise flanked by the Baroque Town Hall and a Medieval stone Clock Tower. Of note is the central bronze Martinsbrunnen Fountain, which depicts the patron Saint Martin of Tours. Erected in 1935, the popular icon is depicted on horseback as he cuts his own cloak into two to share it with a shivering man on the road, who later on in his dreams revealed Himself to be Christ.

Daunting Structure: Reichsburg Castle

Our next stop was the crowning glory – the imposing and impressive Reichsburg Castle, majestically perched on a hill which overlooks the Moselle River. This fort is recognized as a state-protected monument and a cultural asset under the Hague Convention. Within the premises, we were treated to several rooms of ancient archives, medieval suits of armor, halls filled with portraits of past owners and families, antique furniture aged over the decades and even relics from the days of yore.

Make a Wish: Coin Fountain

Just at the outskirts of the bastion, we took a brief amble to the courtyard for a unique tradition. We stood before the Coin Fountain – which used to be the water source for the fortification – where we made a wish before we tossed some coins – for assurance. It took approximately eight seconds to reach the bottom. Talk about depth!

Vantage Point: Pinnerkreuz Viewpoint

Finally, as a day-ender, we rode the Cochemer Sesselbahn, a chairlift which took us atop a mountain with a sweeping panoramic image of the whole region. Dubbed as the Pinnerkreuz Viewpoint, it displayed an extensive overview of the breathtaking vista, which includes the aforementioned castle. It is definitely a sight to behold!

These are our five magical postcards. What’s yours?

For more information on AmaWaterways’ River Cruises, contact Teresita Henderson at +639209167972 or email [email protected] or [email protected].