Monday, October 29, 2012

Oct 14 continued - Cruisiing the Rhine


As mentioned in my previous post I would post about spending an afternoon cruising the Rhine from Koblenz to Ruedesheim. It was a rainy dull afternoon but we still managed to get photos of the amazing castles along this gorgeous part of the Rhine.
Approximately 40 castles and fortresses, stretch along a mere 65 kilometres of the River Rhine between the cities of Bingen and Koblenz, constitute one of the most outstanding features of this UnescoWorld Heritage Site. Such a concentration of castles within such a small area is to be found nowhere else in the world!

The mighty slate rock Lorelei in the Romantic Rhine Valley - around 16 miles/ 25 km from Rudesheim. rises up almost vertically to 145 yards/132m above the water-level. Downstream the river is squeezed into its narrowest and deepest (24 yards/22m) point, so the Middle Rhine at this point used to be very difficult to navigate and the correct passage is (today) clearly marked with buoys.

Even in the 19th century, reefs and rapids made it extremely dangerous for ships to pass this point. The legend tells us, that a siren called "Lorelei" bewitched the hearts of the sailors and when they looked up to the rock, their boat crashed and they sank.

 Pfalzgrafenstein Castle

In 1326/27, this toll castle was built because of a dispute over the Rhine toll between the Pope and King Ludwig of Bavaria. The King, who belonged to the Wittelsbach family of Counts Palatine, had made some dangerous enemies by raising the toll in Kaub. Three times, Pope John XXII called upon the archbishops of Cologne, Treves, and Mainz to excommunicate Ludwig and take action against the Kaub toll, but his calls were ignored.
Instead, King Ludwig ordered that a tower be built on the rocky island of Falkenau in the middle of the Rhine, a construction that would enable him to control the waterway on the right side of the river. Between approximately 1338 and 1342, a defensive wall was built around the tower.
Shaped like a boat, with its rich variety of roof and oriel structures, Pfalzgrafenstein possesses a picturesque charm, while its position on the river and its carefully planned design make the well-preserved castle even more unique.

1 comment:

This blog does not allow anonymous comments.