Relatively few of the Rhine Gorge Castles seem to have been left in a ruinous condition. Many are now hotels or tourist centres. Bromserburg in Rudesheim is a wine museum.
Pfalzgrafenstein (left) cannot be a mere customs post and so has to be a dungeon designed to keep a beautiful maiden away from her unsuitable lover. Needless to say, it failed in this capacity, since no castle is strong enough to stand against love. At least that's they way it usually works out in the fairy tales.
Of course the most fairy tale of them all, at least in appearance, has to be Marksburg (right) not too far south of Koblenz. If ever there was a fortress designed to feature in story books and epic films this must be it. From a distance it is quite simply perfect. I found it remarkably difficult to photograph without a rose tint invading even my camera lens.
Mind you, the medieval baron who allowed the field of defensive fire to be quite so badly overgrown would probably not have held on to his castle for long. Now would the present author have cared to be involved with the digging of the well to supply this eyrie with water.
As for the maiden who lived at the top of the tower, she probably froze to death. There's never a handsome knight on a white charger around when you need one these days.