Photographer's Note

A long walk trough the woods in the Pfaltz region of Germany gets you to Burg eltz .build 900 years ago and still a charm .
9th - 13th centuries
he development of castles in the Middle Ages with their beauty and power, which continues to amaze us today, began in the 9th and 10th centuries. Up to that time manor houses were protected with earth walls and wooden palisades. However, from that time on reinforced stone walls were used for the greater security of what were now basic castles. The heyday or height of castle building stretched from the 11th to the 13th centuries, the main period of the imperial family of Hohenstaufen. It was also the time in which many towns were founded. In this eventful age we find the first reference to the name Eltz.
1331 - 1336
Eltz castle was not originally conceived as a fortress but served much more as a fortified residence. In contrast to many other German castles it remains in its original unchanged condition. This is the result of adroit family politics and clever diplomacy. With the exception of the "Eltz feud" from 1331-1336 when the Eltz lords together with other free knights resisted the territorial ambitions of the Elector Baldwin of Trier, it never again came to armed conflict.
1490 - 1540
Between 1490 and 1540 the Rodendorf house came into being. On its facade there is a vaulted portico standing on three pillars. The name of Eltz-Rodendorf goes back to the marriage of Hans Adolf zu Eltz to Katherine von Brandscheid zu Rodendorf in 1563. Through this marriage the Rodendorf estate (Chateaurouge) in the Lorraine province of Bouzonville was acquired, after which he and his successors were named.
Hans Jakob zu Eltz also held an important post in the electorate of Trier. On 15 July 1624 he was given the hereditary office of Field Marshal. This gave him the positions of supreme commander in time of war and the leadership of the knight-hood of this important region of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Eltz family controlled extensive properties especially in the electorates of Mainz and Trier. Their most important distant property was in Croatian East Slavonia on the Danube. In 1736 the Eltz family acquired the Lordship of Vukovar. This was the main residence of the Grafen von und zu Eltz until the family was expelled by the Yugoslav communist regime in 1945.
The present day
Eltz castle has remained in the procession of the same family for over 800 years. The present owner of the castle, Dr. Karl Graf von und zu Eltz, known as Faust von Stromberg , lives in Eltville/Rhine. The family has had its main German residence there since the beginning of the 19th century.
Dr. Karl Graf von und zu Eltz represents the 33rd generation of the House of Eltz. He has undertaken the task of maintaining this national monument for the public, to preserve its structure and, following family tradition, pass it on to the 34th generation.

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