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Bingen and the Mice tower, Hildegard von Bingen

Lying where the Nahe flows into the Rhine, and exactly where the Rhine begins to break through the slate mountain range, Bingen has had a strategic importance. This started in Roman times after Caesar's Gallic wars (58-51 B.C.). The garrison built here secured military passageways. As the main axis road of the Hunsrück, the "Via Ausonia" connected the regions of Mainz (Moguntiacum) and Bingen (Binginium), with late antique imperial city of Trier (Augusta Treverorum). The "Ausonius Way", is named for the Roman poet Decimus Magnus Ausonius who travelled by coach over the Hunsrück from Mainz to Trier in the year 370 A.D., to assume duties as educator at the Court. He wrote the poem "Mosella" describing his impressions of his travels.

As the Rhine gained importance as a trade route and ship travel steadily increased, Bingen was able to make its strategic site pay off by the raising of taxes. The Mice tower was built for just this purpose as a toll tower on one of the small islands in the Rhine at Bingen. (Originally built in the 13th and 14th centuries, later revamped as a signal tower for travel through the Binger Loch.)

Photo: The Mice Tower, dating from the 13th century, stands on a small, long-stretched island in the Rhine near Bingen. In the Middle Ages, the tower was used as a "toll" station for the collection of fees charged for the transport of goods on the Rhine.

The world-famous «Mice Tower» in the Rhine river near Bingen (Rhine Valley)
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