Rüdesheim could be considered the unofficial capital of the Rheingau. It is certainly one of the larger towns in the Rheingau(population about 9,500) and is the base from which people explore the area.
There are certainly good reasons why Rüdesheim is so popular.
It is home to several interesting museums, some historically interesting buildings and a number of castles and other sight seeing destinations
(e.g. Niederwalddenkmal) are close by. It is also the starting point for various walks.
Summer is undoubtedly the best time of the year to visit Rüdesheim although it can sometimes be a little crowded.The delight of strolling along the bank of the Rhine on a warm summers day with the sun glinting off the water is fair compensation for putting up with a little crowding - not to forget of course the Rüdesheim wine festival (third week in August).
Although,as I say, summer is THE time to visit, each season has its own charm and the Christmas fair, although much smaller than those in the big cities,is well worth the visit.
The Drosselgasse must be one of the most visited streets in Germany and certainly the most visited in the Rhine River Valley.
From Rüdesheim several Rhine cruises set out both up and down river.
A Rhine cruise is an absolute must if you are visiting the Rheingau.
Being on the Rhine, yachting and angling are on offer (for the latter a permit is required).There is also a large heated outdoor swimming pool .
With regard to cuisine there is everything from fast food (MacDonlads) to noble restaurants offering superb meals (at of course superb prices!).
Rüdesheim was originally inhabited by the Celts.In the first century the Romans made an appearance.After the Romans left the North various Germanic tribes moved in - the Alemans and the Franks.
There followed a fairly chequered history although during the 15th and 16th centuries it was relatively untouched by the endless wars/struggles that plagued the region and a modest level of prosperity was attained.
The wine trade and the growing Rhine traffic further increased the cities prosperity.
In 1877, 6 years after the German unification, the first German Emperor ( Kaiser Willhelm) laid the foundation stone of the Niederwalddenkmal.This drew many more tourists to Rüdesheim
The city was quite badly damaged by an air raid during the second world war (November 1944).
Since the war Rüdesheim has prospered well, largely thanks to tourism.It has also grown considerably, in part due to the incorporation of other smaller communities(Assmanshausen and Aulhause).
Since 2002 Rüdesheim enjoys UNESCO’s World Heritage Statusx.