Bingen has a lot more to offer than only being the hub to the Rhein Valley. In 2008 the city hosted Landesgartenschau, a regular event about gardening in Germany’s states. The premises have been converted into a kind of fun, educative and action park, with several interesting exhibitions, educational trails, cherry blossom in spring, activities for kids and the like. Unfortunately the tourism website of Bingen does not describe this in the small English website part. But it is easy to reach: next to the ferry station across Rhein river. Entrance is free.
Bingen’s tourism website describes more the sights to see and the museums around town, but it is well worth to browse a bit and find specific activities. They offer Geocaching, city tours, city walks, specific tours in reference to Hildegard, romantic gardens and of course the castles.
In case you want to visit more than one castle, there was once an option to buy a “10 castle pass for 19 Euro, valid for two years from the day of purchase. However, the website mentions that this is currently not available due to construction work on several of the castles. But it will be available again. I try to keep track of this and update. The connected castles are (town and price without this 10 castle ticket in brackets):
Brömserburg (Rüdesheim, 5 Euro), Rheinstein Castle (north of Bingen, 4,30 Euro), Sooneck Castle (north of Bingen, 2,60 Euro), Pfalzgrafenstein (Kaub, 2,10 Euro plus 2 Euro for the short ferry), Rheinfels Castle (St. Goar, 4 Euro), Burg Boppard (Boppard, free entrance), Marksburg (Braubach, 6 Euro), Stolzenfels (near Koblenz, 2,60 Euro, but it is closed at the moment), Lahneck Castle (Lahnstein, 3,50 Euro), Ehrenbreitstein Fortress (1,10, closed until opening of Bundesgartenschau, April 15) = 31,20 Euro if each ticket is purchased, so that saves 12,20 Euro. I hope they make it available again soon!!
Rhein in Flammen, Rhein in flames, is another very exciting event held in Bingen, or better between Bingen and Niederheimbach north of town. During the evening, ships sail from Niederheimbach to Bingen in a kind of convoy and in late evening (usually between 10 p.m. and midnight), a huge set of fireworks is shown. But it is not necessary to book a ship tour, since these would be very high priced. The whole spectacle can be seen from high above on the hills as well, either on Bingen side or near Niederwald Denkmal on the other river side. In 2011 this is been held on July 2nd.
© Ingrid D., December 2010.
This is the end of my description of Bingen and surroundings. Thanks for having followed my tour. If you wish, please return to my Intro page
Who likes wine might know ice wine. For a long time it was only produced in Germany and Austria but I have read that other countries are also producing it by now. What most wine lovers might not know: Bingen was where this wine was “invented”. It was more by accident that the vintners found how interesting the result of the frozen berries tasted in 1829, after a horrible year for wines. Over the years producing ice wine became something like an art work. The grapes must be picked very early morning, when they are already frozen on the vine. This is usually January and at temperatures at least minus 7 °C. The resulting wine has a higher acid content and is sweet.
At the river bank in Bingen is a lovely monument to this discovery, just next to the little winery I have described in the restaurant section. Who would like to read more about ice wine, please have a look at the website of German Wine Institute.
© Ingrid D., December 2010.
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Favorite thing: As I was tracing (St.) Hildegard von Bingen's footsteps in Bingen am Rhein, I was informed that I should go to St Rochuskapelle. It's quite far from the main part of the city, and you can see the chapel in the middle of the woods if you are coming across the river. It took me about 40 mins to walk to the chapel. There is a bus going that direction although I'm not familiar with the schedule. If you are a Hildegard fan, this is quite an amazing little chapel you should visit. Inside it, there are little boards depicting Hildegard's life. Outside, at the back of the chapel, there is a little theatre-like place and you can look up to the amazing stone works on the walls. You can get the city map from this website: http://www.bingen.de/tourist/englisch/index.php