Siegfried’s Music Museum

 

 

Have you ever dreamed of visiting an enchanting land of castles and rolling countryside?  If so, Rudesheim, Germany is the place for you to visit.  It lies along the Rhine River, it’s decorated with an abundance of castles and it is one of the most romantic cities you will visit in Germany.  A Rhine River cruise will take you to this amazing land and where you can indulge in its wonders.

Rudesheim is one of the Rhineland’s best known wine villages and offers many sightseeing attractions to its visitors. This fascinating village is on the route of many Rhine river cruises.

History of Rudesheim

The original name of Rudesheim is Rudesheim am Rhein. It is situated in the Rheingau region at the foot of the Taunus Mountains and is a primary center of the Rhine wine industry. It was first mentioned in 864. The Brömserburg, an early castle of the archbishops of Mainz, was rebuilt as a residence around 1200 and later belonged to the knights of Rudesheim. Now, it is home to amazing historical collections and a wine museum. Half-timber houses, narrow streets, and old inns give the town its medieval look.

What to see in Rudesheim

One of the attractions in this riverside town is Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum. This is the first museum collection of automated musical instruments in Germany. You will be mesmerized as you look at this impressive collection.

Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum is housed in Brömserhof, a noble court built in 1542.  It covers an exhibition space of more than 400 square meters and has one of the largest and most beautiful collections of mechanical music boxes. There are around 350 exhibits of mechanical instruments dating back to the 18th to the 20th century – from delicate musical boxes to a huge piano-orchestrion. The museum also collects tools and machines for manufacturing barrel organs, cardboard music, piano rolls and musical box plates.

Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum displays music boxes of the past as well as traditional techniques in making the musical boxes and music rolls.  It’s interesting to learn how these instruments work and how their place in society has evolved.   The museum is located above the river front area of shops and tasting rooms.  Near the museum you will find more shops, tasting rooms and restaurants.

“I had no idea such musical instruments existed in the past – this was my highlight in one of my visits to Rudesheim.  Jan Baumgartner”

The village of Drosselgasse is another sightseeing attraction in Rudesheim. Here you can stroll along the cobble-stone streets and enjoy the village atmosphere. Drosselgasse has a number of taverns and tempting beer gardens. The Rheingau’s famous Rieslings, Sekt and locally distilled brandies are readily available if you are interested to taste them all.  Wine enthusiasts can learn how wine is produced in the Rheingau, can visit the wine museum at the Bromserburg castle.

The mighty slate rock Lorelei in the Romantic Rhine Valley is yet another pride of Rudesheim. This rock rises up almost vertically to 145 yards/132m above the water-level. Downstream the river is squeezed into its narrowest and deepest point 24 yards/22m. So the Middle Rhine at this point used to be very difficult to navigate and the correct passage, today, is clearly marked with buoys.

Even in the 19th century, reefs and rapids made this area extremely dangerous for ships to pass. According to legend, a siren called “Lorelei” bewitched the hearts of the sailors and when they looked up to the rock, their boat crashed and they sank.

Rudesheim is so captivating you shouldn’t pass by without visiting it. It’s location, architecture, and wines make the town a favorite stop along the Rhine for tourists. So get on-board a Rhine River cruise and be prepared to explore this wonderland!

We offer short Rhine River Cruises of 4- 6 nights as well as 7 night and longer cruises along the Rhine River of  Germany.  Cruise lines we work with are AmaWaterways, Arosa Cruises, Croisi Europe and Viva Cruises. For information, please contact us at 888-869-7907  or jan@europeanbarging.com

Visit Istanbul in 2020 on a Gem’s of the Southeast Danube Cruise

Europeanbarging is pleased to announce, that with the 2020 departures of AmaWaterways Gem’s of the Southeast Europe, clients have the chance to experience Istanbul with a 3 night pre or post cruise land program.

Gems of the Southeast river cruise itinerary covers the lower Danube cruising between Budapest Hungary and Giurgiu Romania and includes 5 countries.  In addition to Hungary and Romania, guests will visit Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria on the cruise and Turkey and Austria for pre or post cruise programs

Blue Mosque in Instanbul

Istanbul, once known as Constantinople is a city rich in cultures and history with much to offer.  It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited spots of the world, it’s exotic architecture including mosques, colorful basilicas, cathedrals and centuries old  ancient bazaars. Istanbul is located on the Bosphorus peninsula and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Istanbul lies at the crossroads between the East and the West, Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city and a city with vibrant mix of cultures

Some of the sites to experience in Istanbul during your land program include:

 Visit the great sites including the iconic Blue Mosque and beautiful Hagia Sophia (cathedral-turned-museum) it was the center of the  Roman and Byzantine city and is a great place to begin exploring Istanbul. At the Hippodrome, see the Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius  (the oldest monument of Constantinople) and the Serpent Column from the Delphi oracle remain, having been in this same location since the 4th century.  The four bronze horses that used to be on top of the emperor’s box  were looted during the crusades at this ancient chariot-racing arena.  They are now on the façade of Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

The Old City reminds one of the ancient times of the Roman Empire. The centuries-old city walls stand out. Extending for nearly 14 miles (22 kilometers) and stretching from the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn, these walls have stood for centuries.  They were demolished twice in their history: first, by the Latin Crusaders who intended to head toward the Holy Land in 1204 and again in 1453 by the Ottoman Turks in their attempts to conquer the city.

The Valens Aqueduct (located within the old walls), was once part of the Roman aqueduct. It was the single longest ancient aqueduct system ever to be built – nearly 270,000 square feet (250,000 meters). Completed by Roman Emperor Valens in the late 4th century AD, it was used by the Byzantines and later the Ottomans, and was operational until the end of the 19th century.

Topkapi Palace, dating back to the 15th century, is rich in the history of the Ottoman Empire. Overlooking the ocean, from it’s hillside location, its 27 towers and three miles of stone wall were at one time an official royal residence of the Ottoman sultans and the seat of the Turkish government. It is a museum now and considered the largest and oldest palace in the world. Inside, take a look at the harem’s quarters, and the seat of government.  Some of the artifacts inside the museum include:  collection of old weapons used by the sultans, palace kitchens with their huge porcelain collections, and the treasury with its collection of jewels and clocks, including the Topkapi Dagger and the stunning 86 carat Spoonmaker’s diamond.

With the 3 night land program in Istanbul, guests will embark on a walking tour that will visit the Hagia Sophia, formerly a church, then a mosque before becoming a museum;  the Blue Mosque and for those interested a guide will take you to the Grand Bazaar.  The second day spend at the spectacular Ottoman Sultans’ Grand Palace of Topkapi, home to every Sultan from the 15 – 19th centuries.

Cruise departures start in March and conclude in November.  March 22, November 1 and 8 are also Wine Themed itineraries.  Cruise rates start at $2899 per person and include the 7 night cruise, all meals, wine with meals, daily happy hour, multi choice excursions and Wi-Fi.

Experience Istanbul in all its splendor as part of your pre- or post-cruise hotel/land extension on 2020  Gems of the Southeast cruises!

For more information contact Europeanbarging.com at 888-869-7907 or jan@europeanbarging.com

 

4 – 7 Night Bordeaux River Cruises

You’ll be raising your glass many times in Bordeaux, which is renowned for its wines, considered amongst the best in the world. As the capital of the department Gironde in the region Aquitaine, it has over two and a half million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. After years of neglect, the former wet docks are the country’s new hot spot, with a number of cafés, gardens, and museums springing up all the time. A lively university community of over 60,000, (Bordeaux Campus is the largest in France) establishes that Bordeaux is about more than just wine.

Bordeaux is a flat city, built on the banks of the Garonne River. It is also one of the largest French cities by area and geographically one of the largest in Europe. The Garonne merges a dozen kilometers below the city with another river, the Dordogne River to form the Gironde Estuary, which is the biggest estuary in France.

The city center is located west and south of the Garonne. To the east are a few hills – the only ones in the vicinity. These hills mark the beginning of an industrial zone and suburbs. Because it is a flat city, bicycles make excellent modes of transport, especially as the city has more than 580 km of cycle tracks. Bordeaux is among the most economically dynamic cities in France.

Due to the weakness of the subsoil, there are no skyscrapers in Bordeaux, which explains its sprawl. The center of the town has retained its traditional stone mansions and smart terraces, hence the reason behind the city being called “Little Paris”. Bordeaux also features the world’s largest reflecting pool with interactive fountains.

Modern buildings can be found to the west (administrative center) and south (university) of the city. Travel to France’s legendary wine capital, Bordeaux, Iconic châteaux, timeless vineyards and delicious wine tastings are plentiful as you visit Libourne, Blaye, Bourg, Pauillac and Cadillac. This trip is a must for anyone interested in the best of French culture, lifestyle, wine and food.

Being at the center of a major wine-growing and wine-producing region, Bordeaux remains a prominent powerhouse and exercises significant influence on the world wine industry. Non wine production is conducted within the city limits. It is home to the world’s main wine fair, Vinexpo, and the wine economy in the metro area takes in 14.5 billion euros each year. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century. The historic part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding urban and architectural ensemble” of the 18th century.  After Paris, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France.

Towns visited from a Bordeaux cruise include:  Cadillac, Pauillac, Blaye, Bourg, Saint-Emilion, as well as several wineries for tastings.

BLAYE, is known for its 17th century Citadel, built by Vauban.  Around the Blaye Citadel, there are lots of shops, cafes, restaurants and small hotels.

CADILLAC was founded in 1280 to serve as a river port for the castle of Benauges by the lord of the castle, Jean I de Grailly.  Cadillac is directly across the Garonne river from Sauternes, and is known for producing sweet dessert wines under the Cadillac AOC designation.

Possible excursion from Cadillac includes traveling by coach for the Château de Roquetaillade. This magnificent and prestigious medieval castle built between the 12th and 14th centuries is a listed historic monument. You will see its medieval keeps, the first Renaissance chimneys in the region (1600), but above all its unique 19th-century interiors, a masterpiece by Viollet-le-Duc today listed as a historic monument.

PAUILLAC – From this port is the stepping stone to the famous Grands Cru Wine Route of Medoc – a region producing some of the most famous Red Wine in the world.  As you drive through the region, you will pass through charming towns, acres of vineyards and sunflowers as well as beautiful chateau.

SAINT-EMILION’S – history goes back to prehistoric times and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fascinating Romanesque churches and ruins stretching all along steep and narrow streets.  The town features the Monolithic church of Saint Emilion – built into a limestone cliff rock.

Monolithic Church of Saint Emilion

The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. In the 4th century, the Latin poet Ausonius lauded the fruit of the bountiful vine.

The town, previously called Ascumbas, was renamed after the monk Émilion (d.767), a traveling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. The monks who followed him started up the commercial wine production in the area.  Saint-Émilion is one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux along with the Meoc, Graves and Pomerol. The region is much smaller than the Médoc and adjoins Pomerol. As in Pomerol and the other appellations on the right bank of the Gironde, the primary grape varieties used are the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with relatively small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon also being used by some châteaux.

There are a variety of cruise options in Bordeaux:  Barge cruises as well as several river cruise options.  There are short Bordeaux Cruises of 4 night, 5 night and 6 night as well as 7 night cruise itineraries.  On an AmaWaterways 7 night Taste of Bordeaux cruise, you will enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours, wine with dinner, daily happy hour and included Wi-Fi. In many cases, you will have a choice of excursions, such as standard tours, bike tours, hikes and Special Interest Tours. We always include a large variety of activities so that you can choose how you want to explore.   The international cruise line CroisiEurope, offer short France River cruises with classic and active optional excursions.  CroisiEurope includes a beverage package as well as Wi-Fi in their cruise rates.   No matter your preference, your days will be full of discovery and wonder.

For more information contact:  Europeanbarging.com  /  888-869-7907  /  jan@europeanbarging.com

 

Interesting Facts Along the Danube River

The mighty Danube River is the longest river in the entire European Union. It runs through or forms a part of the border for 10 countries, originating in Germany’s Black Forest and ending in the Ukraine where it flows into the Black Sea.

The Danube River has an important part in European culture and history, dating back when it was the north boundary of the Roman empire. It’s also home to the great Austrian musician Johann Strauss .

Cathedral in Linz along the Danube River

Those longing for the charm of Old World Europe will experience the very heart of the continent, where kings and queens were crowned and some of the world’s best musicians – such as Mozart and Beethoven,  composed and performed for the courts. Great European capital  cities like Budapest, Vienna, Linz and Bratislava remain an incredible experience, as well as such excursions to the beautiful  Austria’s Lake District and the Czech Republic’s charming mountain town, Ceský Krumlov – both tours offers by AmaWaterways .  From fortresses and grand abbeys perched high above the Danube to iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites, be romanced by the Danube with all her regal and romantic splendor.

Visit Regensburg and you can discover the best of both worlds, visiting one of the oldest medieval cities in Germany and the largest medieval town north of the Alps.  Along with nearly 1,500 buildings listed as being of historical interest — find picturesque cobblestone streets and alleys, colorful buildings and cafés –  the oldest working bridge in Germany and perhaps the oldest restaurant in the world,  lively public squares and a vibrant Old Town that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In modern times, it is known for being one of Pope Benedict XVI’s residences; he taught at the university when he was known as Revered Joseph Ratzinger.

Regensburg is sometimes called both “Germany’s medieval miracle” and “the northernmost city of Italy” due to its lively streets and lovely outdoor summer cafés.  Regensburg was the start of the Route of Emperors and Kings in the medieval period and the route continued to Passau, Vienna, Linz before ending in Budapest.   Soak up the atmosphere or admire the rich history.

Known as the “City of Three Rivers” since the mighty Danube River is joined by both the Inn River and the Ilz River, Passau is a historic town who can trace their roots past the 2nd Century BC. First founded by the Celts and then a Roman town for 400 years, the city traded hands a few times.

The picturesque city of Passau is known for its Gothic and Italian Baroque architecture as well as its promenades, winding lanes and quaint Bavarian shops (expect to fall in love with a cuckoo-clock or two). It is also home to the historic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which for most of its life housed the world’s largest cathedral organ (that honor now goes to a church in Downtown Los Angeles). Left undamaged during World War II, the Old Town was left as it has been for hundreds of years.

Another excursion offered on several Danube River itineraries is to the beautiful city of Salzburg, Austria.  Besides acting as the birthplace for one of the most famous musicians and composers in history, many may recognize this backdrop from a more recent musical accomplishment. The beautiful, rolling hills and lush, green landscape of this town was employed as the setting for the Tony Award winning musical, and Academy Award winning movie-musical, The Sound of Music. After its initial cinematic release in 1965, The Sound of Music became the highest grossing film of all time, beating out Gone with the Wind, and held the title for five years post-release.

This iconic masterpiece follows the story of the von Trapp family as they struggle with the Nazi takeover of Austria in the late 1930’s. However, many do not realize that the lively and entertaining movie is based on true events, written about in the memoirs of Maria von Trapp, the inspiration for Julie Andrew’s Golden Globe winning performance. The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, an autobiography written by Maria von Trapp, describes the true story of the musically-inclined family, from her original role as tutor for one of the von Trapp children, to the family’s escape to America upon the Nazi annexation of Austria.

AMA Waterways cruises the Danube, with itineraries cruising between Budapest and Regensburg as well as Vilshofen to Budapest.  Discover a wealth of art, history and cultural treasures as you cruise to some of Europe’s most famous destinations. From Budapest, journey to Bratislava, Vienna, Passau and the 2,000-year-old town of Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, visit magnificent cathedrals and Baroque abbeys, sample Vienna’s sinfully rich Sacher torte cake, experience the breathtaking scenery of the Wachau Valley winemaking region and traverse Europe’s Continental Divide.

Croisi River Cruise offers 3 – 7 day European River Cruises and is the oldest river cruise line in Europe as well as being family owned.  The cruise line has over 42 vessels cruising the waterways of Europe.  Danube itineraries include a 5 day and 8 day round trip Vienna cruise on the Danube as well as a 6 day cruise between Passau and Budapest.

Prices include the cruise, all meals, beverage package with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and Wi-Fi.  Excursions are additional.

AROSA CRUISE LINE cruises the Danube,  featuring short river cruises with English and German language onboard.  There is no fixed seating or table arrangements on board.  All meals are served as buffet.  There are chefs at all meals with an open kitchen preparing these dishes as you watch – so everything is fresh.
One night a week there is a special sit down wine and culinary special dinner for a small additional fee.

The ships have bicycles with helmets on board for cycling tours.   Arosa is also known for their superior spa facilities onboard.  Arosa offers 4 night, 5 night and 7 night round trip Passau river cruise itineraries.  Arosa also allows children 15 and under to cruise free with their parents in the same cabin.  They limited triple cabins and 1 set of connecting cabins per deck on a few of their ships.

Prices include the cruise, all meals, beverage package with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and Wi-Fi.  Excursions are additional.

For more information on any of the Danube River cruise itineraries or other rivers, please call or email:713 240 6753 or 888 869 7907  jan@europeanbarging.com

Enjoying 3 Bordeaux Wines – on a River Cruise

When taking a European River Cruise through Bordeaux, you can experience a one-of-a kind wine tour all throughout the journey.

The cruise will take you to different wine destinations that offer a variety of world-renowned wines in the area.  There is the opportunity to experience 3 Bordeaux Wines – Medoc, Cotes de Bourg and Sauternes

Other than savoring the taste and aroma of good quality wines, a Bordeaux River Cruise will be a treat for the eyes as you enjoy magnificent views of lush vineyards, historic landmarks, and natural landscapes.

There are a number of vineyards in the Bordeaux area and you must not miss trying out some of the most popular wines. The full-bodied red wines in the Medoc region are recommended. The world-famous wines in this region are made at family-owned chateaus producing signature blends and grand cru wines.

Visit the Margaux and St. Julien vineyards and cellars to also gain insight of several centuries of winemaking tradition. Admire the scenic view of rolling vine-covered hills as you go from one place to another.

Northwest of the city of Bordeaux is the Cotes de Bourg, one of the oldest wine producing regions in France. You can find around 400 winemakers in this area, the majority of which are family-owned. Cotes de Bourg is known for Merlot-based red wines but it also produces dry white wine in small quantities.

Another popular wine in the Bordeaux region is the Sauternes. It is known for being a timeless classic when it comes to white wines. A tour to the Sauternes areawill give tourists a taste of this sweet wine as they are learning about the “noble rot” process involved in making it. In this winemaking process, the grapes are left on the vines to rot to maintain the concentration of sugar and acidity.

Taking an AmaWaterways River Cruise in the Bordeaux region will indeed satisfy wine lovers. At the same time, it showcases the number of attractions that has earned its slot in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Europeanbarging is offering a $500 discount per person PLUS a $350 air credit off of already specially priced air rates for the July 5th 2018 departure. Offer good thru March 30th 2018. CALL NOW for best selection. Europeanbarging.com 888-869-7907