Rudesheim sits at the entrance to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. If you come from the direction of Frankfurt or Mainz, it is one of the first major tourist towns you'll reach along the Rhine River. Rudesheim makes a good base for exploring the entire Rhine Valley, which is the home of famous wines, medieval villages and beautiful scenery. Don't pass up the opportunity to take a short Rhine cruise. Those on organized river cruises usually stop here for an enjoyable day.
Top Sights in Rudesheim
This charming medieval town is one of the most popular on the Rhine River, and like everyplace that is popular it can sometimes be a little crowded. The entire region is famous for its white wines and they are available almost everywhere in Rudesheim.
The Drosselgasse, often considered "the most famous lane in the world" is a small street that has become the top attraction in Rudesheim (other than wine itself). This small lane is filled with wine taverns and hidden gardens where food and wine are served. Music filters out of every door competing for your attention. Throngs of visitors stroll the lane that leads from the river up to a small square at the entrance to the cable car lifts to the Niederwald monument.
The Niederwald Monument is perched high above the Rhine River between Rudesheim and Assmannshausen. This immense bronze statue with wildly streaming hair is the mythical figure Germania who symbolizes the unification of Germany in 1871. It is one of the most famous monuments for German people. From Rudesheim take the 4 person cable car gliding over the grape vineyard to the top of the mountain where it is only a 10 minute walk to the monument. From there you can return to Rudesheim or continue walking another 15 minutes to the chair lift that will take you down into the neighboring town of Assmannshausen, known for its red wine.
The Rheingau Wine Museum is open from March until October in the Brömserburg Castle, one of the oldest along the river. The interesting museum follows the history of wine and viticulture in the region.
The Medieval Torture Museum is open from April to November and is great for both adults and children. You'll learn the history of crime and punishment as it was in the Middle Ages as well as the era of witch hunts in Germany.
Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet is one of the world's largest collection of automatic musical instruments.
As if all the local wines were not enough, the Asbach Brandy distillery is also in Rudesheim and offers tastings and brief tours on the making of brandy.
Also located near the Niederwald monument on the hills above Rudesheim and Assmannshausen is a "Bird of Prey" zoo and the Jagdschloss - a hotel and restaurant with excellent views over the river. The Jagdschloss was once a hunting lodge of the dukes of Nassau. The ruins of the Ehrenfels castle, dating back to 1220, are surrounded by vineyards and dominate the views from above Rudesheim.
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