Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

August 2013: Wiesbaden, Rheingau & Bingen


ABOVE: The Neroberg in Wiesbaden can be climbed using an usual funicular railway in which water is pumped into large tanks on the downward car. The hill is also home to St Elizabeth's Russian Orthodox Church and to a Greek-style monopteros.

Frankfurt am Main may be the financial centre of continental Europe, but it is not the capital of Hesse, the German federal state in which it lies. That distinction belongs to a city some 40km to the west and less than half the size: Wiesbaden. This old spa resort sits somewhat majestically at the confluence of the Main and the mighty Rhine, at the point where the merged waters take a temporary westward turn. Another important city lies on the opposite bank, Mainz being the state capital of Rheinland-Pfalz. I hadn't been sure what to expect from Wiesbaden, but in the event it quickly transpired that I had found a pleasant and attractive base for exploring the local area.

Rüdesheim am Rhein

The little town of Rüdesheim is the main tourist centre in the attractive wine region of Rheingau and apparently is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the whole of Germany, in terms of the number of foreign visitors. The river's westerly flow in this vicinity means that the hills behind Rüdesheim have south-facing slopes, making for first-rate wine-growing conditions.


Assmannshausen is another Rheingau village, lying just beyond the point where the river resumes its northerly course. It is well-known in the Rhineland for specialising in red wine (from Pinot Noir grapes). The village is connected to Rüdesheim by rail and by riverboat, and to the hills behind Rüdesheim by chairlift, all of which means that it can easily be included in a day-trip itinerary.


Bingen is situated across the river from Rüdesheim, in Rheinland-Pfalz. The town's most famous resident was probably Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century abbess, writer and composer.

Base: Radisson Blu 'Schwarzer Bock', Wiesbaden