Saturday, September 25, 2010

BOPPARD ON THE GERMAN RHINE


Unknown Boppard is no secret place

After visiting a whole day in Luxembourg, we traveled to a small village on the Rhine River for the night. This was indeed a beautiful place to stay because we are overlooking the beautiful Rhine Valley. It was from near here that we would award a cruise down the Rhine the next morning.

We boarded the boat at Koblenz for what would be a 25 mile trip to the town of Boppard where we would visit this old and historical town that is also situated on the Rhine.

Boppard is a small town of about 17,000 situated close to the midpoint of the Rhine River in Germany at a stretch of the river known for its many castles and geographic interest. Boppard belongs to a part of the Rhineland which is famous for its very old history, which has been influenced by different royal families, princes, electors and bishops.

We had been on the boat for some time before we entered the Valley of the Lorelei and the heights of the nearby Hunsr├╝ck Hills as we made two sharp bends in the river before seeing the town of Boppard. Just north of Boppard at the largest bend is the twin-towered St. Severus Church and remnants of the medieval city wall which contribute to Boppard’s medieval charm.

The town has a lot to offer in many respects both to residents and guests. In the course of history, all kinds of people have felt at home here, whether Celts, Romans or Franconians. All of them have left their mark on the 2000 year-old history of the town and at every turn there is witness in stone of their presence.

Not many towns on the middle Rhine have so much to offer and to discover, from over 2000 years of cultural history, as Boppard has. The town is a living experience of the artistry and creativity of the Romans and early Christians, right through to the Middle Ages with its knights in shining armor. The Rhine valley has, in its time, seen many travelers come and go but always leaving their markings.

Boppard offers its guests so much with its many Castles, stately homes, churches, monasteries, gardens and parks but also the genius of past composers and inventors. The town’s treasures can be found in many different ways by passing romantic squares and small lanes in the old town and by strolling along the Rhine Allee filled with trees and flowers.

The town area comprises 75 square kilometers with more than 50% in forest. The town and its inhabitants do not only exist from tourism, although more than a million visitors and about 300.000 overnight stays make it a major tourism location. It is an important industrial place as well.

The area offers a very good public transportation. There is the railway along the
Rhine that connects Boppard practically hourly to most cities north and south of the Rhine Valley, as well as motorway and federal roads that bring one to this lovely town.

Boppard is a popular tourist holiday spot due to its geographic position on the Rhine and its dramatic, gothic architecture. This is suggested by its slogan, "Boppard, the pearl on the Rhine.” Its forests, valleys and mountains are beautiful and are located where grapes grow along the steep hillsides catching the maximum rays of the sun for growing grapes at such high latitude.

The majority of our afternoon was spent buying souvenirs and stopping for some of the most delicious German food I’ve eaten in some time. Due to the beautiful architecture, I was able to take many pictures that are still in my inventory.

While the River cruise was only a morning, and not as long one as it is presently advertised that last for days, it was a good taste of what a river cruise would be like. Frankly, I was unaware of how busy this famous river was, with the constant passing of cargo boats going in both directions. The Rhine is an extremely busy river route.

“The gates of the rivers are opened, and the palace is dissolved.”-- Nahum 2:6

FROM MY WEEKLY COLUMN.

Dr. Alton Loveless is the former CEO/President of Randall House Publications, Nashville, Tn.; He is a freelance writer and has written for assorted publications printed both nationally and internationally. To see photos and read other stories click on http://altonloveless.blogspot.com/

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