Upper Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Romantik Hotel Schloss Rheinfels, set within Castle Rheinfels, is a part of the Middle Rhine Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The one-time most powerful fortress on the Rhine offers a spectacular view of the Lorelei Valley. Poets and philosophers from the age of German Romanticism were been inspired by the splendour of its nature and culture.

Quite rightly, the region was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Not only the cultural, but also the natural landscape was honoured. The Middle Rhine Valley is one of the few regions in the world that is entitled to call itself a World Heritage Natural Site and World Heritage Cultural Site.

More detailed information is available here:

Read an excerpt from UNESCO’s official declaration:

“The cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which has boundaries in the north and south created by the towns of Koblenz, Bingen and Rudesheim, has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since June 2002. On the occasion of the decision UNESCO praised the Upper Middle Rhine Valley as a cultural landscape of great diversity and beauty. The landscape’s extraordinary richness of cultural references and associations, both historical as well as artistic, was emphasised. The World Heritage Site owes its outstanding appearance to both the natural shape of the river landscape, as well as the way humans have added to the area. In addition, the importance of the Rhine during the last two millennia as one of the most important routes for cultural exchange between the Mediterranean and northern Europe was acknowledged. Since the Upper Middle Rhine Valley is the most prominent portion of the current river path, it was taken on to the World Heritage List on behalf of the whole of the Rhine.

The area recognised as a World Heritage Site is the southern, approximately 65 km long section of the Middle Rhine region, defined as the rift valley of the Rhine through the Rhenish Massif. At the heart of our continent, sometimes a boundary, sometimes a bridge between cultures, it provides an exemplary reflection of the history of the West. High-level architectural monuments have been preserved here with an abundance and density that is found in no other European cultural landscape. With its steep valley slopes, some of which are still occupied as vineyards, lined up on extremely narrow strips or the crowded settlements where valleys meet, and the hill forts positioned like beads along a string on the ledges of the valley, this is considered to be the epitome of the romantic Rhine landscape. Travellers from almost all continents and countries have chosen this area as their destination. Writers, painters and musicians have made it the subject of their work. Here, mainly due to the transformation of the rocky cliffs into an open-terrace vineyard landscape, flora and fauna have found a habitat this is otherwise typical on the Mediterranean and in south eastern Europe.”