Things to see and do - Koblenz
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The Rhine Valley :
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The Rhine Valley
The Rhine ValleyBy car, 90 km, 2 days
The Rhine is just as it was in the days when Victor Hugo sang its praises: "Europe's entire history is contained in this river of warriors and thinkers, in its superb tide that thrills France and its deep murmur that inspires Germany. The Rhine brings it all together." A journey along the Rhine - through castles and vineyards, from legend to legend - is still the most romantic of pilgrimages.Customise this route and add it to My travel book
From the top of the pediment (107 steps) of Wilhelm I's statue, there is a view over the city and the right bank of the Rhine, dominated by the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein.
The original 10C fortress, which belonged to the archbishops of Trier, was destroyed by the French in 1799. The Prussians, who had ruled the Rhineland since 1815, built this powerful fortified stronghold between 1816 and 1832.
South of Koblenz, the neo-Gothic Stolzenfels Castle (1842) stands opposite the tower of Lahneck which dominates the confluence of the Lahn on the west bank. Further down, Rhens and its attractive half-timbered painted houses lead the way to Gedeonseck from where you will have a superb view of the Boppard loop. The town is home to the late Romanesque Severuskirche and the Gothic Carmelite church. St Goar is the next halting place, a village clinging to the hillside at the foot of Rheinfels Castle surveying the Loreley passage. It is well worth climbing up to the clock tower to enjoy the view. The banks of the river remain steep and densely wooded until Oberwesel, a wine-growing village where 16 towers of the original fortified ramparts are still intact. Further south, don't miss the Gothic Liebfrauenkirche and its handsome early 14C altarpiece, one of the oldest in Germany. The itinerary then takes you past Schönburg which overlooks Kaub on the opposite bank and the fortified island of Pfalz bei Kaub in the middle of the Rhine. Continue on towards Bacharach, former property of the counts of the Palatinate, and admire the half-timbered houses and Romanesque church. Next come Burg Sooneck, a fortress restored in the 19C clinging to a steep slope, Burg Reichenstein which lies at the mouth of a sleepy valley and Burg Rheinstein, the first Rhine castle to be rebuilt by the Hohenzollern after 1823. Bingen and the former stronghold built by the bishops of Mainz, Burg Klopp, round up your journey, offering a sweeping view of the Binger Loch from the terrace.
The castle, the only one in the valley that has never been destroyed, was built on a site high above the river. Particularly notable are the Great Battery, a medieval garden (170 species) and the armoury (ranging from 600 BC to the 15C).
The two castles that overlook Kamp-Bornhofen are known as the «rival brothers». There is a fine view of Sterrenberg castle and the valley from the ruins of Liebenstein.
Several different spurs afford a magnificent view of the «Romantic gorge». This is the most attractive part of the Rhine valley.
This legendary rock has become the symbol of the Romantic Rhine and has a very special place in German literature. Heine's poem « I know not whence cometh my sadness» is traditionally played aboard ship when the promontory comes into view.
This much-restored fortress offers a maze of staircases, platforms and terraced gardens.