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Loreley and Castles Route
Myths and legends of the Loreley

Burg Katz with the Rhine in the background

Here, in the enchanting Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site where the Rhine carves its meandering way through the Hunsrück and Taunus hills, is the famous Loreley rock. The narrowness of the valley, the untamed river waters and the mysterious echo all play their part in the myth of the Loreley, the blond siren on the rock who once lured sailors on the Rhine to their death with her beguiling song and mysterious beauty. The legend has been passed down through the ages, but it was the poem by Heinrich Heine set to the melancholy melody of Friedrich Silcher that made the Loreley famous around the world. There is still a Loreley today, but she is no longer in the business of enticing people to their death: every two years, the prettiest local girl is chosen to be the "Loreley".

Falconer rewards her African fish eagle

In this cultivated landscape full of castles that has hardly changed for centuries, visitors can quite easily believe they have taken a step back in time to the days of the robber barons, whether at one of the castles high up overlooking the Rhine or Kaub Castle set on an island in the middle of the river. The romantic Loreley and Castles Route runs for 56 kilometres from Kaub to Kestert, taking visitors to a number of well-preserved reminders of past ages such as Burg Maus (Mouse Castle). Nowadays, the medieval fortress houses an eagle and falcon centre where daily flying demonstrations are held. You can also enjoy the culinary delights on offer at one of the wine festivals or attend a wine appreciation seminar here. Alternatively, you can stop off at one of the local vineyards to learn all about wine and the winegrower. There is certainly plenty of opportunity for amateurs and connoisseurs alike to find out a whole host of interesting facts about viniculture, past and present.

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Basic information

  • Length
  • Themes
    Castles, Romanticism on the Rhine, culture

Highlights in brief

  • Kaub
    Gutenfels Castle, Blücher Museum, Pfalzgrafenstein Castle
  • Sauerthal
    Sauerburg Castle, Imperial Count Franz von Sickingen's grave
  • St. Goarshausen
    Loreley rock, Loreley visitors' centre and country park, open-air stage
  • Patersberg
    "Three castles view"
  • Kestert
    Hindenburg Heights
  • Kamp-Bornhofen
    Sterrenberg Castle and Liebenstein Castle, Bornhofen Abbey
  • Weisel
    Fire brigade museum