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The Source of the Nahe near Selbach

The Nahe River has its source in a valley meadow surrounded by woods at the foot of one of the southern branches of the Hochwald mountain range (Schwarzwälder Hochwald), not far from the village of Selbach (460 m). The source of the Nahe lies in a shady grove (refreshingly cool in summer). In 1968 the water has been redirected and wells out since then from a pipe fixed in a rustic-style granite masonry. When you see the fine trickle escaping from the pipe, you are surprised that it doesn't simply drain away into the earth again, but instead, under the name "Nahe", successfully begins its 112 km long journey. If you follow the "young" Nahe from its source to Selbach (where the first bridge is) and from there on to the hamlet of Elsenbergermühle, you will be surprised to discover how quickly it widens in these first few kilometers, fed by several tributaries from the surrounding mountains and valleys. Actually, the Nahe is responsible for the drainage in the entire area. It is therefore not surprising then that this stream becomes a proper river, which was powerful enough to burrow a bed through the geologically very hard rock near the narrows of Idar-Oberstein, Kirn and Bad Münster am Stein over a millennium. It is also powerful enough to cross the wide lowlands of the Kreuznach basin and reaches the Rhine near Bingen.

Source of the Nahe river near Selbach («Hochwald» Forest)
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