Hatto ll was the Archbishop of Mainz and consequently Lord of Bingen. He was very rich and owned huge grain stores, one harvest time the Rhine was flooded and the harvest was lost, the people implored him to give them grain to feed their starving families. Being a mean greedy man he refused, when asked again in desperation, he tricked them and led the people to an empty grain store and set it on fire killing all inside. Hatto was then imprisoned in the Mouse Tower in 969 where he was attacked by thousands of mice and died. In the 14th. century the tower became a watchtower for castle Ehrenfels who's people collected custom duties from the passing ships. As recently as 1975 the tower was used as a signal tower to guide ships through the narrow passage, in 1974 the quartz barrier was removed making shiping here much safer. Today the Mouse tower stands silent - but still tells the story of a mean and nasty bishop
A large slate rock lumes up near to the narrowest and deepest part of the River Rhine. Legend tells of a siren named Lorelei who sat near by bewitching the hearts of sailors while she sang from on high combing her golden hair. The sailors were so transfixed by her beauty and her song they were no longer cautious of the treacherous stretch of water their boats hit the rock and sank. Heinrich Heine penned a song for the Lorelei here is part of it -
There sits a lovely maiden
Above so wonderous fair
with shining jewels laden
She combs her golden hair.
You won't see the Maiden here today but you can see her in sculpture form at the harbour at St. Goarhausen