Today we planned to take a Rhine cruise with views of "the Lorelei Rock, hilltop castles, half-timbered wine villages, and terraced vineyards." When we booked this trip, one of the things I definitely wanted to see where some 'castles in Germany.' Check! In the afternoon, we ride along the Autobahn to Austria.
The following is Wikipedia's description of the Lorelei Rock:
The Lorelei (also written as Loreley) is a rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine near St. Goarshausen, Germany, which soars some 120 meters above the water line. It marks the narrowest part of the river between Switzerland and the North Sea. A very strong current and rocks below the waterline have caused many boat accidents there.
Lorelei is also the name of one of the beautiful Rhine Maidens who lured navigators of this river to their dooms with their alluring singing, much as the ancient Greek Sirens did.
In 1395 the Loreley showed up as vineyard of the Counts of Katzenelnbogen.
The name comes from the old German words "lureln" (Rhine dialect for "murmuring") and the Celtic term "ley" (rock). The translation of the name would therefore be: "murmur rock" or "murmuring rock". The heavy currents, and a small waterfall in the area (still visible in the early 19th century) created a murmuring sound, and this combined with the special echo the rock produces which acted as a sort of amplifier, then gave name to the rock itself. The murmuring is hard to hear today due to the urbanization of the area. Other theories attribute the name to the many accidents, by combining the word "luren" (lurk) with the same "ley" ending, with the translation "lurking rock".
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