The cruise from Boppard to Sankt Goar through the ‘Romantic Rhine’ is an experience to cherish forever, the stretch of river where you can see castles, villages and vineyards all along. Boppard is a town and municipality in Rhineland-Palatinate, lying in the Rhine Gorge (Upper Middle Rhine). During this 2 hours boat journey you can experience the splendour of the medieval times and can catch the breathtaking landscapes and the fine architecture of the Middle Ages. In all, there are around six castles in this short stretch.
Cologne Cathedral or High Cathedral of Saint Peter is the Roman Catholic cathedral located in Cologne, Germany. Cologne is located on both sides of the Rhine River, less than eighty kilometers from Belgium. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and of the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. This renowned Gothic architecture monument was declared a World Heritage site in 1996. It is Germany’s most visited landmarks, attracting an average of 20,000 visitors a day. Construction of Cologne cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed to the original plan, in 1880. Its highest spires give it the largest façade of any church in the world.
In 1164, the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel acquired the relics of the Three Kings (the three wise men in the Gospel of Matthew who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh) which the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa had taken from the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio, Milan, Italy. The relics have great significance and drew pilgrims from all over Christendom. It was important to the church officials that they be properly housed and thus began a building program in the new style of Gothic architecture. The design of Cologne Cathedral was based quite closely on that of Amiens Cathedral in France, in terms of ground plan, style and width to height proportion of central nave. The plan is in the shape of a Latin Cross, as is usual with Gothic cathedrals.
During the World War II, the cathedral suffered fourteen hits by aerial bombs which badly damaged it. The twin spires were an easily recognizable navigational land mark for Allied aircraft bombing. Repairs were completed in 1956. An emergency repair on the northwest tower’s base carried out in 1944 using poor quality brick taken from a nearby ruined building remained visible, until 2005 as a reminder of the war, when it was decided to restore the section to its original appearance.
Black Forest is the largest forested mountain range in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg in south western Germany. It is bounded by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The region is almost rectangular in shape with length of 160 km and breadth of 60 km. Originally Black Forest was a mixed forest of deciduous trees and firs. At the higher elevation spruce also grew. In the middle of the 19th century, the Black Forest was almost completely deforested by intensive forestry and was subsequently replanted, mostly with spruce.
It is believed that the cuckoo clocks are developed and evolved in the Black Forest area. A cuckoo clock is typically a pendulum-regulated clock that strikes the hours with a sound like common cuckoo’s call and has an automaton cuckoo bird that moves with each note. The mechanism to produce the cuckoo call has been in use since the middle of the 18th century and has remained almost without variation, until the present. It is unknown who invented it and where the first one was made. The cuckoo clocks were exported to the rest of the world from the mid 1850s onwards.
The design of a cuckoo clock is now conventional. Most are made in the “traditional style” (also known as “carved”) or “chalet” to hang on a wall. In the “traditional style” the wooden case is decorated with carved leaves and animals. They have an automaton of the bird that appears through small trap door while the clock is striking. There are two kinds of movements one day (around 30 hours) and eight day clockworks. Some have musical device and play a tune on a Swiss music box after striking the hours and half hours. The cuckoo clocks are mostly weight driven, though very few are spring driven. The weights are made of cast iron in a pine cone shape and cuckoo sound is created by two tiny pipes in the clock, with bellows attached to their tops. The clock’s movement activates the bellows to send a puff of air into each pipe alternately when the timekeeper strikes.
Never miss a visit to Drubba clock factory the alpine nest of the cuckoo clock when you are in the Black Forest area. Here you can witness a demonstration to explain the making of authentic cuckoo clocks in their original form, each piece carefully crafted for precision. A visit there is always a memorable experience and also it is the perfect place to buy your souvenir piece which comes in different sizes and designs to suit your pockets. They have service centers all around the world. In India they have service centers in Mumabi and Bangalore. From the Drubba clock factory you can take a short walk to the Black Forest among the chirping birds and gushing streams.
Heidelberg is situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. It was the former residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate. Heidelberg is Germany’s oldest and most famous university (Heidelberg University) town.
Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination due to its romantic and picturesque city scape and baroque style old town the “Altstadt”. Heidelberg is a jewel among the travel destinations of Germany due to its awe-inspiring surroundings.