In 1689 Winneburg Castle was attacked and burned, and two days later the same lieutenant du Saxis turned Cochem Castle “sacrificed to the volcano in broad daylight”. When imperial and Electorate forces reoccupied the town, the French decided to counter-attack. On 25 August they stormed the town, slaughtered the weak garrison and a large part of the population, and set fire to the town and the Capuchin monastery, the defenders’ last refuge. This left the town impoverished and deserted. Reconstruction was slow, in part using materials from Montroyal fortress, which in turn had itself been razed to the ground. The parish church tower was not completed until 1733.
During the course of the 18th century, Cochem became more and more a centre of commerce. Every week the market ship full of goods and merchenats sailed to Koblenz. For the Frankfurt Fair Cochem rigged out a ship and sold spices, ironmongery, corn, wood, leather, and the finest Cochem cloth. A large number of inns sprang up, their signs forming a chain from gable to gable, with the Bear greeting the Ox, the Swan the Lion, the Holy Spirit the Sun, and so on. The
Double Eagle, the German Emperor, the Roman King and the Court of Cologne were well-to-do inns, situated mostly on the banks of the Moselle, and catering to the upper classes. In the early 19th century a travel writer marvelled at the fact that Cochem “had as many wine and beer taverns as Breslau, the second largest city in Prussia with more than 90.000 inhabitants”. In 1796 Cochem was occupied by French Revolutionary troops and subsequently, together with the entire Rhineland, came under the wing of France. Troup movements, taxes and billeting brought about increased prices and poverty, which in turn led to the formation of bands of robbers roaming the Moselle Valley, the Eifel and above all the Hunsrück.
At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 Cochem was given once and for all to the Kingdom of Prussia and in 1816 became the administrative centre of the newly created district authority. The crazy days of 1848/49 led to the formation of the “merry democracy of Cochem”. Grandiose speeches were made in the Sun and the Customs House (nowadays the Union Hotel). Even today at Carnival time a song can be heard in Cochem telling about the “year when it was Carnival all year round”.
Between 1869 and 1877 the Berlin steel merchant Ravené had the ruined castle rebuilt according to old plans from 1576. In 1942 the castle became the property of the state. The rebuilding coincided with the opening of the Kaiser Wilhelm Tunnel, which reduced the “Cochem Hairpin” from 21 to 4.2 km and was the longest tunnel in the Federal Republic of Germany until 1987.
Since the 1st of April 1978 the castle has belonged to the city of Cochem. The two fishing villages of Cond and Sehl developed independently of Cochem, and for many years Cond belonged to the territory of Stablo-Malmedy imperial abbey. The Moselle bridge was completed in 1927 and in 1932 Cochem and Cond were combined into one town.
The stationing of an air force squadron near Cochem in 1956 led to the development of the Brauheck district of Cochem.
In the early 19th century, the first real tourists came to Cochem, filled with romantic enthusiasm. Foremost among them were English artists who recorded the beauties of the Moselle Valley in their drawings and paintings. The development of Cochem into the first and most important tourist centre on the Moselle river manifested itself in the 1930s.