Welcome to Romantic Rhine Valley
Medieval castles perch high above the river. Most were built by a mafia of local robber barons – knights, princes and even bishops – who extorted tolls from merchant ships by blocking their passage with iron chains. Time and French troops under Louis XIV laid waste to many of the castles, but several were restored in the 19th century, when Prussian kings, German poets and British painters discovered the area’s beauty. In 2002, Unesco designated these 65 kilometres of riverscape, known as the Oberes Mittelrheintal, as a World Heritage Site.