Koblenz (pop. 108,000) has long been a strategic hotspot; in the 2000 years since its birth, the city has hosted every empire seeking to conquer Europe. The city centers around the Deutsches Eck (German Comer), a peninsula at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel rivers that purportedly witnessed the birth of the German nation in 1216. The Mahnmal der Deutschen Einheit (Monument to German Unity) to the right is a tribute to Kaiser Wilhelm I. The ElMuseum Ludwig im Deutschherren-haus, Danziger Freiheit 1, behind the Mahnmal, features contemporary French art. (Open Su llam-6pm, Tu-Sa 10:30am-5pm. 2.50, students 1.50.) Head across the river to the Festung Ehrenbreitstein, a fortress at the highest point in the city. Today, it’s a youth hostel. (Non-hostel guests 1.05, students 0.60. Tours 2.10.)
Trains run to: Bonn (30min. 4 per hr, 8); Cologne (lhr. 4 per hr. 13.50); Frankfurt (2hr. 1-2 per hr. 17); Mainz (lhr. 3 per hr. 13.50); and Trier (2hr. 1-2 per hr. 16). Directly across from the station is the tourist office, Bahnhofpl. 7. (30 38 80. Open May-Oct. M-F 9am-7pm, Sa-Su 10am-7pm; Nov.-Apr. M-F 9am-6pm, Sa-Su 10am-6pm.) The best value in town is Hotel Jan van Werth , Van-Werth-Str. 9, a classy, family-run, English-speaking establishment. From the station, walk up Bahnhofstr. to the market district and take a right on Van-Werth-Str. (s 365 00. Breakfast included. Reception daily 6:30am-10pm. Singles from 23, with bath 41; doubles from 5370; triples 60.) Jugendherberge Koblenz (HI) 0, within the fortress, offers breathtaking views of the Rhine and Mosel. Take bus #9 from the stop by the train station on Lflhrstr. to Charlottenstr. Then take the chairlift up (Mar.-Sept. daily 9am-5:50pm, round-trip 6), or continue along the Rhine side of the mountain on the main road, following the DJH signs, and take the footpath up. (97 28 70. Breakfast included. Reception daily 7:15am-10pm. Curfew 11:30pm. Dorms 16; doubles 37.) Ferries (1) cross the Mosel to Campingplatz Rhein-Mosel
O, Am Neuendorfer Eck. (827 19. Reception daily 8am-10pm. Open Apr.-Oct. 15. 4 per person, 2.50 per site.) Marktstiibchen , Am Markt 220, serves authentic German food at budget prices. (Open Su-Tu and Th 1 lam-midnight, W llam-2pm, F4pm-lam, Sa llam-lam.) Postal Code: 65068.