The Enchanting Upper Middle Rhine Valley of Germany
On a 65 kilometer stretch in Middle Rhine Valley, you are going to get a graphical illustration of human involvement in the evolution of natural landscape. The castles, vineyards and historic towns found on this valley have a trance-like effect to those who visit. The valley is exceedingly beautiful – the Germans have outdone themselves in this landscape.
The valley’s history is intertwined with legends and popular influence in the German social fabric, especially when you put in the writers, composers and artists in the mix.
The extensive terraced vineyards and ruins of castles and sixty small towns give a story that no human writer can effectively tell on pen and paper.
The Rhine River cuts across the Rhenish Slate Mountains thus connecting the flood plain of Oberrheingraben with the lowland basin of lower Rhine. UNESCO listed property stretches from Bingen Gate where the Rhine river flows into the deep gorge formed at Rhine Valley, on to the 15 kilometers long Bacharach valley to Oberwesel where the soft clay soil suddenly changes into hard sandstones.
The Rhine was an important transport route that linked the northern and southern halves of the European continent since the prehistoric times. Thus, small villages have clustered along its breadth since time immemorial. This made trading and cultural exchange in the settlements easy and condensed a rather huge area into a small easy to access chains of small towns and villages. The steep sides of the valleys have been terraced and for more than 1000 years, vineyards were tended here.
Among the historic buildings you are going to find here include the 40 hilltop castles and fortresses that were erected over a period of 1000 years. The area was abandoned after the industrial revolution fever took root in the European continent. The wars that followed left the scenic area in ruins but in the 18th century, there was an awakening towards beauties of nature and thus the dramatic scenery of the Middle Rhine and its castles attracted the attention of the Romantic Movement which led to a lot of restoration in the 19th century.
Methinks that you should visit this place if you are a photographer, lover of nature, or a hopeless romantic. The scenery is breathtaking and the architectural marvels are full of history.