Rheinland-Pfalz

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Home Page > Travelogues > Germany > Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland and Palatinate)

Quick Access for this Page -- [ Introduction ] [ Travelogues ] [ Features ] [ Links ]

Click on the colored areas of the map to access a travelogue.  The colors indicate different regions of Rheinland-Pfalz -- scroll down for explanation and introduction for each location. (Original map comes from the CIA World Factbook, inset map comes from www.entry.de)

Introduction.  Rheinland-Pfalz is one of the most popular tourist regions among the GermanyGerman locals and expatriates.  It is also popular with Americans living in Germany, who love to congregate at the region's many festivals.  

In all, I've probably traveled to this region about a dozen times, and it is a challenge to hit all of it -- it's so spread out.  Each town has its big castle on a State of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland and Palatinate)nearby mountain, some have more than one.  Each town has festivals throughout the year, almost running in a circuit (especially during the wine seasons of September).  Several towns are also blessed with well preserved Roman ruins (the Romans populated the Rhein and Mosel Valleys in their hey-day).

My favorite part is the Mosel Valley, the German section of it running from Trier in the southwest up to the famous Deutsches Eck in Koblenz.  This winding stretch of some 80 kilometers cuts in a deep valley lined on both sides with beautiful vineyards.  Many others prefer the Rhein Valley from Bingen to Koblenz, among the largest and most prominent castles.  Here, three times a year, the Rheinland-Pfalz celebrates the "Rhein Aflame", signifying a famous battle where one of the castle is lit up in bright orange and there are fireworks galore!

The cuisine of the region will appeal to blue collar types everywhere -- sausages and hash, with heaps of potatoes or french fries and sauerkraut.  The Pflaz region has its own specialties, such as Saumagen, a bologna made with pork and potatoes, sliced and grilled.  The people here are more wine drinkers than beer, and many of Germany's exported white wines come from this region.

Travelogues.  

GREEN:  Southern Rhein River -- Cathedrals Galore!  The travelogues in this table follow in order downstream along the Rhein River.  Each of these three have one thing in common -- a major Cathedral dating from the Holy Roman Empire.  Speyer's Cathedral is massive, towering over the trees as you approach it from across the Rhein.  But Speyer has other attractions, most notably a huge air and space museum!  Worms's Cathedral (pictured) is famous as the place where Martin Luther made his stand against the abuses of the Catholic Church, launching the Protestant movement.  Mainz, the capital of the state of Rheinland-Pfalz, is a major industrial center at the confluence of the Rhein and Main Rivers.  It's Cathedral and market square are humongous! Blue:  Northern Rhein River -- Castles Galore!  The confluence of the Rhein and Main rivers begins the best part of the Rheinland -- the Rheintal.  Beginning at the beautiful town of Bingen am Rhein, you begin to notice a change in the terrain, where the valley becomes very steep and covered with vineyards topped some of the most incredible castles you'll see anywhere.  It is a great drive up to Koblenz.  Koblenz is famous as the site of the confluence of the Rhein with the Mosel River, the Deutsches Eck (pictured) below the huge Ehrenbreitstein Castle.  In between is the fabulous Rheintal that has a castle at every corner!  Further up the Rhein is the city of Remagen, near the border with the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.  Remagen's claim to fame is being the first bridge crossed by the Allies during World War II.
RED:  Mosel Valley.  The Mosel (or Moselle in France) is one of the prettiest valleys in the world.  A stretch of eighty kilometers Burg Eltzfrom Trier to Koblenz of tiny wine towns, beautiful vineyards, and friendly people.  Trier is a famous city for its massive Roman ruins and Baroque architecture in the downtown.  Cochem has the Cochem Castle and the hidden-away Burg Eltz (pictured) nearby.  Bike enthusiasts will want to participate in the "Happy Mosel", a wine festival where the main secondary road following the Mosel River is closed to traffic and open only for pedestrians and bikers! PURPLE:  German Wine Road (8 chapters).  The subject of two consecutive weekends of exploration and I still didn't quite get it all!  This series of travelogues cover all the towns and trappings I Bad Duerkheim's famous Riesenfassvisited on these whirlwind tours, towns big and small and everything in between (which was covered in vines).  After the Intro Page, you can check out the Leiningerland in the far north, the great city of Bad Duerkheim (pictured) and its environs, Neustadt and the fabulous towns of Deidesheim and Freinsheim, Landau an der Pfalz, the beautiful villas and castles around St. Martin, the grand forests of the Trifelsland, and stretch of wine towns dotting the landscape in the Southern Wine Road, ending at the Wine Gate in Schweigen at the French border!
TEAL:  Kaiserslautern and Idar-Oberstein.  Called "K-Town" by the large American expatriate population, Pfalztheater in KaiserslauternKaiserslautern is a huge, modern metropolis in the middle of the heavily forested and rural west of the state.  This travelogue explores the downtown, which despite having been completely rebuilt still has some historical treasures and a very international flavor.  The travelogue on Idar-Oberstein, a popular location among expatriates, is not yet available.  

Stories and Features:

Dürkheimer Wurstfest. How odd -- the largest wine festival in Germany isn't even called a wine wurstfest_03.jpg (38146 bytes)festival!?!  True story.  The German Wine Road city of Bad Dürkheim's festival is called the wurstfest, or sausage festival, even though the quantity of wine sold far exceeds the number of sausages consumed at this affair.  Thousands upon thousand congregate on this small Rheinland-Pfalz town each September to participate in this lively event!  

LinksThe below links connect you to external sites in a new window.  All links are official sites sanctioned by the national, state, or local governments unless otherwise indicated.  These links will open to the German-language home page, which will offer an icon or link to an English-language section (normally limited content).  Most of these pages use a British or US flag icon as the link to English content, while others will use the word "English".  Otherwise, look for "tourismus" which should link you to English-language content.  Links updated 12 January 2006.

Country Links:

bullet US Embassy to Germany
bullet US Consular Sheet for Germany 
bullet Germany Embassy to US 

State and Regional Links:

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Rheinland-Pfalz Tourism Page 

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Mosel Valley Home Page

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German Wine Road Home Page 

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German Wine Road - English from German National Tourism Board

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Rhein Valley Home Page 

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Trifelsland Home Page 

City and Town Links:

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Annweiler am Trifels Home Page (German only)

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Bad Bergzabern Home Page 

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Bad Dürkheim Home Page 

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Bernkastel-Kues Home Page

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Bingen am Rhein Home Page 

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Bockenheim Home Page (German only)

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Cochem Home Page

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Cochem Castle Home Page

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Cochem -- Burg Eltz Home Page

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Deidesheim Home Page (Click International at bottom)

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Dörrenbach Home Page (German only)

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Freinsheim Home Page 

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Gleiszellen-Gleishorbach Home Page (German only)

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Grünstadt Home Page  

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Grünstadt Regional Home Page (German only)

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Idar-Oberstein Home Page (German only)

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Kaiserslautern Home Page

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Klingenmuenster Home Page (German only)

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Koblenz Tourism Page 

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Landau in der Pfalz Home Page (German only)

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Leinsweiler Home Page (German only)

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Mainz Home Page 

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Neuleiningen Home Page (German only)

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Neustadt an der Weinstrasse Home Page 

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Oberotterbach Home Page (German only)

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Remagan Home Page

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Schweigen-Rechtenbach Home Page (German only) 

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Speyer Home Page 

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Traben-Trarbach Home Page (Click "GB" for English content)

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Trier Home Page 

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Wachenheim Home Page 

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Worms Home Page (German only)

 

   
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