Rüdesheim Christmas Market

The Christmas Market on the bank of the Rhine

The Christmas Market on the bank of the Rhine

This week the Monday Podcast visited the Christmas Market in Rüdesheim – also known as the “Christmas Market of Nations“.

Having visited Rüdesheim previously, I drove to a car park near the centre of the town, rather than using the signed car parks for the Christmas Market, which turned out to be futher away.

The market itself is located in the streets of the town centre and along the bank of the Rhine.  There are stalls with food and drink, but also handicraft stalls selling Christmas decorations and household goods.

The Obergasse in Rüdesheim

The Obergasse in Rüdesheim

Two particular highlights are the nativity scene in the market square and the Christkind who opens a door on the advent calendar each evening at 6pm.

The market has an international theme, so that many of the stalls sell traditional goods and dishes from their own countries.

Eating Churros - a Spanish speciality

Eating Churros – a Spanish speciality

Unfortunately it rained on and off throughout the day, but even so there were large numbers of people there – especially after it got dark.

To find out more, listen to the podcast:

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Rüdesheim and the Niederwalddenkmal

A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend walking along the Rhine valley from Rüdesheim to Oberwesel with a group of my fellow Scout Leaders. Over the next few blog posts, I am going to talk about this area and some of the sights there.

We had stayed the night at the youth hostel in Rüdesheim, located on a hill above the town itself. This position was ideal to enter the many public footpaths that weave their way along the vineyards.

The youth hostel in Rüdesheim

The youth hostel itself had been very basic, and had cost 16,90EUR for the night with breakfast. Unfortunately we had been given the wrong time for breakfast and even when we turned up at the right time we were, at first, sent away again because it was not ready.

We left the hostel at 9am and headed out on the paths above the vineyards, with a magnificent view looking down towards Rüdesheim and the Rhine.

Looking down towards Rüdesheim

Eventually we started to climb upwards and came to the cable car, that brings visitors up from the town.

The cable car hangs above the vineyards

The visitors are heading for a number of attractions – there is a restaurant located near the end of the cable car itself, and also a small temple that has been restored and rebuilt in recent years.

But what most of them come to see is a slight walk further along the valley – the Niederwalddenkmal – a 38m high monument built at the end of the 19th Century, on top of which stands a 12.5 high statue of Germania.

The monument was commissioned as a symbol of the new Germany, which had just beaten French troops back to Rhine. Indeed, at the time it was built there were apparently French troops still on the other side of the Rhine. Indeed, it is built as a position far away from any of the nearby towns, but is more than large enough to be seen from the other side of the river.

Rüdesheim and the Niederwalddenkmal
The Niederwalddenkmal

As it happens, such monuments are unusual in this part of Germany. So many have been either destroyed by war or deemed unappropriate. It is awesome to stand at the base of the steps and look up towards the statue – an experience that is hard to find elsewhere.

Leaving the monument behind us, we carried on along the vineyards towards Assmannshausen…

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