Towards the end of the Second World War the United States found itself learning about the small town of Remagen in the Rhineland-Palatinate region of Germany. It happened when the Ludendorff Bridge (the last remaining bridge on the Rhine River) was captured by the 9th Armored Division of the United States Army.
While war historians have debated the strategic importance of the capture of the bridge, that killed some 28 soldiers when it collapsed on March 17, 1945, there’s no debating Remagen is just a charming historic town to visit. In other words, for the history buff in you, a trip to Remagen will be right up your alley! ;-)
Remagen’s history dates back to the times of the Romans, who built a fort west of the Rhine. You’ll be able to see the ruins of the Roman castell at the Roman Museum dating from the 1st to the 4th centuries, as well as what life was like for the average Roman soldier.
The Parish Church of Saints Peter and Paul has its origin from the Dark Ages. While the church you see today dates from 1248, it was built on the foundations of a 5th or 6th century church.
When you walk along Remagen’s Rhine Promenade, you’ll love the scenery of the Marienfels Castle and the majestic mountains in the distance.
Also, when you’re wandering around make sure to take notice of Milk Lane with its half timbered houses and the remains of the 14th century embankment. There are also plenty of churches around Remagen dating throughout the ages, such as St. Laurentis, a Catholic Church from 1131. There’s also the Parish Church Remigus from 1250 and Parish Church Gertrudis, a cemetery chapel with frescoes also from the 13th century.
Make sure not to miss the Tenth Yard, a castle from 1276 with it’s tower built on Roman foundations and the Rolandsbogen, the ruins of a medieval castle. Just make sure to wear your tennis shoes, as it takes about a half an hour to walk from the parking lot.
Not all of Remagen’s history can be romanticized, some of it being dark and sinister. The Roman Place is the sight of Remagen’s synagogue that was burned down on November 10, 1938. A plaque at the sight tells the details of those dark sinister days.
Also, as in the case of the Chapel of the Black Madonna, built from donations in memory of the 300,000 German prisioners of war held here from April to July 1945, you can also see the famous Bridge of Remagen and its Peace Museum. For that alone, it’s worth the trip!