Beilstein is located in the Cochem-Zell district of Rheinland-Pfalz, Southwestern Germany. Finds from Frankish graves show that it’s been settled since AD 800. It was granted town privileges in 1309 by Heinrich VII. In the 17th & 18th centuries, the village’s appearance took on the shape that it still largely retains today. In 1794, French Revolutionary troops occupied the region. In 1815 Beilstein was assigned to the Kingdom of Prussia. Since 1946, it’s been part of Rheinland-Pfalz. It has one of the best preserved historical appearances on the Mosel and is thus sometimes called a mini Rothenburg ob der Tauber or Dornröschen der Mosel (Sleeping Beauty of the Moselle). Towering above the village are the ruins of Castle Metternich, which once belonged to the like-named noble family. Each year in July & August, the Beilsteiner Märchensommer (Fairytale Summer) is held, at which the theatre from Cochem produces fairy tales at the winegrowing museum. Always opening and closing the series of events is a traditional version of the Brothers Grimm’s “Sleeping Beauty”, in keeping with one of the village’s nicknames.

The Natural Regions of Germany (3): The Central Uplands

South of the Northern German lowlands, there is a belt of mid-sized wooded mountain ranges separated by fertile valleys, which is commonly referred to as the “Mittelgebirge”. These mountains are of highly diverse origin, shaped in parts by tectonic, in parts by volcanic activity. Some of them are among the oldest mountain ranges worldwide and much older than the Alps. As diverse as they are by origin, they are by appearance and character.

The most prominent mountain range is the Harz, which abruptly rises from the Northern German plains. Its highest peak is the more than 1,100 m high Brocken (= “lump”), which raises above the tree line. A railway featuring the strongest German narrow gauge steam locomotives muscles tourist trains right to the top of the mountain. It is also an ancient mining area where silver and other ores were mined. The mines of Goslar are part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage.

The Weser Uplands are the north-western part of the Central German uplands, surrounding the valley of the river Weser. These lovely rolling hills are the origin of some of the famous fairy tales: Sababurg is said to be the castle of Sleeping Beauty, and the Trendelburg the tower of Rapunzel.

The Hessian parts of the Central German uplands are characterized by quaint towns nestled between the wooded rolling hills. Among the notable mountains is the Meißner, origin of the legend of Mother Hulda or Old Mother Frost who shakes her bed and out comes snow from heaven. The Vogelsberg is the largest volcanic formation of central Europe. Some of the valleys hold artificial water reservoirs such as the Edersee, paradise for water sports.

The Western part of the Central German uplands is made up by the Rhenish Slate Mountains, divided into Eifel, Westerwald, Hunsrück, and Taunus. The Eifel is a geologically young volcanic area, which still shows signs of activity. The four parts are divided by the rivers Mosel, Lahn, and Rhine. The spectacular Middle Rhine Valley lined with romantic castle ruins is a top tourist destination.

The South-East is made up of the Thuringian and Franconian Forests and the Ore Mountains. In the latter area, ore was mined since the prehistoric bronze age. More recently, uranium was mined there, contributing to most of the Russian nuclear arsenal during the cold war. These mountains continue into the Czech Republic. Winter sports and hiking tourism are prevalent here. The Ore Mountains are known for skilled craftsmanship producing wooden toys and folk art, including the classical nutcrackers.

Die Saarschleife. The Saar is a river in northeastern France and southwestern Germany, and a right tributary of the Mosel. It rises in the Vosges mountains on the border of Alsace and Lorraine in France and flows northwards into the Mosel near Trier, Germany. After 246 km it flows into the Mosel at Konz in Rheinland-Pfalz between Trier and the Luxembourg border. The Saar was very important for the coal, iron and steel industries and lies in a winegrowing region that is producing mostly Riesling. 


Sky by Tony
Via Flickr:
On the way over the Rhine to The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Since 2010 the Koblenz Cable Car has been Germany’s biggest aerial tramway

Trier (Luxembourgish: Tréier; Italian: Treviri, French: Trèves) in Rheinland-Pfalz, Southwestern Germany lies on the river Mosel in a valley between vine-covered hills, near the border with Luxembourg in an important wine-growing region. Founded by the Romans in the 1st century BC as Augusta Treverorum, it may be the oldest city in Germany. It’s also the oldest seat of a bishop north of the Alps. In the Middle Ages, the Archbishop of Trier was important as he controlled land from the French border to the Rhein. He also had great significance as 1 of the 7 electors of the Holy Roman Empire. With a population of 105,000, Trier is now the 4th-largest city in its state after Mainz, Ludwigshafen, and Koblenz. The nearest major cities are Luxembourg (50 km), Saarbrücken (80 km), and Koblenz (100 km). Trier is home to the University of Trier, founded in 1473, closed in 1796 and restarted in 1970. The city also has the Trier University of Applied Sciences. Apart from the local wines and beers (local Löwenbräu, or Gaffel Kölsch & Bitburger), one should definitely try Viez or Viez/Limo. It’s an apple wine, often served with a splash of lemonade.


guten morgen koblenz by lina zelonka
Via Flickr:
koblenz (rhineland-palatinate, germany)


Telescope by Tony
Via Flickr:
On top of the ridge overlooking the Rhine and the Mosel. Behind is the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. The view from up here was stunning, with the two rivers and the town below.

Old town in Bernkastel-Kues in Rheinland-Pfalz, Southwestern Germany. It’s a well-known winegrowing region on the Mosel river, and a state-recognized health resort. It also is the birthplace of one of the most famous German polymaths, the mediaeval churchman and philosopher Nikolaus von Kues (Cusanus). Bernkastel is roughly 50 km from Trier.

               Amazing Photography from  Luxembourg City`s Gardens

Luxembourg is mostly rural, with dense Ardennes forest and nature parks in the north, and the Moselle river valley in the southeast. The rocky gorges of the eastern Mullerthal region earned it the nickname “Little Switzerland.” Its capital, Luxembourg City, is famed for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs.

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