Rheintal

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Home Page > Travelogues > Germany > Rheinland-Pfalz > Rheintal (Rhine Valley between Koblenz and Bingen-Rüdesheim)

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Germany

State of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland and Palatinate)

The Rhein Valley -- A Photo-Op at Every Bend 

Germany

State of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland and Palatinate)

The Rhine River is scenic throughout its journey from its Alpine beginnings at  Chur, Switzerland to its exit into the Netherlands.  But by far the most celebrated and remembered part is a thirty-mile stretch running through some of Germany's wine country, between Koblenz in the north and Bingen am Rhein in the south.  Here, with the Rhein gaining speed and strength from its joining with the Main, the river cuts a sharp winding path through the mountains.  Over the years, these mountains have been topped with castles and monuments and the towns below have grown with the success of the wine industry.  Modern day tourists can take advantage of the many boat tours available.

Here are some snapshots taken on a drive upriver from Koblenz to Bingen during a particularly warm winter's day.  This is just as sampling of the great scenes available.

Marksburg Castle -- The Marksburg Castle is located just to the south of Koblenz.  It is one of the few that had not been destroyed one time or another in its life.  It now houses a restaurant and hotel. Boppard -- The town of Boppard is one of the most active wine towns in the Rheintal, catering almost exclusively to the tourist industry -- witness the number of tour boats in the harbor.
Boppard (cont.) -- This photograph was taken from almost the same spot as the previous, showing some of the vineyard territory that you would find.   This vineyard belongs to Boppard's major winery.   Burg Maus -- The Burg Maus ruins sprawl all along the top of a ridge line overlooking the little town at left (I did not catch the name of the town).  It appeared as through it consisted of a number of towers positioned to oversee both directions along a bend in the river.
St. Goarshausen -- This castle was roughly half-way between Koblenz and Bingen, and is the most classic medieval-castlelike of the bunch.  It's really huge and sticks out plainly on the hill.  The town of St. Goar is also blessed with a ruined monastery on the opposite bank, above us when we took this shot. Burg Katz -- A couple towns to the south is this scene of a recently refurbished castle overlooking a single-street town that stretches along the Rhein's east bank.  It was here that we watched several full container barges passing each other in both directions -- the Rhein is indeed a busy transport river!
Oberwesel -- As we closed in on Bingen, we reached the town of Oberwesel -- and this shot captured its three major landmarks.  The Burg Oberwesel <verify name> is in the background, built atop a very narrow hill, the church is in the middle, and the old city tower in front.   Pfalzgrafenstein -- For us (and for many), the most interesting of the castles on the way is this one -- not far from Bingen.  It is a castle built on a mud paddy in the middle of the Rhein.  Clearly trusting that the Rhein would only flood 'so much', the Pfalzgrafenstein is a popular attraction with boat rides taking the curious out regularly.

Two other major highlights that we did not include are the Loreley, a mermaid statue located not far from St. Goar that commemorates the story of a siren who caused ships to be dashed on the Rhein's rocky banks, and the Burg Assmanshausen that can be seen in the middle of a vineyard from Bingen.  Of course, Bingen am Rhein and Ruedesheim across the way have been given their own pages and are highly recommended stops on the Rhein.

But the key to enjoying this trip is taking your time and looking at the whole valley.  The pictures don't do the natural beauty of this region very much justice.  Driving is fine, but the best way is clearly by boat so you can watch both banks equally.  Enjoy!

Trip taken 26 January 2004 -- Page last updated 01 September 2006 -- (C) 2004 Tom Galvin

 

   
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