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Villages and towns of the Nahe valley

View from Rotenfels vantage point down to the Nahe river (Nahe Valley)

The headwaters of the Nahe river lie in a forest valley, 460 m above sea level, above the village of Selbach in the Saarland district of St. Wendel. The constantly changing landscape with its extensive forests, narrow ravines, and wide floodplains which open up abruptly, accompanies the river on its 112 km route to the Rhine. On the upper Nahe, in the Idar-Oberstein area, one finds semi-precious stones such as agates, amethysts, mountain crystals and chalcedony, which were commercially mined until the end of the 19th Century. In Kirn, the next largest small town, there is a splendid view from the ruins of Kyrburg. A little downstream from Bad Sobernheim, at the foot of Disibodenberg, the largest tributary, the water-rich Glan, flows into the Nahe. In the Glan valley lies Meisenheim, with an old town from the Middle Ages which is worth seeing. From Disibodenberg, the Nahe flows onwards to Bad Münster am Stein and Bad Kreuznach, where saltwater springs are the basis for the health and spa industry. In the past, these saltwater springs also served as sources for salt (salt works and graduation houses). A few kilometres northwest of Bad Kreuznach, in the Ellerbach valley, lies Sponheim with the former monastery Church of St. Martin, the most significant Romanesque building in the Nahe-Hunsrück region. Near Bingen the Nahe finally reaches the Rhine.

    Jogging

The above picture is taken on the Rotenfels massif near Bad Münster am Stein. This massif is the highest cliff wall on this side of the alps and a popular destination for climbers. It is exactly this combination of geological formations that makes up the varied landscape of the Nahe valley, with rocky narrows and wide valley meadowlands where debris could more easily be washed away.

A picture book worth seeing: Kulturlandschaft Nahetal und Hunsrück; ISBN: 3-00-017892-9 (178 Seiten, 190 Photos; € 19.95). Verlag Ars Nova, Am Maasberg 4a, D-55566 Bad Sobernheim, 2003

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