The twin towns of Bernkastel and Kues, situated opposite each other on the banks of the Moselle, have shared a very similar history. Both grew as little market towns, also trading their wines and using the river to export them further afield.
Bernkastel was always the larger town; it was granted its charter in the 1290s, and even had a sizeable castle during the Middle Ages. Yet there was little difference between the two places. The first official road bridging the towns was built in the 1870s and the railway link, designed to serve both towns from its inception, opened in 1883. The two places were finally officially merged in 1905.
Sightseeing in Bernkastel-Kues
Bernkastel retains a considerable amount of historical housing, some of which date back 700 years. Its highlight is the half-timbered, gently sloping market square adorned with fountains - a beautiful location and a major tourist attraction. The square is home to the Renaissance City Hall and Spitzhaüchen, an incredibly narrow timber-framed building that is now an atmospheric wine bar. In the vineyards above Bernkastel stand the ruins of the 13th century Landshut Castle, from where there are panoramic views of the town and the river. Lining the other side of the river in Kues is a collection of Gothic buildings, many dating back to the 15th century. Other highlights include a striking chapel and a small museum dedicated to the Mosel region's famous wines.