© Blick auf Burg Pfalzgrafenstein © Dominik Ketz

Route of Rhine Romanticism

The Rhine Valley, one of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, looks back on over 2,000 years of history and countless legendary stories. The Rhine Romanticism Route stretches from Cologne to Mainz/Wiesbaden, lined with numerous historical and scenic highlights. Even the Romans recognised the beauty of this world-famous river landscape and to this day the traces of the past bear witness to the historical events of this cultural landscape.

At the beginning of the 19th century, numerous poets and artists from Germany and abroad discovered the wildly romantic Rhine Valley and were inspired to write their works. They thus founded the epoch of Rhine Romanticism. The most famous representatives of Rhine Romanticism include German artists such as Clemens Brentano, Richard Wagner and Heinrich Heine, as well as the British painter William Turner and the French writer Victor Hugo.

© Boppard Felsenweg © Dominik Ketz
  • Boppard Felsenweg © Dominik Ketz
© Remagen Rolandsbogen © Dominik Ketz
  • Remagen Rolandsbogen © Dominik Ketz

The "Route of Rhine Romanticism" makes it possible to experience:

  • the exciting landscapes, romantic places and outstanding sights, such as the numerous castles that line the slopes to the right and left of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley;
  • the traces of the past with its famous works of architecture, literature, painting and music;
  • the settings of world-famous legends, stories and historical events that have given rise to the myth of "Rhine Romanticism".

Type of route: Themed route
Theme: Rhine Romanticism, History and Culture, Architecture, Literature, Painting, Music
Start / Finish: Cologne / Mainz and Wiesbaden
Length: 360 km
Federal states: North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse
Holiday regions: Romantic Rhine, UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley, Rheingau

Landscape, culture and history

In addition to the breathtaking landscape of the Rhine Valley, the small idyllic towns and the cultural and historical sights are characteristic of the Rhine Valley. The UNESCO World Heritage Upper Middle Rhine Valley delights with a particularly unique backdrop: Numerous legends entwine around one of Germany's most famous rocks, the Loreley Rock. Steep slopes, which are sometimes used for winegrowing, invite you to dream and take a walk.

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site along the route is the Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes, which begins at watchtower number 1 in Rheinbrohl.

© Burg Reichenstein © David Brown - stock.adobe.com
Rhine Romanticism Shipping

Have you ever enjoyed a romantic evening cruise on the Rhine? Or a lively music cruise? Special theme cruises always invite you to new discoveries. Between May and September, these events conjure up a glowing, colourful atmosphere with Bengal fires, illuminated castles, palaces and Rhine fronts and brilliant fireworks.

Cast Off!

Don't miss these highlights

Rheinfels Castle
One of the largest fortifications in Europe
Middle Rhine Museum
One of the most important museums on the history of the Rhine in Koblenz
Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels
The most beautiful place between Koblenz and Bingen, directly opposite the Loreley
Drachenburg Castle
Visit the fairytale castle
Reichenstein Castle
The large complex is a valuable example of the reconstruction of castles in neo-Gothic style
Rheinstein Castle
Without a doubt, Rheinstein Castle is the epitome of Prussian Rhine romanticism
Stahleck Castle
Stahleck Castle towers above Bacharach and is home to one of the most beautiful youth hostels in Germany

Over 60 castles and palaces

The extraordinary density of castles and palaces along the Rhine is particularly impressive. Well over 60 contemporary witnesses perch on the heights and look down on Father Rhine. Many of the castles and palaces offer tours and allow visitors to immerse themselves in times gone by. Some of the historic buildings also offer overnight accommodation. So if you want to spend the night like a real lord of the castle, you'll find what you're looking for along the Rhine.

The important and eventful era of Rhine Romanticism, to which countless famous works of architecture, literature and music are indebted, can be experienced along the route that was originally launched as the "Rhine Legend Trail" and repositioned in 2016 - by car, boat, on foot and by bike.

© Die Marksburg © Dominik Ketz
  • Die Marksburg © Dominik Ketz
© Bacharach © Friedrich Gier
  • Bacharach © Friedrich Gier
One of Europe's largest fortifications

Rheinfels Castle

Built in 1245 by Count Diether V. von Katzenelnbogen in St. Goar, Rheinfels is today the largest castle and fortress ruin on the Middle Rhine. As one of the few bulwarks on the Rhine, it was unsuccessfully besieged and not destroyed during both the Thirty Years' War and the War of the Palatinate Succession. Thus the fortress was able to withstand a French army of about 28,000 men. Above all, its position as a residential castle and its development into an extensive fortress make Rheinfels Castle one of the most important fortified sites on the Middle Rhine. Tours of the imposing castle, with or without guided tours, offer a magnificent experience.

The ruins bear witness to the former power of this medieval castle, as do the underground passages. It is recommended to think of torches when visiting Rheinfels, as there are many underground passages to explore. But even without the mine passages, Rheinfels Castle is worth a visit.

Rheinfels Castle is home to a renowned castle hotel and restaurant (Tel.: 06741/802-0). There is a youth hostel down in the village.

Impressive. Unbelievable. Take a look! At Rheinfels Castle you can take a detailed look at the transformation from medieval castle to later fortress with cannon batteries.
And marvel, because: You can spend the whole day here, standing on the battlements, letting your gaze wander. And dream of battles past.

Visit the fairytale

Drachenburg Castle

Two large golden stags welcome visitors on the Venus Terrace before they enter the castle via a large flight of steps. From the terraces, the view sweeps over the densely wooded Siebengebirge Nature Park, and even Cologne Cathedral can still be seen in the distance. Poets like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Hölderlin once raved about the Rhine romanticism. But it was a stock market speculator, of all people, who fulfilled an architectural dream by building Schloss Drachenburg in the midst of this idyll. In 1882, Baron Stephan von Sarter laid the foundation stone for the stately Gründerzeit building.

If you like it romantic, it is best to rent the suite with tower room and enjoy the breathtaking view over the Rhine valley from high above. The view of the river and the Siebengebirge is even better further up from the summit of the Drachenfels, where, by the way, the remains of a 12th-century castle can still be found. In a panorama restaurant on the Drachenfels plateau, visitors can enjoy the expansive view and fortify themselves for the way back. But if you don't feel like the approximately one-hour walk, you can also take the cogwheel railway down into the valley from up here.

© Schloss Drachenburg © Adrian72 - stock.adobe.com
  • Schloss Drachenburg © Adrian72 - stock.adobe.com
© Schloss Drachenburg © Thomas Jablonski - stock.adobe.com
  • Schloss Drachenburg © Thomas Jablonski - stock.adobe.com
Breathtaking beauty

The castles of the Middle Rhine from the air


Reichenstein Castle

Bailiffs and electors. Robber barons and lordly barons. The history of Reichenstein Castle is marked by conquests and looting as well as by decay and reconstruction. Today, Reichenstein Castle, majestically enthroned on a rocky promontory above the Rhine, is a privately run castle complex in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

In the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, you will find a castle hotel including a castle museum, as well as a first-class restaurant to discover the culinary delights of the region.

If you stroll through the castle interior today, you will immediately be captivated by the flair and living feeling of yesteryear. From 1899, the castle was converted into a comfortable residential castle by the industrialist family Baron Dr. Nikolaus and Olga Kirsch-Puricelli. In addition, the family had other residential buildings and a lookout tower built on the grounds of the outer castle. The Kirsch-Puricellis lived at Reichenstein Castle until 1936.

Since 2014, the castle has once again been owned by a great-grandson of the Kirsch-Puricellis. He had new renovation and modernisation measures carried out on the Reichenstein. Already in the following year (2015), the castle hotel and the Puricelli restaurant, located in the former outer castle of the extensive castle complex, were able to open their doors. Of the numerous castles on the Middle Rhine, the Reichenstein is now another castle complex that is owned by a family and run privately.

© Burg Reichenstein © Comofoto - stock.adobe.com
  • Burg Reichenstein © Comofoto - stock.adobe.com
© Burg Reichenstein © David Brown - stock.adobe.com
  • Burg Reichenstein © David Brown - stock.adobe.com

Route guidance with parking space information

This information is a service offer from ALPINE in cooperation with FERIENSTRASSEN.INFO


Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
An der Königsbach 8
D - 56075 Koblenz

T +49 (0) 261 / 9738470
M info@romantischer-rhein.de