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The Legendary Rhine-Romantic-Route
Tales and legends to the left and right of the Rhine

Fountain sculpture by night in the Square of Germany Unity in Düsseldorf

The Song of the Nibelungs, written in 1200, tells how the sinister Hagen, said to be from the Hunsrück region, sank the legendary Nibelungs' treasure in the Rhine. The myth of the Loreley also still lives on. The narrowness of the valley, the untamed river waters and the mysterious echo all play their part in a legend that is as old as time itself. The Loreley, a blonde siren, would sit on the rock here at the Rhine's narrowest point and lure sailors to their death with her beguiling song and mysterious beauty. This legend has been passed down through the ages. And there is still a Loreley, although she is no longer in the business of enticing people to their death. Nowadays the Loreley open-air theatre hosts rock, pop and folklore events. This region has been shaped by myths, sagas, legends and fairytales, not to mention historical and political events, medieval battles, religious Electoral feuds and spiritual and military conflicts. But the knights no longer stomp around the castle walls, their armour clinking. No longer can the sound of horses' hooves be heard clattering in the castle courtyards, and the minnesinger's lute has fallen silent.

Mainz Cathedral with market stalls in the foreground

But the castles continue to dream, and you secretly wish that their walls could speak. Such as that of the "Mouse Tower" in Bingen, for example, which was originally a toll station, or Kaub Castle, which was built as a toll castle by the Kaiser of Wittelsbach, Ludwig IV the Bavarian. Why is Andernach known for its baker's boys? There's a legend that will help you find out! Were the Siebengebirge hills really built by seven giants? Visit a dinner show to find out more. While you're there, you should also stop off in the Eifel region, a walkers' paradise with many castles, palaces, volcanoes and maars that can certainly tell a tale or two! Typical features of the beautiful and much celebrated Westerwald region include half-timbered buildings, castles and basalt. You can easily discover the Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage site and wine region by car. However, if you really wish to see everything, you'll probably need to take a bit more time (after all, you'll have to stop off to enjoy a wine tasting or two along the way!). If you are reasonably fit, you can explore this legendary trail on Shank's pony or by bike. However, one of the most charming ways to see the Rhine Valley is on a boat trip. Make your way to the heart of the action, following in the footsteps of the past with its exciting myths, sagas, tales and legends, and rediscover the region's many charming attractions. Have a wonderful time in the exhilarating countryside, and in the warm and friendly towns and villages along the Middle Rhine, Moselle, Lahn and Nahe.

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Map of Germany

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Basic information

  • Length
  • Themes
    Legends and history, culture, nature, castles, palaces, myths, Rhine

Highlights in brief

  • Düsseldorf
    "The white lady"
  • Köln
    The "Heinzelmännchen" elves
  • Königswinter
    Legend of Siegfried, Drachenfels ruins
  • Diez
    House of Orange saga
  • Eltz Castle
    Lady of the castle
  • Rhens
    Easter eggs legend
  • Bacharach
    "The 13 ghosts", "Posthof" wine shop
  • Idar-Oberstein
    Church of the Rock
  • Geisenheim
    Marienthal pilgrimage site, grape harvest trail
  • Mainz
    Gutenberg town, legend of the "Wagnersohn" Willigis