Oberwesel is one of the Best Preserved Medieval Towns in the Middle Rhine Valley:
Oberwesel, a town in Rhineland-Palatinate, is a regular stop for the river cruises that ply the Middle Rhine River.
As the river boat approaches this historic town, the castle on the hill and fortification towers point towards Oberwesel’s role as a medieval fortress. In fact, Oberwesel’s medieval character is one of the best preserved amongst the towns along the Middle Rhine Valley. The town is surrounded by an impressive medieval city wall which is mostly intact and of the 21 original defensive towers along the city wall, 16 are still standing.
Visitors to Oberwesel can get a good sense of what this town looked like in the Middle Ages. Parts of the city wall have been restored and allows the visitor to walk along it and enjoy views of the Rhine. And if height is not a worry, you can even climb up one of the defensive towers for a spectacular view of the Rhine River.
A star attraction in Oberwesel is Schönburg Castle, one of the oldest hilltop castles in the Middle Rhine Valley. Schönburg Castle dates back to the early 12th century when it was owned by the Archbishop of Magdeburg. Once occupied by various armies during the Thirty years’ War and destroyed during the Palatinate War of Succession, this Rhine castle is now a hotel – Burghotel auf Schönburg.
The other important historical landmarks in Oberwesel are the churches and abbey ruin which point to the influence and wealth of the clergy in the past. St. Martin’s Church and Wernerkapelle are both richly decorated and the attractive Liebfrauenkirche is today one of the important high Gothic churches in Germany.
Every two years, Oberwesel celebrates its medieval heritage in a pageant that is the biggest display of its kind in the Middle Rhine. The next Mittelalterliches Spectaculum (Medieval Spectaculum) is in May 2012 (Pentecost weekend).
Oberwesel and its Wine Festival
Whilst Oberwesel treasures its medieval heritage, fastforward into the 21st century, the town is today one of the largest vineyard towns in the Middle Rhine Valley. Like Assmannhausen, Oberwesel is famous for its red wine. Each year, on the first Saturday in August, the Rhine River Red Wine Festival brings lots of wine lovers to Oberwesel and its Marktplatz is a sea of visitors.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like living in a castle, why not treat yourself to a stay at the Burghotel auf Schönburg. Within the walls of this medieval castle is an exquisite hotel with great views of Oberwesel and the Rhine River Valley. For something more modern, Hotel Augustin’s is a newly opened hotel, only 100 metres from the River Rhine and the Oberwesel boat jetty. Or, if you prefer a traditional hotel, the Goldener Pfropfenzieher is in Oberwesel’s Old Town. See here for the complete list of hotels in Oberwesel.
Map of Oberwesel: