This little street is perhaps the most famous sight in Rüdesheim. Its 144 metre length is lined with traditionally decorated buildings, almost all of which are either a bar or restaurant – or both. Most of them have live music, so the atmosphere is lively by day and night. Chris and I took a walk there during the day, but when we came to eat dinner in Rüdesheim on our second evening here we chose a restaurant on Oberstrasse rather than tackle the steep cobbled lane with mum in law’s wheelchair. But from what we saw prices for meals and drinks are comparable here with the rest of the touristy parts of town, so you shouldn’t fear being ripped off if you want to spend an evening out in its bars.
The name Drosselgasse means “Throssle” or “Thrush” Street. The street dates back to the 15th century, when it was built as a route for local boat owners to move equipment such as sails, oars, ropes and tools from their boats on the river to their homes in the town. It was largely destroyed by an Allied bombing raid in November 1944, but was rebuilt after the war in the 1950s, and has been a favourite spot for tourists ever since.
For me this was the highlight of our walk around Rüdesheim, and not simply because its cool interior offered respite from the heat wave outside. The church was built in the 12th century in fulfilment of a vow by one Engelhard Brömser, who was captured during the Third Crusade and promised to found a church in his home town if he managed to escape and return there, which he did.
Added to over the years, and especially in the early 18th century, on 25th November 1944 the church was almost totally destroyed by Allied bombs. But reconstruction started almost straight after the war, from 1946-56. What I really liked was the fact that this reconstruction is not a faithful copy of the original but a blend of ancient and new. The cool, stylish interior (stylish is an odd word to use for a religious building but so it seemed to me) is fairly minimalist but enlivened with abstract stained glass windows (photo 2), a striking pulpit and stark wrought iron Stations of the Cross. In a small chapel (on the left as you enter) are a small number of old tombs and carvings that were rescued from the bombing and preserved (see photo 4).
Back outside, make sure to check out the lovely carving of the Adoration of the Magi above the door (main photo) and the statue of St Jakobus (photo 3). A plaque on the wall gives the dates of the church’s destruction and reconstruction, and points out that the tower’s foundations are the original 12th century ones and that the west front also survived the bombing and dates from 1406.
One of the most prominent features if you approach Rüdesheim from the river as we did is the Adlerturm or Eagles’ Tower. This late Gothic corner tower was built in the second part of the 15th century as a part of the city fortifications. It is 20.5 metres high and its interior has a 5 metre diameter within the metre thick walls. As well as helping to defend the town, it functioned as a warning tower when the river was frozen, with a fire on its top indicating whether it was safe to cross the ice.
In the 19th century the tower housed an inn, Zum Adler (“In the Eagle”). A frequent guest was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous German poet, who would stay here in order to enjoy the wonderful views of the river. Today it belongs to a bank and is not open to the public.
Broemserhof / Broemser Manor is a lovely castle, dating back to the 15th till 17th century.
Once it was the castle of the knights Broemser von Ruedesheim, TODAY it is a museum of mechanical music-instruments.
This is an interesting building, with a great half-timbered facade, that you should not miss - it is just a few meters off the end of Drosselgasse.
And for shure you will also see this geat vintage-car parked there, or you may see it somewhere in town, as it is still used daily as a taxi for special guests.
Just opposite of Broemserhof you may see a big collection of Musicboxes of all centuries and of course, you are able to buy one as a souvenir !
Such a musicbox is guaranteed head-ache-free and you may keep your driving-licence even after a police-control...
THIS does NOT apply for all the other tasty souvenirs of Ruedesheim !!
This old castle dates back to the 10th century.
In medieval times it was situated directely on the Rhine and totally surrounded by water.
Today it is in a distance of 25 meters from the river.
The walls are more than 2 meters thick.
Since 1941 it is owned by the city of Rüdesheim and is used as a museum for wine , where you may taste all the local wines.
You will be surprised to see all these great half-timbered houses all over Ruedesheim.
This Restaurant and Hotel is at Obergasse, exactely , where the Drosselgasse ends.
It is nice to see the gable in another style.
35000 tourists walk through Drosselgasse during the high tourist-season every day...
The Niederwald Monument offers a perfect panorama-view of the Rhine-valley from different terraces, high above the vinyards of Ruedesheim.
To drive up to the monument will take about 15 minutes by car, passing through the lovely village Assmanshausen.
On the left side of my picture : Ruedesheim and Bingen on the opposite side !
This great old castle is privately owned and not open to the public.
You will see it from the Rhine-promemade and with 38 meters the tower is the highest building in Ruedesheim.
The tower dates back to the 9th century and the rest was added in Baroque times.
Adlerturm was once part of the old town-walls, dating back to the 15th century.
The tower is 20 meters high and 5 meters wide with walls 1 meter thick.
Untill the 19th century there was a famous inn, called " zum Adler" that gave the name to the tower.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe used to sleep in this hotel during all of his many travels to Ruedesheim and liked especially the great view.
At that time the tower was directely at the Rhine.
Today the tower is owned by a bank and not open to the public.
This little alley shall have already a worldwide fame as , how Ruedesheim tourist info says of it, the liveliest alley in the world! It is only a 144m long alley with restaurants and especially wine pubs on both sides of it. Once in this "Rhine" region of Germany one has to pass by Ruedesheim to have a look and enjoy a glass of wine here. The restaurants are open from noon to 4am.
The Klunkhardshof is a patrician building from about 1500. Many secular and clerical dignitaries descend from this family Klunkhard, among them an abbot of the monastery Eberbach/Rheingau.....that is what a little sign at the building says. Going around the little city starting at the town hall place one passes by this building through a little passage way under the house.
On a hill on top of Ruedesheim, you may see this great monument, erected 1877 –1883, and 38 meters high.
The monument is a symbol of the re-establishment of the German Kaiser Reich after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 – 1871 which led to the unification of Germany under Prussian hegemony as an imperial monarchy.
The main sculpture is Germania, the classical mythic female figure representing Germany. In her raised, extended right hand is the Imperial Crown.
You may get to the Niederwald Heights walking, by car, or by cable car from Ruedesheim and Assmannshausen.
And also the small road-train will get there.
We visited in late September. We found a touristy town - not very crowded, with reasonable shops. My wife happily purchased souvenirs from a few shops. We ate dinner at a restaurant on Rheinstrasse. Funny thing about this main street is that every 10 or 20 minutes, the lights flashed, horns blared, and a train went by between us and the river - I am sure that if you live there you don't hear it, but it was darn inconvenient to us. Our waiter told us that there are plans to run the railroad underground through this main part of town. Then you might be able to have a quiet meal with view on the Rhine in Rüdesheim.
One thing to realize when travelling down the Rhine is that bridges only cross the Rhine at major cities. We left Koblenz on the west side of the Rhine travelling south. The only way to Rüdesheim was to take a ferry across the river (or keep driving to Mainz cross the river and go back north).
Ruedesheimer Schloss (=castle) is a well known hotel and restaurant in Drosselgasse.
The chimes in the old tower are playing a melody every hour, but mostly you will not be able to hear it with all the music in every restaurant there and thousands of people walking through the most popular street in Ruedesheim.