It is hard to believe that such a desperate dispute between brothers once took place near such a holy place. Two brothers, with characters as different as their two castles which still brave the elements high above Kamp Bornhofen, once fought out a bitter feud in this place. The castles Liebenstein and Sterrenberg are
known as “The Feuding Brothers” – and between them stands a wall, just like the one described in the Rhine sagas.
Of course, the two castles are far older than the pilgrimage monastery with its
famous miraculous image of our Lady of Sorrows. But what better place to seek
Christian contemplation and the remission of sins, than here where the story of jealousy, hatred and fraternal strife is said to have taken place? Franciscan
monks still live in the pilgrimage monastery of Bornhofen to this day and are able to welcome large numbers of pilgrims, young and old. The boat pilgrimages
to Kamp Bornhofen are unique. Years ago, many a raftsman would have visited the monastery’s lovely church for a moment of quiet prayer before continuing on his journey down the river. The transport of timber as far as the Netherlands
was a lucrative but dangerous business for many local men. The heavy logs were lashed together to form giant rafts and large companies of men with their goods and chattels steered them to their destination down the Rhine...
Today’s visitors can watch the river traffic on Europe’s most important inland
waterway from the new riverside promenade in Kamp Bornhofen, or spend a pleasant hour in one of the local wine taverns. Alternatively, they may prefer to gaze down on the river from the castle battlements whilst enjoying traditional
afternoon coffee and cakes. Both Sterrenberg and Liebenstein offer food and refreshments – the panoramic views come free of charge. There are plenty of photo opportunities for the attentive observer: the heat-loving Scarce Swallowtail butterfly, herds of goats helping to preserve the natural landscape
… but, alas, no trace of the feuding brothers.
- The castles Sterrenberg and Liebenstein (Feindliche Brüder)
- Bornhofen pilgrimage monastery and church
- Schiffer- und Flößermuseum
(Shipping and timber rafting)
- Nature trail
- Boundary stones trail
- ‘Trees of the Year’ avenue
- Open air swimming pool (Welterbebad)
- Rhine waterside promenade
- Boat pilgrimages
- Heimatfest, Fire brigade festival, Whitsun tournament
- Middle Rhine Open Air festival