History and Charm on the Rhine River

Visitors to Germany typically count a trip along the Rhine River as the highlight of their vacation. Having visited the Rhine twice - once in 1998 and another time in 1999 - I found the area fascinating. The rich history and stunning scenery make it an absolute for those visiting Germany.

During my trip in 1999, I visited Bacharach with two of my business associates. While there, I picked up a copy of a two-page flyer on the area. Since the flyer does not attribute the information to any one person, I thought I would reproduce it here. The little flyer is quite lengthy so I've typed up the first page below. I'll include the second page later. As you'll see, particularly in the last paragraph, some of the English is quite colorful.

Bacharach: History and Interesting Sights

Celtic Foundation: Passed later in the the possession of the Archbishops of Cologne. The latter granted the region of the four valleys of Bacharach together with Burg Stahleck to the Count Palatine Conrad of Hohenstaufen. After the marriage of Agnes von Hahenstaufen, it passed into the hands of the Welfs of Brunswick in 1194 and then to Wittelsbach as a result of another marriage in 1225. Until the treaty of Lunevile in 1801, it remained in the possession of the Prince Electors and the Rhenish Counts Palatine.

The well-preserved town fortifications of the 14th century (built 1322-1366) comprise the old walls with many towers encircling the old town. There is an interesting walk round the battlements along the Rhine.

The Church of St. Peter: Protestant parish church in the centre of the town. Built at various periods. Building was commenced about 1100 and completed with the church tower in the 14th century (Romanesque Gothic transition style). In contrast with the comparatively low choir, built by an earlier architect, the nave of the church rises to an impressive height. There are two side galleries and one organ loft, romanesque triforia, transept, continuing over the small side naves, medieval fresco paintings, half-columns on remarkable pedestals, decorative pendants on the keystones of the arches, a number of interesting tombs of medieval knights and noble families. The Catholic parish church on the southeastern corner of the town is a simple but impressive building erected by the Capuchin Order in the 17th century. The crenellated wall enclosing the presbytery garden forms a harmonic whole with the church. The inside of the church is simple and undecorated in the Baroque style of the 18th century. Barrel vaulting and baroque altars.

The Chapel of St. Werner (ruins): is the symbol of Bacharach; staircase with 100 steps leading up to the Church of St. Peter. This was once the site of the chapel of St. Cunibert. The new church - with the name from the boy Werner - was commenced in 1294. It took 140 years to build, as the cost was met solely from donations offered by pilgrims.

The body of Werner was found near Bacharach. The research from the professor of diocese - history, Pauly in Trier, have resulted that the boy probably was killed by a sexual murder. Soon after this incident Jews were accused, they have killed the boy and take his blood for rituals. Werner was venerated as a saint from the people. The chapel, which was building to his honour, attracted many important pilgrims. The historian Iserloh Munster of catholic church has refuted final the accusation and proved as a fiction of the racial delusion. Werner was canceled in saint-calendar of the catholic church. The chapel of St. Werner was destroyed in 1689 during the Palatine war of succession with Bacharach. Since then, it has been protected as an ancient monument. In the 18th century the northern wing was removed as it was in danger of falling down.

Part two... coming soon.

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