Pfalzgrafenstein Castle is one of themost beautiful castles of the Middle Rhine. It is located on the tiny island ofFalkenau in the middle of the great German river. This fortress served as animperial customs house, built near Kaub in the XIII century. Due to its shape andlocation, French novelist Victor Hugo called Pfalzgrafenstein Castle a stoneship, embarked on the anchor. The castle with a powerful 37-meter dungeon and Baroqueroofs actually resembles a ship.
Forseveral centuries, Pfalzgrafenstein Castle has had an important role: customsofficers were on service round the clock there, collecting a lot of fees frommerchant ships crossing the Rhine. Those, who tried to swim by, were stopped bya massive chain stretched between the fortress and the opposite shore. The mostrecalcitrant were tried and sent to prison, located here. The most significantevent in the history of the customs castle happened in 1814. Prussian FieldMarshal Blucher used the castle to cross its army of 90000, chasing Napoleon'sarmy, across the Rhine.
In the XIXcentury, the imperial customs house was closed, and Pfalzgrafenstein Castle becamea lighthouse. Since 1946, a museum has been located here. You can see themedieval prison, the room of the fortress commandant with kitchen andfireplace, as well as a small soldier's barracks in the museum. As PfalzgrafensteinCastle was never destroyed, it was perfectly preserved. UNESCO listed it as aWorld Heritage site. You can get to the castle customs by a ferry plyingbetween the city of Kaub and the Island of Falkenau.