As the fourth largest city in Germany and the largest city on the Rhine River, Cologne is regarded as the historic, cultural and economic capital of the Rhineland. It is highly regarded for its trade fairs, cathedral, perfume, and Koelsch beer. It was also once a significant part of the Roman Empire, and the remains of many Roman buildings and town walls are still visible today. There is a range of Roman artefacts on display in the Roemisches Germanisches Museum, which is well worth a visit.
Cologne is also home to the French Gothic style Kolner Dom Cathedral, for which construction began in 1248 but remained unfinished for 600 years. The structure - which can still be visited today - is made up of two 157 metre-high spires, buttresses, pillars and arches – which collectively support the central nave. The remains of the kings who followed the star to Bethlehem are believed to have been contained within the south tower.
Located at the foot of the Taunus Mountains and at the heart of the Rhine River is the town of Rudesheim. Being in the Rhine Gorge, Rudesheim is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a historic winemaking town. Not only does the wine make this town worth visiting, but the Old Town itself and the picturesque Rheingau landscape and the romantic Rhine River itself.
The town of Miltenberg is situated in Lower Franconia, Bavaria, and is home to a historic marketplace. This beautiful town is home to a wealth of stunning timber-framed buildings and landmarks including the Old Town Hall and the Jewish cemetery with old city walls.
The historical town of Wertheim am Main is situated at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers. Visitors can tour the ruins of Wertheim Castle, which offers great panoramic views over the medieval town centre and the surrounding hills.
The town comes to life during the summer months with Wertheim’s own version of Oktoberfest taking place and a medieval festival being held in the castle grounds. There is also a collection of designer outlet stores at Wertheim Village.
The south-central German river town of Bamberg has been recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Situated on the Regnitz River, north of Nuremberg, this gorgeous town is set amidst a series of picturesque rivers and forests. This perfectly preserved historic town is home to a range of architectural styles including Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Within the city, there are many historic structures and museums including the Alte Residenz (Old Palace), Neue Residenz, the former Benedictine abbey and an imperial cathedral which contains many notable statues. Additionally, there are nine breweries in Bamberg, offering a collective total of 200 types of beer.
Flowing a total distance of 106 miles, the Main-Danube Canal winds through rural Bavaria from Bamberg, on the Main River, to Kelheim, on the Danube. This provides the opportunity for river cruisers to embark on a 2,200-mile journey from the North Sea to the Black Sea. It was one of the largest civil engineering projects in history and was built with a total of 16 locks, each of which is around 625 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 100 feet deep.
Situated along the banks of the Danube River is the Bavarian city of Regensburg. A cultural centre of Germany, the cities medieval heart is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting one of the most important Gothic churches in Bavaria, St. Peter’s Cathedral. With a stunning 14th century stained glass window and two Romanesque chapels, St. Peter’s in one of the main attractions in Regensburg. Full of history, the city also offers other notable examples of Romanesque architecture, including the Porta Praetoria, which dates back to 179 AD. Despite the repeated bombings of WW2, Regensburg’s medieval buildings and charm has survived, and sustained little damage.
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