Saturday, 16 June 2012

St Goar - Rheinland


St Goar lies on the opposite side of the Rhein to St Goarhausen. This Rhine Gorge near the Loreley Rocks is a hazard to shipping along this busy waterway. The Central Rhine Valley was designated a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2002.

St Goar benefits from tourists travelling across the Rhine by ferry from St Goarhausen and from visitors calling in at Burg Rheinfels, the large ruined castle nearby. Fortress Rheinfels is the largest of its kind in Germany. There are several kilometers of underground passages. A miniature train from the market square takes visitors back and forth to St Goar.

On the main street the Wine and Christmas Market shop has a permanent Christmas display and plenty of traditional German glassware. It is also a popular destination for tourists for wine tasting sessions. The selection and quality of the wines and liquors on offer from this establishment are superb.

Over the shop window is the largest free-hanging cuckoo clock in the world. It is 30 years old, 3.5 metres high and 2.5 metres wide. The clock was hand-made - carved from wood and handpainted. It took 7 months to build. It has 2 faces - a cuckoo pops out either side every half hour.

The town is popular for wine tasting and for its cuckoo clocks. One particular shop has a giant cuckoo clock hanging on its wall and claims that it is the largest free standing cuckoo clock in the world at 3.5 metres high and 2.5 metres wide. This is an impressive clock being hand carved from wood and hand painted.

Sankt Goar has the world’s largest beerstein and a shop ( there are only two in the whole of Germany ) that sells the famous Steiff teddy bears and toys.

The speed at which the boats and barges pass down the Rhine at this point is remarkable. Standing at the water’s edge you can get an idea of the speed and force of the current.

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