If you are cruising down the beautiful Rhine, another city break worth your time is the beautiful winemaking German town called Rüdesheim am Rhine situated in the Rhine gorge, located just 3 kilometres eastwards from Mainz at river Main.
Rüdesheim attracts tourists not only with its location and natural views, but also with its rich wine culture and traditions and its picturesque Old Town. Indeed Rüdesheim is often termed as one of Germany’s foremost touristic places. The town is part of the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region.
Small, but still worth a visit
Once you reach Rüdesheim, you can take a stroll down the enchanting streets of its Old Town. The town’s heart is definitely the Drosselgasse – a lane amid the Old Town where you can find plenty of beautifully decorated restaurants and a lot of brass live music and dance. In summer, the music performances that the Drosselgasse cobble street offers are endless. Beware that this street, initially built for boat owners to settle into town, is nowadays a popular touristic attraction. Prepare for the open-air taverns and restaurants to be always filled with people, especially in summer.
Another beautiful and impressive with its rich history and contemporary application place is the Brömserburg castle. This building is actually the oldest castle in the Rhine Gorge World Heritage site that dates back to the 10th century and was erected as a part of a Roman fortification. The castle that has been the haven of many rulers throughout the ages, is now turned into an outstanding wine museum. To its visitors, the Brömserburg wine museum offers exhibits of wine presses and other things substantial for winemaking and traces how this craft has evolved throughout the ages. The castle that was originally surrounded by water is nowadays impressive with its sturdy construction and particularly thick walls.
You want more? Worth a quick visit in Rüdesheim am Rhein is the Neiderwalddenkmal site – a monument commemorating the foundation of the German Empire after the end of the Franco-Prussian war. This imposing monument is 38 meters high and represents the Union of Germans. The monument erected in 1871 is located on the Niederwald, a broad hill on the right bank of the Rhine. The hill itself is a beautiful place, topped with dense forests of oak and beech. An excursion to the monument is a nice outing into the beautiful nature of the Rhine gorge.
While the hill’s summit is reserved to the thick forests, its western parts that descend to the Rüdesheim am Rhein and its neighbouring town Assmannshausen are covered with vineyards that produce some of the best wine in Germany. A stroll in this beautiful area would definitely contribute to getting a nice sense of the region. There are plenty of places where you can taste the wine too – a wine cellar or a local restaurant is up to your personal preference. For the ones not that akin to walking, there is a gondola lift leading to the monument.
Speaking of wine tasting, there is another typical drink that you should taste – the so called Rüdesheimer Kaffee – a coffee drink with alcohol, or the other way around. The drink, invented in 1957 by a popular German chef, is sold in all coffee houses in the region. If you are curious to know how it is made, the recipe is Asbach Uralt brandy and sugar cubes poured into a specially designed for the beverage cup. The brandy is then flambéed, during which process the sugar melts. Then comes some strong black coffee. All this is topped with a whipped cream sweetened with vanilla sugar, garnished with chocolate flakes. It is a good idea to taste this local drink in some of the pubs in Rüdesheim.
Some museums in Rüdesheim
Like all towns on the Rhein river, Rüdesheim has rich history and saturated culture. Besides the obligatory walk in the Old Town and the churches, an interesting place for visit is the Mittelalterliches Foltermuseum, or the Mediaeval Torture Museum. This exhibition offers you a glimpse into a collection of instruments of torture. Another interesting museum is the Siegfrieds Mechanisches Musikkabinett – a museum that exhibits four centuries of data-storage music instruments. And there is, naturally, a wine museum.
The charming Rüdesheim am Rhein is a nice stop for a quiet and permeated with nature sights and culture traces city break. When touring the Rhine region, one should not bypass this smaller, but still very beautiful town in the heart of the Rhine Gorge. With its rich history and wine making culture, the place is perfect for both relaxed and active vacation.