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The Loreley Rock

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is home to many legends and stories, but perhaps the most famous of all is that of Loreley – the beautiful and melancholy siren whose song enchanted passing sailors.

The name Loreley first appeared in the romantic ballad by Clemens Brentano in 1801 about a pretty woman disappointed by love called Lore Ley, from the village of Bacharach. Spurned by her lover, she wanted to die. Men were fascinated by her beauty, end even the bishop could not ignore her grace and charm. He sent her into a convent, but the journey was interrupted by the cliff. She wanted to look once again at her beloved castle and her lover, and in desperation and despair, she jumped into the river. Brentano wrote several variations on the same theme and in his Rhine myths and fairytales, the Loreley appeared as the sad Frau Lurley, sitting on a cliff and combing her long, blond hair.

In Heinrich Heine’s 1824 version, fishermen passing below would be so fascinated by the lovely maiden Lorely combing her hair on the cliff top, that they would neglect to watch out for the treacherous rocks and strong rapids and drown. The ballad was put to music by Friedrich Silcher ‘Song of the Loreley’ and has since become famous across the world.

Today, the Loreley is a magnet for visitors and the story inspired the development of the Loreley Visitor Centre, which is located on the cliff top. Here you can find all the information you need to visit this beautiful region. while taking in the stunning views of the Loreley statue below.