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Bacharach on the Rhine

The center of the village of Bacharach with its remarkable half-timbered houses, lies behind medieval ring walls. It is towered over by the high gothic Werner chapel which was begun in the year 1287, and has a trefoil (clover leaf) floor plan. Apparently the building was considered atonement for the murder of a boy from Oberwesel, whose body washed up in that same year. After halting progress and several interruptions, the work on the chapel started again on a large scale, but never finished. The Werner chapel is counted to the finest structures of Rhenish gothic style with Strassburger tracery. It can probably be traced back to master builders from Cologne. Especially worth seeing as well, is the "Old House" built in 1568 at the market square, with its half-timbering and corner windows, oriels and gables.

Stahleck castle, one of the most famous medieval Rhine castles, lies above Bacharach. It is the former seat of a Rhenish count palatine. It has been rebuilt upon its original foundation walls among vineyards. There is a legend here that in the year 1194, love conquered over the endless rivalry between the Guelfs and the Staufers when the niece of Emperor Barbarossa married the son of Henry the Lion, against the wishes of his father.

Stahleck Castle, one of the most famous medieval Rhine castles (Rhine Valley)
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