Upper Middle Rhine Valley
The rise of river cruises made the Rhine River one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. The riverine landscape with its steep slopes and medieval castles and ruins inspired painters, musicians, and poets of the Romantic era, who made the Rhine a focus of yearning. The winding river valley with its legend-entwined Lorelei rock, terraced vineyards, picturesque towns with half-timbered houses, and many castles make the Middle Rhine Valley a unique cultural landscape that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Many of the medieval castles are hotels today. Staying within these venerable walls gives a visitor a feeling for how this landscape inspired the painters of the 19th century.