As the Rhine flows down the beautiful Rhine Valley it passes:
but also and perhaps most interestingly, many towns. It is about these that this page deals.
These all have a tale to tell and happily most are relatively unscathed by the ravages of the last war.
Here you will find both the twenty-first century represented,with state of the art buildings and technology as well as the very old - Bacharach has the second oldest wine tavern in Germany - built would you believe it in 1638 - so it was standing before Columbus set sail for the Americas.
Many of these have seen the ebb and flow not only of the Rhine flooding its banks and returning to its established course but also of armies advancing and retreating as in ancient times petty dukedoms battled with one another and in modern times the clash of nations led armies to cross and re-cross the Rhine. Regarding armies and Rhine crossings check out Blücher Museum.
Some are very small (e.g.Kestert with a poulation of around 600) and others somewhat larger (e.g. Rüdesheim with a population of around 10,000).
Some have risen to prominence in the course of their history, others have remained quiet yet pleasant backwaters over the entire course of their history - but each has a story to tell - its own story perhaps grand perhaps humble - of the people who lived there, of their relationship with the Rhine of their hopes and fears.
You will find all over the Rhine Valley the bustling life of the 21st century together with places where the clock seems to have stood still - where the hopes and plans of past generations are, as it were, petrified in the old protective walls and in the old taverns where men drank their cares away, exchanged thoughts with friends and planned the course of their lives.
Sometimes in these old buildings , if you are lucky enough to find yourself alone with no one around the past seems almost tangible and if you stand still and close your eyes you'll find yourself transported back to the middle ages.
Believe me, visiting the delightful towns of the Rhine Valley is alone reason enough for a visit.
Some of these towns already have pages describing them in greater detail and I shall be adding to the list in the months ahead.