The Eltz family lived there in the 12th century, 33 generations ago, and still does. About 100 members of the owners’ families lived in the over 100 rooms of the castle. It is a Ganerbenburg, or castle belonging to a community of joint heirs. It is divided into several parts, which belong to different branches of a family. In the case of Eltz, the family comprised three branches and the existing castle comprises three separate complexes of buildings The Rübenach and Rodendorf families’ homes in the castle are now open to the public, while the Kempenich branch of the family uses the other third of the castle. The main part of the castle consists of the family portions with up to eight stories and with eight towers reaching heights of between 30 and 40 meters.
This is as close as reality gets to Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast