Unfortunately the castle we see today is not the castle that originally stood there in the 12th Century, that castle had a long and colorful history until the French King Louis XIV had his troops destroy it in 1689.
The Reichsburg castle was reconstructed in 1868, but not restored to its original state, with the exception of a few Romanesque and Gothic elements, including a four-story Octagonal Tower and the Hexenturm ("witches Tower“), were its name is from the time when women were thrown out of an upper window after being tried for witchcraft.
Interesting enough the restoring of this castle took place at the same time that King Ludwig II began construction of the Neuschwanstein Castle and is probably the reason that the towers were reconstructed to their original state.
Before its destruction by the French in 1689 (a fate shared by many other castles and towns in Rheinland Pfalz), the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries. It was even in hock twice to pay off royal debts! Although the primary function of all the castles posted along the riversides in Europe were to collect tolls from passing ships.
Because this castle isn’t the exact original architectural construction from the 12th century, many travel guides dismiss the Cochem Castle as inauthentic and claim that it is nicer when admired from afar. This is somewhat unfair to the beautiful view you receive 300 meters above the small romantic town of Cochem and admiring the landscape with some good food and cold refreshments on the castle’s sun terrace ("Sonnenterrasse").