The only logic behind the divisions of this tour is that there were too many pictures for one page, so I divided them into three sets for downloading ease.



Kolner Dom

Cathedrals in Germany are located in the centers of the cities and seldom have great vantage points for photographers. This was all I could fit with my basic 55mm lens.

Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom, as it is called in German, was first started in the 13th century. It wasn't competed until 1880! It was extensively damaged during WWII and rebuilt.

There has been a Christian church at this site, however, since the 4th century!

At present the structure is constantly being maintained and reconstructed.


Bad Godesberg

Next stop was Bad Godesberg, the diplomatic quarter of Bonn.

At that time Bonn was the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), and Bad Godesberg was the location of the embassies and related housing.

The ruins of the castle are located on a hill overlooking the Rhein River.

The Rhein from Bad Godesberg

It was a beautiful view over the city to the river.

We would be taking a river cruise shortly and I think we were all looking forward to it.

Humboldt Foundation, Bonn

One of the places we visited was the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. This organization, which is still active, provides scholarships for researchers worldwide to come to Germany and partner with others. They have a primary focus on young post-docs.

These children represented, as I recall, five different countries.

Concert Hall?

Another mystery. My memory is that this building is somehow associated with Ludwig von Beethoven, who was born in Bonn. I didn't make any specific note on the slide, however, and I can't find out anything about it.

It's not his birthplace, that much is sure. Perhaps a place where he gave concerts before leaving for Vienna?

Maria Laach

The abbey at Maria Laach was almost as impressive as the church at Hildesheim.

Construction started in the 11th century, but was interrupted. It was finally consecrated in the 12th century.

Maria Laach

I would love to revisit if only to take pictures with a wide-angle lens.

Maria Laach Cloister Fountain

The fountain in the cloister garden.

Rhein River

Finally, the long-anticipated Rhein River cruise. I think we boarded at Boppard and I know that our destination was Bingen/Rüdesheim. It was a beautiful voyage and lasted just long enough for Suellen and me to share a bottle of Mosel.

Rhein castle

One thing that I remember vividly was that every conceivable inch of space was devoted to grapevines. I think the grape tenders must have required rappelling gear to get to some of the areas.

Then there were the numerous castles. The flag means that the owner is in residence.

Rhein River town

The towns were usually just along the river's edge, since there wasn't a lot of space due to the narrow gorge.

When I started putting together this section I was amused to discover that I still use the German spelling for the river: Rhein. I wondered why spell-check was complaining about it! In over 40 years I've never noticed that the English spelling is Rhine.

Rhein River Lorelei

The infamous Lorelei. This is the narrowest reach of the river and has thus the fastest current. When submerged rocks are added to the equation there are numerous shipwrecks in the area.

The "legend" of the Lorelei was immortalized in a poem by Heinrich Heine.

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle

A poster of this island castle was one of the drivers of my interest in Germany. It was built in the 14th century to collect tolls from river traffic and was in operation until the 19th century.

Since our visit it has been "restored" and painted with a hideous "baroque" color scheme. If I had seen it like that back in the day, I may have studied Spanish.

Rhein Mausturm

The Mausturm or Mouse Tower is another former toll facility opposite Bingen. An early version was built by the Romans, but it was rebuilt in the 10th century. Destroyed by the French in the 17th century, it was restored in the 19th.

The link shares a great legend about greed getting its comeuppance.

Heidelberg Bridge

Our next stop was Heidelberg on the Neckar River. The old bridge was built in the 18th century to replace earlier wooden bridges. It was destroyed by the German Army at the end of WWII, but rebuilt shortly thereafter.

The twin towers are remnants of the medieval city gates.

Our bus driver really showed his mettle in Heidelberg!

Heidelberg Castle

The castle, or more accurately, castles overlooking Heidelberg are the premier symbol of German romanticism.

The various parts of the assemblage were constructed over a number of years and were subject to all kinds of destruction from men and nature (lightening caused several devastating fires).

Heidelberg Castle

By the end of the 18th century, the complex was in ruins. It has remained that way.


The ruins do have a grandeur about them that is more accessible than if the buildings were intact.


Seeing the castle complex overlooking the city gives a better idea of its size: enormous!

Heidelberg was the setting for the operetta The Student Prince.

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