Sunday, 10 June 2012

Lorelei - Rheinland

The Lorelei or Loreley is a rock on the banks of the Rhine near St.Goarshausen. The rock rises to a height of 120 metres above the water line. It is also situated in the narrowest part of the river Rhine in Germany and is known for its dangerous current and rocky riverbed.

This is also home to the legend of the Rhine Maidens who are reputed to have lured river craft and their crews to death and destruction on the rocks by singing enchanting songs like the Greek Sirens. A statue of one of the singing Rhine Maidens can be seen on a small islet in the centre of the river nearby.

As legend would have it, this beautiful young maiden killed herself by jumping from a steep rock on the Rhine due to an unfaithful lover.  As a siren she would seek revenge by luring the sailors to their deaths.

Translated, Lorelei means murmering rock, and in a land of witches, cuckoo clocks and legends, there are many versions as to how it got its name.  One of the most well known German poems today is “Die Lorelie” by Heinrich Heine, which relates to the Rock of Lorelei .

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