Rhine Valley, Wiesbaden and Mainz
Rüdesheim, Hesse, Germany and the Rheingau
[State of Hesse Arms used with permission of Ralf Hartemink, from his International Civic Arms web site].
Rüdesheim (am Rhein) is a world-famous tourist center located in the Rheingau, which is one of Germany's most renown wine-growing regions located along the Rhine River, about 15 miles downstream from Mainz. It hosts about 3 million visitors each year, who come to visit the many wine pubs, restaurants and gift shops located along the narrow Drosselgasse.
Many also come to visit the nearby Niederwald-Denkmal monument, which overlooks the Rhine from its location on the top of a 600 ft. bluff. This national monument was built in 1883 to commemorate the founding of the Second Reich in 1871. A 35 ft. tall statue of "Germania" wielding a 3,000 pound sword stands upon an 82 ft. tall base. In the two photographs above that were taken from the top of the bluff, Rüdesheim is visible on the near shore of the Rhine (left) and the town of Bingen is on the opposite shore (right).
About 5 miles further upstream is the town of Eltville, which is close-by to the famous Kloster Eberbach. This is a former Cistercian Monastery which was constructed over a period from 1145 to 1500. During the 12th and 13th centuries, it was the home of between 200 and 300 monks and laybrethern, who worked the vineyards and winecellars. The Monks' Dormitory is a double-naved, cross-ribbed vaulted hall and is considered to be one of the finest rooms of medieval Europe.
In 1803, the monastery was secularized and parts of it were used as a prison and insane asylum. Beginning in 1926, the remaining buildings were renovated and until 1997, the buildings and property were operated as a Hessian State Wine Cellarage, and was the scene of great wine auctions. In 1986, the buildings were used in the filming of "The Name of the Rose", starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater. Today, Kloster Eberbach is operated as a non-profit foundation, offering wine-tastings, guided tours and a restaurant.
Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany
[Wiesbaden Civic Arms used with permission of Ralf Hartemink, from his International Civic Arms web site].
Wiesbaden is the capital of the state of Hesse. It is located about an hour drive west of Frankfurt, and has a population of about 270,000 people. Visitors to the city tend to fall into two catagories: wealthy Germans who visit the spas and Casino or Americans who are also visiting family at the nearby Rhein-Main airbase.
Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
[Mainz Civic Arms used with permission of Ralf Hartemink, from his International Civic Arms web site].
Mainz is the capital of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is located at the point where the Main River joins the Rhine, and has a population of about 175,000 people. This strategic location on the rivers caused the Romans to build a military encampment there in 39 B.C. and by 300 A.D., the settlement was the capital of the Germania Prima province. The Mainz Cathedral (Dom) was built in several phases during the 12th and 13th centuries. It faces onto the Liebfrauenplatz, scene of the Saturday morning market shown above. Johannes Gutenberg was born in Mainz 600 years ago, and it was here in the 1450's that he invented the printing press.
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