Bingen am Rhein Things to Do

  • Stained glass detail of illustration
    Stained glass detail of illustration
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  • Hildegard enters the convent
    Hildegard enters the convent
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  • Roman doctor's grave finds
    Roman doctor's grave finds
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Most Recent Things to Do in Bingen am Rhein

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    CRUISING THE RHINE - ASSMANNSHAUSSEN - 4

    by balhannah Written Jan 5, 2012

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    Still looking to the right, we are seeing our first small Village.
    It is Assmannshausen, known for a cable car up to a hunting lodge in the Niederwald where there are hiking trail's, and also for its Red Wine.
    The local term Stoffig is used to describe the wines, meaning rich content that comes from the quartzite and schist minerals found in the soils.
    Assmanshäuser Höllenberg is the most notable vineyard, and is known for its fruity Pinot Noir.
    This Vineyard is the one in my photo.

    From the Boat, it look's a gorgeous little Village, that would have been worth exploring if we had more time!

    Assmannshaussen Assmannshaussen Assmannshaussen Assmannshaussen Assmannshaussen
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    CRUISING THE RHINE - EHRENFEL'S RUIN'S - 3

    by balhannah Written Jan 5, 2012

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    We have just seen the Mouse Tower, and now quickly, we have to turn our head's to the right side of the River to view Ehrenfels Castle ruins.

    Located on quite a steep bank amongst the Vineyard's, I didn't know that the Grape's grown here are known as "Ehrenfelser," named after the Castle.

    The Archbishop of Mainz had the Castle re-built in 1212 for defense against the constant attacks by Elector Palatine Henry V. It was used as a customs post controlling the shipping on the Rhine, supplemented by the Mouse Tower below at the river.
    The Castle also fell in the 30 year War, finally devastated by French troops during the 1689 Siege of Mainz.

    During times of war, it was used as a hiding place for the cathedral treasury of Aachen.

    Quite an impressive Castle Ruin!

    Ehrenfel Castle Ruin Ehrenfel Castle Ruin Ehrenfel Castle Ruin
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    CRUISING THE RHINE - THE MOUSE TOWER - 2

    by balhannah Written Jan 5, 2012

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    Next sight we come across, is the famous Mouse Tower or Mäuseturm.
    This stone Tower I had seen many times on Travel Show's and I guess you have too! Alway's good to see for real though!

    It is a small defensive fortification that the Roman's built. It fell into disrepair, and was only when Hatto II, the Archbishop of Mainz came along, he restored the Tower in 968.
    In 1298 the Castle became an official customs collection tower. It was destroyed by a French army in 1689, then rebuilt in 1855 as a Prussian signal tower

    I love the Folk legend of this Tower.......

    Hatto II was a cruel ruler, who treated his Peasant's badly.
    During a famine in 974, the poor people were without food, Hatto had plenty in his Barn's, but would only sell at a very unaffordable price to the peasant's.
    Of course, most of the poor people could not afford any. The Peasant's were so angry that they decided to rebel, but Hatto found out and decided to play a cruel trick on them.
    He promised to feed the hungry people and told them to go to an empty barn and wait for him to come with food. The peasants were full of praise for Hatto, and all of them went to the barn.
    When he showed up with his servants, he ordered the barn's doors shut and locked, then set the barn on fire and burned the peasants to death.

    He was so cruel, he yelled out the words "Hear the mice squeak!"

    When Hatto retired to his castle, he was instantly besieged by an army of mice. He fled and took a boat across the river to his tower, hoping that the mice could not swim. The mice followed him and rushed into the river by the thousands. Many of them drowned, but even more crawled onto the island. There, they ate through the tower's doors and crawled up to the top floor, where they found Hatto and ate him alive.

    What a great story, and I think there is a Moral to it!

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    CRUISING THE RHINE - KLOPP CASTLE - 1

    by balhannah Written Jan 5, 2012

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    I love a Boat trip if it look's like a good one, and this one does!

    We quickly pull out from Port in Bingen, and straight away, we are viewing Bingen in a different way. No traffic to dodge, or park's to find, just sitting back and relaxing, seeing what Bingen has to offer.
    Well, the first surprise was seeing a Castle in Bingen.

    It is Klopp Castle, built as a foritification on top of Kloppenberg [Klopp Hill]
    We decided to visit when we returned to Port, which is what we did.

    So I will tell you about it now......

    Klopp Castle was not the first Castle built on this site, many others were, and many were destroyed! Klopp was partially destroyed many time's too!
    Local legend says, Emperor Henry IV was imprisoned by his son in 1105 or 1106, this being the first surviving mention of a castle here.
    Eventually, a wealthy merchant, Ludwig Cron from Cologne, began renovation's, then, in 1897, the Castle ownership was taken over by the Town of Bingen, and now is the residence of the Mayor and the Town administration.

    We walked around the Castle, and then took in the fabulous view's from here. The Sun was in the wrong direction for River Photo's, so if you want them, morning would be best. The garden's are still kept nice, and against one of the Wall's were some old headstone's.

    This area is believed to date back to Roman times.

    View Klopp Castle from Boat Klopp Castle Klopp Castle View from Klopp Castle Klopp Castle
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    Reichenstein Castle – more robber knights

    by Trekki Updated Dec 20, 2011

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    Almost above Klemens Chapel sits Reichenstein Castle, once home to the most furious robber knights in Rhein Valley. As already described, these robber knights have been murdered by King Rudolf of Habsburg and the chapel was erected near the burial ground. After the knights have been extinguished, the castle went into the hands of Mainz’ archbishops and more and more felt into decay. In 19th century, when the romantic epoch started and Rhein Valley became famous for poets and painters, a rich family bought it and started restauration. But it was sold several times after this and finally bought by another rich family (Kirsch-Pucelli) who finished restauration and filled the castle with artwork and furnishings. It was sold to a caterer and transformed into a hotel and museum end of last century. Although I have read that the hotel is now no longer active (October 2010). Maybe this has to do with a former lousy service, as I could read in several reviews on the German version of Tripadvisor. The museum is open though. But it is difficult to find opening hours on their website. It only mentions that single and group tours are possible and it mentions a price of 4 Euro. But the price list is of 2007. Strange.....

    Burg Reichenstein on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., December 2010.

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    Burg Reichenstein Burg Reichenstein Burg Reichenstein Burg Reichenstein, the former (?) hotel
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    Klemens Kapelle – penance for the robbers

    by Trekki Updated Dec 20, 2011

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    Right at the riverbank near Rheinstein Castle is a little chapel, lovely set among trees. This is Klemens Chapel and of course there are several legends as of why it stands here. Remember that nearby Reichenstein Castle was inhabited by robber knights’ who devastated the country until eventually King Rudolf of Habsburg came to intervene. One of the more innocent legens is that this little chapel was built by relatives of the executed robber knights to give them a chance to do penance.
    The more romantic legend is of a beautiful duke’s daughter who was kidnapped by robber knights on a boat to take off on the Rhein. She prayed to (current pope) St. Klemens and promised to build a chapel in his honour if she would be rescued. Of course St. Klemens answered her prayers, came down to earth and helped her with his crozier to get off the boat. Then he sent a storm and the boat with the robbers drowned. She fulfilled her promise and had the little chapel built.

    Klemens Kapelle on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., December 2010.

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    Klemens Kapelle near Rheinstein Castle
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    Mäuseturm – mices' revenge :-)

    by Trekki Updated Dec 20, 2011

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    This is maybe the most prominent and well known “building” amongst the Rhein Valley gems and it is accompanied by a very spine-chilling but somehow satisfying legend. Sources say that already the Romans have built a tower on this little island in the Rhein next to Bingen. In fact it is a whole collection of little islands here, most of them covered by the water. Only the big one (with Mäuseturm on top) is permanently seen. The boring proved facts are that it was built as a watchtower by Mainz Archbishops in 10th century. Whenever a ship approached, the towers’ guards sent signals to the opposite Ehrenfels Castle, the ship had to land and pay the toll. Paying toll was quite promient these days and often the major income for the governors and bishops. And since Ehrenfels Castle, due to its location, did not have the possibility to watch the ship movement upstream, it was the guards on the watchtower who had to help out. The tower was destroyed during the War of the Grand Alliance in 1689 and rebuilt only 1855 by the Prussians.

    The more gruesome legend says that Bishop Hatto of Mainz was very hard-hearted, mean and noisome to his folk and kept their tributes (both money and grain) for himself rather than distribute some to the poor. Now at a point in time famine impended and thus the folk was raging. Hatto showed them an empty granary with the words “look, nothing there, the mice have eaten all”, locked them in the granary and burned it down. Now the mice did hear this and were furious about Hatto’s lie, but as he didn’t made any attempt to rectify his statements, they chased him through town, across the river and back again to the tower on the island. There were mice all over and the more Hatto’s servants killed, the more appeared – hungry for revenge. Hatto, shaken in his shoes, requested that his bed should be fixed at the ceiling with chains. But this didn’t prevent the mice from even nibbling at the wooden beams and using the chains as stairs to arrive at their target. It is said that in the moment when the bishop made his last breath, all mice were suddenly vanished.

    The moral to this story:
    never let your folk starve because you are too greedy. Horrid revenge will haunt you.

    That’s why the tower is called Mäuseturm – Mice Tower. But the more down-to-earth, albeit a bit boring, explanation for the name is that it derives from the old Germanic word “mauth”, which means toll.

    It is said that it is impossible to visit. However, in a book I have read that it is possible and part of a guided tour upon request with Bingen’s tourist office.

    One curious detail: part of the tower’s base, the red painted one on the eastern side (left side in my photos) was meant to be built as ice breaker. Yes, Rhein River did freeze up at times in the past.

    Mäuseturm on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., July 2008.

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    M��useturm, Bingen (as seen from the boat) M��useturm, Bingen (as seen from the boat) M��useturm, Bingen (as seen from the boat) M��useturm, Bingen (as seen from the boat) M��useturm and Bingen in the back
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    Ehrenfels Castle – surrounded by vineyards

    by Trekki Updated Dec 20, 2011

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    This is one of my most favourite castles, maybe because it looks so picturesque while it sits there surrounded by vineyards. Oh and because of ivy and shrubs found their way to grow on the walls. As it is not inhabited but a ruin, no one would possible care and remove the vegetation. The castle was build early 13th century by Philip von Bolanden (a noble family which was/were of service to the Archbishopric of Mainz) and thus had toll rights given by the Archbishop of Mainz. But when Philip died, his widow lost these rights to the Archbishopric. Remember that the archbishops often had a status similar to a governor during Medieval days, and Mainz was amongst the most prominent ones. The castle was used as a northern bastion to defend the archbishopric to the north and also often used as hideaway for the churches treasures during war times. Given the resources, it must have been huge these days, the ground and buildings extended down to the river. As it was impossible to see enemies approaching from the northwestern course of Rhein river, a toll tower was built on an island opposite of the castle – the famous Mäuseturm (Mouse Tower).

    As so many villages, castles and churches, Ehrenfels Castle was destroyed during the War of the Grand Alliance in 1689.

    Today it is possible to visit, but only from the ouside as it is a bit unsound (maybe yet a good idea to remove the ivy and renovate a tiny bit. It is easy to reach via a footpath from Rüdesheim (30 minutes). The path winds uphill through the vineyards and gives fantastic views over Bingen and its surroundings.

    Update, December 2010:
    The ivy has been removed in the meantime, but there are no signs that the castle ruin will be opened to the public. Nevertheless, I found a website with more photos from the outside and also photos of the inside, during Heritage Day.

    Burg Ehrenfels on Google Maps.

    © Ingrid D., December 2010 (some additions in December 2010).

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    Ehrenfels Castle - so picturesque Ehrenfels Castle Ehrenfels Castle Ehrenfels Castle Ehrenfels Castle - seen from the boat
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    Bingen, perfect base to visit Rhine castles

    by Trekki Updated Dec 20, 2011

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    Most probably the major reason for a visit to Bingen is to take a boat and see the magic Rhine Gorge with its countless castles and fortresses on the way to Koblenz (or Boppard, depending on how far you will travel). But there is actually more to see, as I found out when I recently came here to .. take a boat and see the magic Rhine Gorge. However, since my time was limited before and after getting on the boat, exploring Bingen will have to wait until my next visit.

    Anyhow, Bingen is a perfect base to explore the many castles in the surroundings by boat, bike and hiking (and of course with the car). I can highly recommend to take a boat: it is the much more relaxing option to see the castles, since there are no traffic jams and photo “stops” all the time (as opposed to the roads, which have hardly any parking possibilities except in the villages) and it won’t result in stiff necks, because, on the boat you can see the castles on both river banks.

    From Bingen, boat trips along Rhine Gorge are offered by 3 companies:
    Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD) Line
    Bingen-Rüdesheimer Line
    Rössler Line
    I think they are all similar in what they offer. You can choose between round trips, called Burgenrundfahrt (castle tour round trip) or “public service” boats, which drive one way only but you can buy a ticket to take a return boat back to Bingen.

    We took a KD line public service trip, got off the boat at Boppard, spent some time for sightseeing and lunch and went back to Bingen on another KD Line boat. This took us from 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. and did cost 20 € per person (10 € one way) in July 2008. As I don’t do boat trips like this regularly, I cannot compare, but I liked KD Line’s service. (see transport section for more about this boat company).

    Bingen also has ferry service to Rüdesheim, which leaves every 10-15 minutes (approx. 6 a.m. to midnight) and costs 3 € for car + driver, plus 1 € each additional person in the car, 1,30 € for pedestrians and 1,80 € for person plus bicycle. (Prices as of summer 2009).

    © Ingrid D., July 2008, update Nov. 2011: link exchange.

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    Castle Ehrenfels, near Bingen Cruising on Rhein river K��ln-D��sseldorfer - ship Stolzenfels Castle Ehrenfels, near Bingen Returning back to Bingen
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    Hildegard von Bingen Museum: one trippy place

    by sarahjayn Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Okay, I might not know why exactly people referred to Hildegard von Bingen as "Sybil of the Rhine," but I think maybe Sybil was code for totally freaking nuts. It would make sense, what with that movie about multiple personalities and all.
    Anyway, Hildegard von Bingen lived from 1098 - 1179, and she was wacky even as a little one. She started having "visions" before age eight, and so her rich parents shipped her off for religious education at a convent where she met Jutta. Jutta was the anchoress, and she actually listened to Hildegard.
    Basically, this was the first in a series of things that led to Hildegard's artistic career (she had monks paint her visions and sometimes painted them herself), her reputation as a healer, her totally awesome reputation for a lady-folk in those days (the pope used to ask her advice), and her eventual recognition as a saint.
    Where or not you believe she was seeing messages from the Lord or perhaps think she was a little deranged, the museum is worth a look. It features works of Hildegard (it's cool just to see things that old) as well as works done over time in homage to her.
    Plus, I don't think there are many Hildegard von Bingen fans, per se, so the place was pretty empty the times I went.

    that's god-knowledge seeping into her head!

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    Visit the Cocktail-Bar "Rheingau-Treff"

    by nadkid Written Jun 8, 2007

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    Nice thing to do when in Bingen is to have a few cocktails (with or without alcohol) at the cocktailbar close to the Rhine. On Wednesday evening they have a happy hour between 8 and 9 and they also offer frequent cocktail courses. On Saturdays you can learn how to mix your own cocktails (think you have to make a reservation bevore).
    It is a small bar with a nice athmosphere, I alwas liked it there.

    They also have a stand at the several festivals like Winzerfest (Neff-Platz) and Sektfest (Rhine Promenade) and I think also during Bingen Swingt.

    Not open Sunday's and during Public Holidays

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    the old village of Bacharach is 14km from Bingen

    by globetrott Updated Aug 1, 2006

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    Just about 14 km downstream from Bingen you may see one of the typical old villages in the Rhine-valley :
    First of all you will see that a wall of houses is facing the river : it was the former medieval townwall and serves still today as a certain wall against the noises of the trains passing by there all day and night !!
    Leave your car at one of the many car-parks and get behind the train-track, where you may see all of the lovely half-timbered houses of Bacharach and the great church.
    There are several medieval watch-towers in Bacharach and at many places you may even see the remains of the town-wall and you will be able to step up there at several places free of charge and without any restrictions.
    The best excample of such a watch-tower is next to Malerwinkel, where the huge gate of this tower is still the only chance to leave or enter the village of Bacharach

    the old village of Bacharach is 14km from Bingen the old village of Bacharach is 14km from Bingen the old village of Bacharach is 14km from Bingen the old village of Bacharach is 14km from Bingen the old village of Bacharach is 14km from Bingen
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    Maeuseturm - built on an island in the river Rhine

    by globetrott Updated Aug 1, 2006

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    Maeuseturm / mouse-tower - is to be found on a small island in the river Rhine / Rhein, about 3 km downstream of Bingen and Ruedesheim. In the medieval times there was a rope or a chain going accross the river Rhine,fixed at Maeuseturm, and all of the merchant-ships passing by had to pay high customs-tolls in order to be allowed to go on with their merchandises. Nowadays you may not go there, but at least you may see it on a small and rocky island from from both sides of the river, when you pass by in the train or in your car.

    Maeuseturm in Bingen
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    Reichenstein - 5km downstream from Bingen

    by globetrott Updated Aug 1, 2006

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    Trechtlinghausen & Burg Reichenstein are in a distance of just 5km downstream from Bingen. This giant castle dates back to the 11th century. Plenty of times this castle was destroyed, but always it was restored again. In the 13th century the castle belonged to one of the most dangerous robber-barons, and as the castle had such an important position in the Rhine-valley, the emperor decided to destruct the castle and set the robber-baron into prison.
    Nowadays Burg Reichenstein in Trechtlinghausen is partly a luxury castle-hotel and partly a museum.

    Burg Reichenstein - 5km downstream from Bingen Burg Reichenstein - 5km downstream from Bingen Burg Reichenstein - 5km downstream from Bingen Burg Reichenstein - 5km downstream from Bingen Burg Reichenstein - 5km downstream from Bingen
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    Burg Stahleck is just 14km from Bingen

    by globetrott Written Jul 30, 2006

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    Bingen is quite a good place to choose as a base, when you intend to explore the river Rhine. Just 14 km downstream from Bingen you will see one of the highlights of the Rhine-valley : Burg Stahleck in Bacharach
    This lovely castle dates back to the year 1135 but it was destroyed by french troops in 1689. In 1828 it was sold to crown-prince Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who wanted to restore it as a residence for his wife, Elisabeth of Bavaria. But soon he found out, it was impossible to completely restore it, so it was sold again and became a Youth-hostel already in 1926. Today it might be the most beautiful hostel in Germany and built at one of the very best places above the Rhine-valley.
    Stahleck castle may be visited freely and without restrictions by everyone, only a small part of the building is reserved for the hostel-guests - all the pics of Burg Stahleck, that you may see on this page are taken from the part that is open for visitors !
    Dont miss to go there, also for the excellent view on the valley. Step up from the village within 20 minutes or drive up and park close to the castle !

    Burg Stahleck is just 14km from Bingen Burg Stahleck is just 14km from Bingen Burg Stahleck is just 14km from Bingen Burg Stahleck is just 14km from Bingen Burg Stahleck is just 14km from Bingen
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