December 10, 2016

GERMANY (Rhineland-Palatinate / Hesse) - Upper Middle Rhine Valley (UNESCO WHS)

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley, popular named Rhine Gorge, is a 65 km section of the River Rhine between Koblenz and Bingen. It was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites for a unique combination of geological, historical, cultural and industrial reasons. Its strategic location as a transport artery and the prosperity that this engendered is reflected in its sixty small towns, the extensive terraced vineyards and the ruins of castles that once defended its trade. It is intimately associated with history and legend and for centuries has exercised a powerful influence on writers, artists and composers.

The river breaks through the Rhenish Slate Mountains, connecting the broad floodplain of the Oberrheingraben with the lowland basin of the Lower Rhine. The property extends from the Bingen Gate (Binger Pforte), where the River Rhine flows into the deeply canyon section, through the Bacharach valley, to Oberwesel where the transition from soft clay-slates to hard sandstone, results. In a series of narrows, the most famous of which is the Loreley, no more than 130m wide, and then up to the Lahnstein Gate (Lahnsteiner Pforte), where the river widens again into the Neuwied Valley.

As a transport route, the Rhine has served as a link between the southern and northern halves of the continent since prehistoric times, enabling trade and cultural exchange, which in turn led to the establishment of settlements. Condensed into a very small area, these subsequently joined up to form chains of villages and small towns. For over a 1,000 years the steep valley sides have been terraced for vineyards. The landscape is punctuated by some 40 hill top castles and fortresses erected over a period of around 1,000 years. Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which become an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, contains the following objects (the ones with links are presented on the blog):

Koblenz (west+east)
• Lahnstein (east)
• Rhens (west)
• Braubach (east)
• Boppard (west)
• St. Goarshausen (east) and almost directly opposite
• Sankt Goar (west) by the Loreley rock (east)
• Oberwesel (west)
• Kaub (east)
• Bacharach (west)
• Lorch (east)
• Assmannshausen (east)
• Bingen (west)
• Rüdesheim (east)

On the left bank
• Burg Klopp
• Trutzbingen
• Burg Rheinstein
• Burg Reichenstein
• Burg Sooneck
• Heimburg in Niederheimbach
• Burg Fürstenberg
• Burg Stahlberg
• Stahleck Castle
• Schönburg
• Burg Rheinfels
• Alte Burg (Boppard)
• Stolzenfels Castle
• Fort Großfürst Konstantin
• Alte Burg (Koblenz)
• Electoral Palace (Koblenz)
• Feste Kaiser Franz

On the right bank
• Boosenburg
• Brömserburg
• Vorderburg
• Burg Ehrenfels
• Ruine Nollig
• Burg Pfalzgrafenstein
• Burg Gutenfels
• Burg Katz
• Burg Reichenberg
• Burg Maus
• Burg Liebenstein
• Burg Sterrenberg
• Schloss Liebeneck
• Burg Osterspai
• Schloss Philippsburg (Braubach)
• Martinsburg
• Lahneck Castle
• Fort Asterstein
• Schloss Philippsburg (Koblenz)
• Festung Ehrenbreitstein

Rhine Gorge - Wikipedia
Middle Rhine - Wikipedia
Upper Middle Rhine Valley - UNESCO official website

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