Your journey through Germany and France includes a visit to Rüdesheim to see Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. While ancient Koblenz and Mannheim’s beautifully diverse architecture will be sure to amaze, as will your following exploration of the picturesque spa town of Baden-Baden is in the North of the Black Forest. Take a coach to the Alsace capital Strasbourg and cross the border into France on a visit to Colmar, before heading home from Basel.
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Frankfurt, a central German city on the river Main, is a major financial hub that’s home to the European Central Bank. It’s the birthplace of famed writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose former home is now the Goethe House Museum. Like much of the city, it was damaged during World War II and later rebuilt. The reconstructed Altstadt (Old Town) is the site of Römerberg, a square that hosts an annual Christmas market
Mainz is a German city on the Rhine River. It’s known for its old town, with half-timbered houses and medieval market squares. In the center, the Marktbrunnen is a Renaissance fountain with red columns. Nearby, a distinctive octagonal tower tops the Romanesque Mainz Cathedral, built of deep red sandstone. The Gutenberg Museum honors the inventor of the printing press with exhibits, including 2 of his original bibles.
Rüdesheim am Rhein is a town in the Rhine Valley, Germany. It’s known for winemaking, especially of Riesling wines. In the center, Drosselgasse is a lane lined with shops, taverns and restaurants. Nearby, Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet is a museum of automated musical instruments. Medieval Brömserburg Castle is home to the Rheingau Wine Museum, exhibiting wine paraphernalia from ancient times to the present.
Koblenz, spelled Coblenz before 1926, is a German city on the banks of the Rhine and of the Moselle, a multi-nation tributary. Koblenz was established as a Roman military post by Drusus around 8 B.C. Its name originates from the Latin cōnfluentēs, meaning ” confluence”
Mannheim is a city in southwest Germany, on the Rhine and Neckar rivers. The baroque 18th-century Mannheim Palace houses historical exhibits, plus the University of Mannheim. In the grid-like center, called the Quadrate, Marktplatz Square features a baroque fountain with statues. Planken shopping street leads southeast to the Romanesque Water Tower, in the art nouveau gardens of Friedrichsplatz.
Heidelberg is a town on the Neckar River in southwestern Germany. It’s known for venerable Heidelberg University, founded in the 14th century. Gothic Heiliggeistkirche church towers over the cafe-lined Marktplatz, a town square in the Altstadt (Old Town). The red-sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle, a noted example of Renaissance architecture, stand on Königstuhl hill.
Rastatt is a town with a baroque core, District of Rastatt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located in the Upper Rhine Plain on the Murg river, 6 km above its junction with the Rhine and has a population of around 50,000.
Baden-Baden is a spa town in southwestern Germany’s Black Forest, near the border with France. Its thermal baths led to fame as a fashionable 19th-century resort. Alongside the Oos River, park-lined Lichtentaler Allee is the town’s central promenade. The Kurhaus complex (1824) houses the elegant, Versailles-inspired Spielbank (casino). Its Trinkhalle has a loggia decorated with frescoes and a mineral-water fountain.
Kehl is a town in southwestern Germany in the Ortenaukreis, Baden-Württemberg. It is located on the river Rhine, directly opposite the French city of Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital city of the Grand Est region, formerly Alsace, in northeastern France. It’s also the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences. Its Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame features daily shows from its astronomical clock and sweeping views of the Rhine River from partway up its 142m spire.
Breisach is a town with approximately 16,500 inhabitants, situated along the Rhine in the Rhine Valley, in the district Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about halfway between Freiburg and Colmar — 20 kilometres away from each — and about 60 kilometres north of Basel near the Kaiserstuhl.
Colmar is a town in the Grand Est region of northeastern France, near the border with Germany. Its old town has cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. The Gothic 13th-century, Eglise Saint-Martin church stands on central Place de la Cathédrale. The city is on the Alsace Wine Route, and local vineyards specialize in Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines.
Basel is a city on the Rhine River in northwest Switzerland, close to the country’s borders with France and Germany. Its medieval old town centers around Marktplatz, dominated by the 16th-century, red-sandstone Town Hall. Its 12th-century Gothic cathedral has city views, and contains the tomb of the 16th-century Dutch scholar, Erasmus. The city’s university houses some of Erasmus’ works.