The 20.5-meter-high late Gothic corner tower of the old town fortification was built in the 15th century and formerly stood directly on the Rhine. The dungeon located in the basement was only accessible through an opening in the vault crown. In the last century the „Zum Adler“ (Eagle) inn, was located in the tower and is where the tower’s name is derived from. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is known to have stayed here on his visits to Rüdesheim.
Aristocratic residences in Rüdesheim
A series of beautiful aristocratic residences dating back to a variety of cultural eras can be found on Oberstrasse: Frankensteiner Hof, Ritter‘scher Hof and Bassenheimer Hof. The street is also home to what is undoubtedly the most attractive of all of Rüdesheim’s aristocratic dwellings, the Brömserhof, which was built in 1542. The Brömser family’s former residence features a Gothic chapel and an ancestral hall decorated with magnificent frescoes, both of which remain impressive sights today. The Brömserhof is now the site of a museum dedicated to mechanical musical instruments.
Klunkhardshof is a magnificent, two-storey, slightly curved half-timbered building dating back to the first half of the 16th century. The solid back wall formed part of the town’s oldest fortifications. The house was formerly owned by the highly esteemed Klunkhard family, one of whom was an abbot of the Eberbach Abbey. This architectural treasure is now one of the most splendid sights in the old town of Rüdesheim.
Brömserburg Castle (Niederburg Castle)
Once situated directly on the banks of the Rhine, Brömserburg Castle was
owned by the Archbishops of Mainz from the beginning of the 10th to the beginning of the 19th century. During the 12th century they converted the old fortress into a castle residence. With its vaulted ceilings and walls of more than two metres thick, it successfully provided resistance against any attack. One exception was the destruction of the castle’s southeastern part, which was destroyed in 1640 by the Duke of Longueville. The castle was inhabited up until 1937, before being acquired by Rüdesheim’s town council in 1941. Today, the castle houses the extensive collections of Rheingau’s wine museum.
Boosenburg Castle (Oberburg Castle)
Just up the hill from Brömserburg Castle is the Romanesque fortified tower of Boosenburg Castle. The building’s architecture indicates that it originates from the 9th century. At 38 metres high, the tower is the town’s tallest building. Since the entire estate is now privately owned, access by the general public is unfortunately not permitted.
Ruins of Ehrenfels Castle
Around the year 1220, the Archbishop of Mainz ordered the construction of a castle on the site of an earlier fortress and used the imposing building to raise lucrative transit tolls. Its strategically important position led to the castle being aggressively fought over during the Thirty Years’ War before being finally destroyed by fire in 1689. The ruins of Ehrenfels Castle are idyllically situated in the midst of the vineyards between Rüdesheim and Assmannshausen.
This tower was built in the first half of the 14th century as a watch tower for
Ehrenfels Castle and is situated on a small island in the Rhine. As well as once
functioning as a signal tower at Binger Loch (a narrow section of the Middle
Rhine), it also served as a prominent border marker for Prussia’s Rhine Province.
Up until 1974 it was used as a navigational station on the Rhine.
Rheinstein Castle is one of the finest examples of Rhine Romanticism architecture. Originally constructed over 700 years ago before later falling into ruin, the fortress became the first castle on the Rhine to be rebuilt during the Romantic era in the 19th century. The wonderfully restored castle and courtyard gardens are open to the public from 18 March to 5 November, 9.30am-5.30pm. (easily accessible by boat and one of the highlights of the 'Romanticism Tour'). There is a shop, café and also apartments available to rent. Admission for adults € 5.50, children € 3.50, reductions for groups. 55413 Trechtingshausen, Tel: +49 (0) 6721/6348, Fax: 6659, email@example.com, www.burg-rheinstein.de
Ruins of Rossel
Rossel is an artificial ruin situated at Niederwald’s highest point. Erected in 1774 by Graf von Ostein, the castle offers spectacular views over the stretch ofriver where the Nahe meets the Rhine and across the Binger Loch. The ruins of Rossel Castle are a leisurely 20-minute walk from the Germania monument in Niederwald. Alternatively, you can take the chair lift from Assmannshausen to the ‘Jagdschloss Niederwald’ hunting lodge, where the ruins are just a 10-minute walk away. The enchanted cave is also very near to the ruins.
The Niederwald Monument was erected between 1877 and 1883 according to plans by Johannes Schilling from Dresden, and is now very popular with visitors from all over the world as a tourist attraction. The monument stands an impressive 38 metres tall and was erected to symbolise the re-establishment of the German Empire following the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. Weighing a mighty 32,000kg, the central figure of Germania holds the German Imperial Crown aloft in her raised right hand whilst resting the left on the Imperial word. The monument offers stunning views over the Rhine and Nahe valleys, and from here visitors can also enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through Niederwald.
This temple was built by Graf von Ostein in 1790 and became a focal point and source of inspiration for many great intellectuals during the 19th century’s Romantic era when its visitors included Brentano, Beethoven and Goethe. Allied bombs destroyed the temple in November 1944, but it was fully reconstructed and re-inaugurated in June 2006. It is now a popular viewing point for visitors.
The enchanted cave in Niederwald dates back to around 1790, and is a narrow 60-metre long tunnel, originally decorated with glittering shards of glass, that opens out into the rotunda of an enchanted hut. Visitors emerging into the bright light of the hut after the semi-darkness of the glittering tunnel would experience an optical illusion, whereby a visual channel to the Rhine would be revealed as if in an enchanted world of nature.
Red wine arbor in Assmannshausen
The arbour was originally erected for a German film production before the residents of Assmannshausen restaged it in a more prominent position amid the vineyards in 2007. Reachable by a 30-minute walk along the Rheinsteig trail from Assmannshausen, the arbour offers magnificent views over the steep vineyard slopes and the Romantic Rhine Valley, and makes an attractive stopping point.
Rüdesheim’s two carillons are a popular attraction that can be enjoyed daily from 9.30am until 10pm. One rings every hour from the tower of the Rüdesheimer Schloss restaurant and hotel in Drosselgasse. It shows various wooden figures to symbolise the four major wine vintages of the 20th century. Its counterpart, with bells made of original Meissen porcelain, can be admired in the windows of Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet where it is played every 30 minutes.
Ruins of Hindenburg Bridge
Constructed between 1913 and 1915, the bridge had a total length of 1,175 metres and consisted of two sets of arches each side of the main 741 m long steel Bridge. It was destroyed in March 1945 by the Wehrmacht. Since 2002 the remains of the Hindenburg bridge has been the easternmost point of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.