Dating back to the Middle Ages, the town boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage, as well as prime views over the dazzling Rhine river valley.
The town was originally inhabited by the Celts, followed by the Romans in the first century. When the Romans left, various Germanic tribes moved in – most notably the Alemans and the Franks – and, throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, the town remained relatively untouched by the wars and battles that plagued the region.
Home to world-famous vineyards, bustling taverns, rolling hills, and historical monuments, there is plenty to see, do, and experience in Rudesheim. Here are five must-see sights in the town:
Arguably the most famous attraction in Rudesheim, Drosselgasse is a 144-metre cobbled street that winds its way through the winemaking town.
Populated by timber-framed houses garlanded with vines, as well as taverns, souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars, Drosselgasse is often described as the “merriest street in the world”.
Each and every year, around three million people make their way here to experience the magical atmosphere and live music. Drosselgasse also offers traditional culinary delights as well as the region’s world-renowned local wines.
And Drosselgasse is steeped in tradition. First appearing in records in the 15th century, the street was originally the area where the Rhine boatmen would find board and lodgings, and in 18th and 19th centuries, inns and wine taverns began moving into the area.
Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum
One of Rudesheim’s main attractions is Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum – the first museum collection of automated musical instruments in Germany.
Housed in Brömserhof, a noble court built in 1542, the museum has one of the largest and most beautiful collections of mechanical music boxes in the world, featuring over 350 exhibits dating back to the 18th century.
The 45 minute guided tour of the museum is highly recommended and includes a demonstration of some of the instruments.
Rheingau Wine Museum Brömserburg Castle
Built in 1000 AD as a water castle for the archbishops of Mainz, Brömerburg Castle is not only one of the oldest castles in the Middle Rhine region, but it is also home to an excellent wine museum.
Located directly on the banks of the Rhine, the castle was once the home of numerous knight dynasties and was inhabited by the Brömser family from 1548 until 1668. Today, the castle is home to a wine and local history museum - boasting over 1000 wine-based exhibits and an impressive collection of glasses, as well as wine tasting on the terrace.
Providing an insight into regional wine production in the area, the museum is the perfect spot for wine enthusiasts and experts alike to learn about the historical and cultural development of the region.
A cable car ride up to the Germania monument is the perfect way to take in awe-inspiring views over Rudesheim’s old town and the glistening waters of the Rhine.
The ride lasts 15 minutes and, as well as the standard, daily trips, couples can also enjoy a romantic moonlit ride to the Germania monument by night.
Niederwald Monument (Niederwalddenkmal)
Located in the Niederwald Landscape Park overlooking the scenic Rhine valley, the Niederwalddenkmal is a monument that was built in the 1870s/80s in order to commemorate the Germany’s victory over France in the 1870/71 war as well as the unification of Germany, which had previously been a collection of several small states and principalities.
At the top of the iconic, imposing monument stands the stern maid Germaina, who is said to watch over the Rhine to warn off any potential invaders. Since the Roman times, Germania has served as a personification of Germany.
The monument can be reached on foot, via a gentle, meandering walk through the vineyards. Alternatively, you can take the Seilbahn Rudesheim cable car up to the monument, taking in picturesque views on the way.
Rudesheim is a truly fascinating city – here are our favourite facts:
- Rudesheim is home to 2,408 people
- The town’s wine-growing heritage dates as far back as the Roman era
- The Abbey of St Hildegard in Rudesheim is home to a community of nuns
- Located in the heart of the old town, Rudesheim’s Breuer’s Rudesheimer Schloss is a four-star hotel with UNESCO World Heritage Site status
- Rudesheim was first mentioned in 864