From Bingen, Eurovélo 15 extends to the north west, towards the Lorelei Valley. UNESCO listed the Upper Middle Rhine Valley – one of the oldest and most impressive natural landscapes in Germany – as a World Heritage Site.
Between the Mouse Tower – Mäuseturm – of Bingen and the German Corner – Deutsches Eck – of Koblenz, there are no fewer than twenty-nine stronghold castles, most of which lie in ruins, which bear witness to a rich and turbulent history. Kings, princes, counts and bishops – all sought to build their castles on the of the Rhine. It was here, on a high rocky promontory, that the legend of Lorelei was born. Lorelei was a mermaid that led fishermen and boatmen to their doom by driving them mad with lust. Heinrich Heine, famous author of the “Die Lorelei” drew his inspiration from this legend, as did many other artists.
At the confluence of the Moselle and the Rhine, the Deutsches Eck of Koblenz is loaded with German history, starting with the reconstructed statue of Emperor Wilhelm I on horseback. Continue going down the Rhine to arrive at Andernach, where the specially developed trail follows the course of the river. The Neo-Gothic church of Saint Apollinaire stands proudly in Remagen, and is a place of pilgrimage. Like the legendary bridge of Remagen, this is one of the emblems of the town. In the Rhineland of North Westphalia, cyclists first ride past Königswinter, sitting at the foot of Drachenfels, in the Seven Mountains range. This, the most visited mountain in Germany, is bathed in legend. In the era of the Nibelungen, the summit of this mountain was where Siegfried vanquished the dragon Fafnir. On the opposite bank, the trail crosses the old government quarter in Bonn, leading to the city centre, with its cathedral, Baroque town hall and the house where Beethoven was born. Further along the Rhine, we can already make out the spires of Cologne cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
LISTED AS WORLD HERITAGE
SITES BY UNESCO.
AVERAGE FLOW OF
The Lorelei is a rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine near St. Goarshausen, Germany, which soars some 120 metres above the waterline. It marks the narrowest part of the river between Switzerland and theNorth Sea, and is the most famous feature of the Rhine Gorge, a 65 km section of the river between Koblenz and Bingen that was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sitesin June 2002. A very strong current and rocks below the waterline have caused many boat accidents there.
Built on the small island of Falkenau sitting in the middle of the Rhine, Pfalzgrafenstein Castle is famous for its unique setting. Located opposite the fortified town of Kaub, this 14th century castle was used as a toll point. Never conquered or destroyed, it has survived wars, floods and the onslaught of icy weather. Pfalzgrafenstein is now a historical museum, accessible by boat from Kaub, allowing for the currents of the great river.
Sankt Goar is well known for its central location in the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2002. Above the town stand the ruins of Burg Rheinfels, one of the castles for which the Middle Rhine is famous, and across the river lies the sister town of Sankt Goarshausen with its own castles, Katz andMaus (“Cat” and “Mouse”). The Loreley is right nearby, just upstream over on the right bank.
Boppard lies on the upper Middle Rhine, often known as the Rhine Gorge. Since 2002, the Gorge has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Directly north of Boppard, the Rhine takes its greatest bend. This bow is called the Bopparder Hamm, although this name is more commonly applied to the winegrowing area found along it. The best known lookout point over this bow in the Rhine is the Vierseenblick, or “Four-Lake View”. This vista gets its name from the way in which the Rhine can be seen from here, or rather the way in which it cannot be seen: hills block out most of the view of the river itself so that visitors can only see four apparently separate patches of water, rather like four lakes. These are all actually parts of the Rhine; there are no lakes to be seen. The Vierseenblick can be reached by chairlift.
Situated in the picturesque landscape of the Rhine and Moselle and surrounded by four low mountain ranges is the 2000-year-old town of Koblenz. Its abundance of cultural monuments and historic buildings, its cosy lanes and narrow alleyways, the relaxed and happy atmosphere of its squares and river promenades make Koblenz a friendly town where its guests feel right at home. The view from Ehrenbreitstein Fortress high above the Rhine (118 metres) across the river down to “Deutsches Eck” with its re-erected equestrian statue of Emperor William I is spectacular. Koblenz is a meeting point for visitors from all over the world and an excellent starting point for trips into the fascinating landscape along the Rhine and the Moselle.
Beethoven’s house, at 20 Bonngasse street, is one of the best known monuments in Bonn. It hosts the largest selection of Beethoven archives, and became an institute for scientific research in 1927, on the hundredth anniversary of the death of the famous composer of the “Ninth Symphony”, born in December 1770 in this three-storey house. These archives are a central repository of documents on the life of Beethoven, his work and his intellectual circle.
Cologne Cathedral is the town of Cologne’s landmark as well as the heart of the city. Situated directly beneath the bank of the Rhine in neighbourhood of the Hohenzollernbridge and the Central station, it is easy to reach all major points of interest of the city from here. Be it one of the many museums or the shopping district with Hohe Strasse and Schildergasse. The “High Cathedral of St. Peter” with its five naves has been completed in 1880 after 632 years of construction. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and is able to bear about 4.000 believers during mass services. Due to its spiritual and cultural historic importance it has become UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
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