In Germany, in the valleyof river Moselle, there’s a small cozy town called Cochem.

Cochem

Photo: By Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium (Cochem, Mosel) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Cochem

Photo: By CTHOE (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Cochem

Photo: Frank/flickr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Cochem Imperial Castle

As any other old city, Cochem features an ancient castle castle as well. The first mention of it dates back to 1051. It is not known for sure who was the founder of the castle, but it is believed that it was Ezzo, Count Palatine of Lotharingia. In 1151, Emperor Conrad III declared the castle an imperial property.

Cochem

Photo: By Wolkenkratzer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Cochem

Photo: pixabay.com (CC0 Creative Commons)

 

Cochem

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For a long time the Archbishops of Trier owned the city. It was their hereditary estate. During their reign, the castle was considerably expanded and fortified.

Cochem

Photo: Tyler Brenot/flickr (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/)

 

Cochem

Photo: Tyler Brenot/flickr (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/)


Cochem

Photo: Polybert49/flickr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

 

But it did not save the castle. In 1688 it was seized by the troops of Louis XIV. The French did not care that it was an ancient structure. They simply mined it and blew it up. The city was also destroyed.

Cochem

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At the end of the XIX century it was a trend in Germany to buy out ancient castles and transform them into summer residences. In 1868, the ruins of the Cochem Imperial Castle was acquired by Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené, an entrepreneur from Berlin, who started its reconstruction.

Cochem

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The building was restored and now you can see the furniture of the Renaissance and Baroque times inside. A magnificent garden was planted nearby. Since 1978 the castle is a property of the city.

Cochem

Photo: Tyler Brenot/flickr (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/)

 

But not only the ancient castle is a landmark of the town of Cochem. It also houses a Bundesbank Bunker.

Cochem

Photo: By Eifeljanes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The secret of the city of Cochem

In 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the German government ordered the printing of a huge amount of money. But they needed to store it somewhere. To solve this problem, the Central bank has built a nuclear bunker in Cochem. Only residents of surrounding houses knew about its construction. They were warned that this information is not subject to disclosure. If they share a secret with other residents of the city, they will lose their place in the bunker in case of an atomic bombing.

Cochem

Photo: By Holger Weinandt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

The bunker area is 1400 square meters. It really could withstand a nuclear bombing: it featured special autonomous air conditioning, water and electricity supply that provided complete within 14 days.

Cochem

Photo: By Eifeljanes (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Cochem

Photo: By Holger Weinandt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

The entrance to the bunker was concealed in two houses. This is a heavy steel door, and behind it there is a long corridor and a net of tunnels.

Cochem

Photo: By Holger Weinandt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Cochem

Photo: By Holger Weinandt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

But nobody knew about this. Citizens believed that it was the recreational center of the Federal Bank. Since 1965, the money was secretly transferred into the storage, located at the depth of 30 meters. It was difficult to get inside: there were only three keys and a secret combination of the lock, which only officials from Frankfurt knew. Twice a year the money was recounted.

Cochem

Photo: By Holger Weinandt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Cochem

Photo: By Holger Weinandt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

The storehouse existed until 1988. The money was eliminated, and the bunker was closed. Since then it was neglected for almost 30 years. In 2014, the bunker was bought by a businessman who founded a museum in it, which is no open for public.

Cochem on map: