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Loreley — focal point of the 'romantic' Rhine

Over millions of years the river Rhine has carved its riverbed deeply into the slate mountain range to pass those obstacles on the way to the North Sea. Due to the hard rocks of this mountain range the river does not flow straight, as passing or permeating through the rocks proved an almost hopeless task for the water in many places. Instead, the Rhine was forced to use every weakness of the stone to make its way. Shortly after Oberwesel the riverbed gets very narrow, as it is squeezed to half of its original width here. As a result, the water flows more quickly to allow the normal quantity through. Furthermore, the massive rocks force the river to flow in an S-curve here, and on the second bend of that S-curve is the Loreley rock, a rock that has fatally determined the fate of many sailors. This is partly due to the difficult shipping conditions here, but also because legend tells us that here a beautiful young woman combed her long blond hair with a golden comb, and her singing enchanted the sailors so much that their ships crashed on the rock.

Photo: The narrow passage of the Rhine at the Loreley Rocks with its difficult currents and dangerous whirlpools has been the fate of many a ship in former times.

View of Rhine and Loreley rock from the vantage point near Biebernheim (Rhine Valley)
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