Romantic Germany: Unique European History
In the footsteps of William Turner and Indiana Jones
Koblenz, September 2016
Even Hollywood filmmakers recognised the unique Eurpean history of Rhineland-Palatinate in the south west of Germany. Bürresheim castle in Mayen better known as Castle Brunwald was a scene in the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade film where Indy's father (Sean Connery) was held prisoner. William Turner has done more than most others to transport the image of Rhine romanticism in its truest sense out into the world. As England's most important fine artist in the Romantic era and with his artistic watercolour paintings, he was instrumental in making many people associate Rhineland-Palatinate mainly with the romantic Rhine Valley and its numerous castles and palaces, which they still do today. 2017 will see the 200th anniversary of his Rhine trip. He too did not have any more time than many river cruisers nowadays to discover other cultural treasures in the State. What would he take a look at today were he to be given the opportunity to come back once more?
Masterpieces between the Rhine & Moselle rivers
This is where 15 cultural highlights are united in a single journey through one of Germany's oldest cultural landscapes along the Rhine and Moselle rivers, surrounded by the low mountain ranges of the Westerwald, Hunsrück and Eifel region. It doesn't always need to be a castle or a palace. How about a visit to the Vulkanpark (Volcano Park) in Plaidt, an adventure playground for children and adults alike? 500,000 years of geological and human history in 26 unique original settings in the volcanic Eastern Eifel region.
Only a stone's throw away is the Maria Laach Benedictine Abbey on a lake bearing the same name, one of the most popular lakes in Germany (lieblingssee.seen.de) The monastery church with its six towers is considered to be one of the most beautiful Roman buildings from the Salian period. What is special: Among other things, the abbey also has a bookshop, a hotel and a market garden.
Germany's unique testament to the Cold War is to be found in Ahrweiler. The former government shelter in Ahrtal opened its atomic bomb shelter gates as a museum. At one time the most secret building in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, it was to offer space to 3,000 people in the event of a third world war.
A final excursion to the Roman World in Rheinbrohl and the beginning of the 550-km long Limes ground monument, one of the "UNESCO World Heritage" sites, is a fitting conclusion to a short round trip through Rhineland-Palatinate history.
Is this not worth celebrating?
There'll be two special birthdays in 2017. On the one hand, Rhineland-Palatinate will be honouring William Turner, one of its most important ambassadors worldwide who went on his Rhine trip 200 years ago. To mark the occasion, "Turner paving slabs" have also been planned. They are in a sense intended to mark the places where William Turner crafted his watercolour paintings for visitors.
On the other hand, Rhineland-Palatinate will be celebrating its own 70th birthday. To mark the occasion, the Rhineland-Palatinate Cultural Heritage Directorate General is organising a special exhibition bearing the name "vor Zeiten – archeological treasures in the Rhine and Moselle Region" (May – October 2017). Spectacular finds and unique exhibits will be on show. The journey through time will start more than 400 million years ago. Relics from the time of Charlemagne and the Second World War complete the exciting journey through archeological history.
Insiders' tip 2017/2018
We highly recommend the impressive exhibition about King Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) at the Historic Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer from September 17, 2017 to April 15, 2018.
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