The Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage site begins at Rudesheim and ends 65 kilometers downstream where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet at Koblenz. We counted castles and listened to Dragan, our cruise director, narrate the legend of the Lorelei and other famous Rhineland stories all morning as we cruised down the Upper Middle Rhine on Day Four of our Rhine River Cruise on the Avalon Felicity. By the time we reached the last of the castles it was time for lunch. Then after we filled our bellies with tidbits from another sumptuous buffet it was time for our tour of Koblenz.
The city of Koblenz (Coblenz in English and Coblence in French) derives its name from the Roman word for confluence and we docked along the Moselle River not too far from the German Corner (Deutsches Eck) where the Moselle meets the Rhine. Our afternoon tour began with a short walk to the German Corner and our local guide described at length the story of Deutsches Eck and its great statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I on horseback.
Building along the Moselle close to our ship.
On our walk from our ship to the German Corner.
Three slabs from the Berlin Wall near the German Corner.
Replica of the famous equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I at the German Corner (Deutsches Eck).
View from Deutsches Eck of Ehrenbreitstein fortress across the Rhine River. The cable car system across the river was installed just two years ago.
This Viking ship docked along the Rhine side of Deutsches Eck. Our ship was along the Moselle. The archbishops of Trier over the centuries built the Ehrenbreitstein to be the most powerful fortress on the Rhine. Then Napoleon blew it up but The Prussians rebuilt it.
Our walk took us down the Rhine side of the German Corner past the gardens of St Kastor Basilika and then in a loop through the city’s Old Town (Aldstadt).
Park along the Rhine Promenade.
Modern art along the Promenade. The building on the right belonged to the Teutonic Knights and dates from the 12th century.
Our tour group followed a path past beautiful gardens behind St Kastor Basilika.
Someone left his thumb outside a museum.
The East side of St Kastor.
Garden near St Kastor.
Another view of the garden.
ooh — what is that?
The story of St Kastor
The front of St Kastor Basilika.
Turrets adorn many buildings in Aldstadt Koblenz.
The bell towers of Liebfrauenkirsche (Church of Our Lady).
Mittel Rhein Museum. Every half hour the augenroller under the clock rolls his eyes and sticks out his tongue.
A happy bishop in Florinsmarkt.
Florinskirche (St Florin’s Church).
Old Town Koblenz.
Plaque in Florinsmarkt.
Building in Old Town (Aldstadt) Koblenz
Map depicting central Europe divided among Charlemagne’s three grandsons in the Ninth century.
Mural honoring the Three Grandsons — Karl, Lothar and Ludwig.
Statue of The Peppermint Lady. She sold her candy to pay for the feeding of stray cats and dogs.
Hotel-restaurant adorned with murals.
Bronze statues of The Marketwoman and The Constable in Munzplatz.
Even the manholes are interesting. We will discover the story of this little boy later on.
Fountain in Munzplatz.
Munzplatz is a popular square.
Another Augenroller. According to legend an infamous robber baron named Johan Lutter rolled his eyes and stuck out his tongue at the gawkers and revelers as he marched to his execution.
Our tour guide led us down pedestrian Markstrasse.
One of the famous Four Towers (Vier Turme) at the intersection of Marktstrasse and Altengraben
Still another tower. The decorations on each turret showed which guilds resided in that particular building.
The fourth of the Four Towers. The towers were built in the 17th century and severely damaged in WW II.
Another view of the spires of Liebfrauenkirche.
Fountain of a little girl chasing the ducks (enten) on Entenpfuhl.
The rear of Liebefrauenkirche.
Still another mural.
The facade of Jesuitkirche.
Statue of Johannes Peter Muller in Jesuitplatz. Muller was a famous physiologist who authored the most popular physiology textbook in the world during the 19th century.
West portal of the Jesuit Church. The rest of the church was completely destroyed in 1944 by Allied bombing. The building on the right is the present city hall.
Closeup of the Jesuit Church portal.
The famous Schangel fountain. Stand about three feet in front of the little boy for about three minutes and see what happens! Every manhole in the city had a picture of this fountain.
On our walk we paused to listen to this woman playing some beautiful classical music.
The History Column (historiensaule am Gorresplatz-) starts at the bottom with the founding of Koblenz by the Romans and ends on top with the reconstruction following WW II.
Stefan, our tour guide.
After an hour or so we found ourselves back in front of St Kastor’s and our guide bade us farewell. Some members of our group found a nearby pub for relaxation while others returned to our ship. Still others decided to ride the cable car across the Rhine to the Ehrenbreitstein fortress on the other side. My wife and I decided to visit St Kastor’s and then return to the ship in time for an afternoon concert.
St Kastor baptismal font. Koblenz was owned by the Archbishop of Trier for several centuries. So you will have to go to Trier (about 80 miles west on the Moselle) to see a cathedral. St Kastor is the nearest thing to a cathedral. It was designated a basilica by Pope John Paul in 1991.
St Kastor is the oldest church in Koblenz. It was completed in 836 by Hetto, the archbishop of Trier.
Could this be St Castor?
Another statue in St Kastor.
Friedrich von Sachsenhausen and his wife Sophie Schenk von Liebenstein (15th century).
The altar of St Kastor
Madonna and stained glass in St Kastor.
The vaulted ceiling of St Kastor.
A popular park near the ancient walls of the Teutonic Knights who came to Koblenz in 1216. Their headquarters used to be at Deutsches Eck.
Shortly after an entertaining La Strada concert (a husband-wife team of violin and cello plus a guitar) in the ship’s lounge, Dragan in a short talk before dinner prepared us for Cologne the next day. After dinner we were back in the lounge and it was the crew’s turn to entertain us with a humorous talent show and some of us hung around after the show for more piano music and dancing. Day Four ended with the Felicity reaching Cologne shortly before midnight, time for us to retire to our stateroom after a long but very interesting day.