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There can surely be no more obvious testimony to the great importance of the Rhine Valley than the huge number of castles, fortresses and palaces to be found there. On the romantic Rhine, there is a castle landscape which is unique in its density and variety. Between Bingen and Rüdesheim in the south and the Siebengebirge (Seven Hills) in the north, more than 60 medieval knights’ castles, pretty Baroque palaces and impressive fortifications unite to make up a unique cultural landscape. The variety of the buildings from various epochs is impressive: in this respect, some castles served to levy customs and were therefore important income sources for those in power. Other buildings on the other hand were constructed as safeguards against neighbouring archbishoprics or electorates and yet others fulfilled purely representative functions. How the scores of castles and palaces on the romantic Rhine appear today could also hardly be more varied. Some of them have remained preserved over the centuries through elaborate restoration and accommodate restaurants, hotels or museums. Others radiate the mystic charm of (almost) crumbled ruins and one can only divine how many wars and revolts they have seen come and go. The countless palaces, castles and ruins can be ideally experienced on foot, by bike or by ship on the Rhine and in the secondary valleys of the Rhine valley. The historical showpieces and weathered monuments are often linked by hiking paths. And it’s all the same whether they’re in ruined or restored condition: adventurous legends, often based on true facts, are entwined around many of the historical walls... it’s simply legendary!