Germany > Rüdesheim am Rhein

Rüdesheim am Rhein

Rüdesheim am Rhein is a German winemaking town in the Rhine Gorge, and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in this region. It lies in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis district in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt, Hesse. Known as Rüdesheim, it is officially Rüdesheim am Rhein, to distinguish it from Rüdesheim an der Nahe. It is a major tourist attraction, especially for foreign visitors.



Rüdesheim lies at the foot of the Niederwald on the Rhine's right bank in the Rheingau wine region. The town belongs to the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region and to the World Heritage Site Rhine Gorge, making it one of Germany's biggest tourist attractions. It has a picturesque Old Town, located in the Rheingau landscape celebrated in Rhine romanticism.

Territorial structure

Rüdesheim am Rhein as a municipality consists of five quarters:

Assmannshausen, Aulhausen and Presberg have the status of an Ortsbezirk. Central Rüdesheim and Eibingen form a combined fourth Ortsbezirk.

Neighbouring communities

Rüdesheim borders in the north and north-west on the town of Lorch, in the east on the town of Geisenheim. On the left bank of the Rhine in Rhineland-Palatinate, Rüdesheim faces the town of Bingen to the south, and the villages of Weiler und Trechtingshausen to the south-west. Rüdesheim is connected with the left Rhine bank by a ferry for pedestrians and one for cars.


The area was settled first by the Celts, then after the turn of the Christian Era by Ubii and later by Mattiaci. In the first century, the Romans pushed forth to the Taunus. In Bingen they built a castrum, and on the other side, near what is now Rüdesheim, lay a bridgehead on the way to the Limes.

The Romans were followed by the Alamanni, and during the Migration Period the Franks migrated into the region. Archaeological finds of glass from this time suggest that there was already winegrowing in Rüdesheim. The town's origin as a Frankish Haufendorf (roughly: "clump village") can still be seen on today's town maps.

Rüdesheim was first mentioned in a document in 1074. Its livelihood came mainly from winegrowing and shipping, particularly timber rafting.

On 1 January 1818, Rüdesheim received town rights. After Prussia annexed the Duchy of Nassau in 1867 and divided the area into districts (Kreise), Rüdesheim became a district seat in the newly founded Rheingaukreis. It held this status 110 years until 1977, when in the course of municipal reform in Hesse the districts of the Rheingaukreis and the Untertaunuskreis were merged into the new Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis, and Rüdesheim had to yield the district seat to Bad Schwalbach.

In 1877, the first foundation stone was laid for the Niederwalddenkmal, a patriotic monument above the vineyards which would be finished in 1883. It attracted many tourists who could reach it on a cog railway. Today, a gondola lift brings visitors up to the monument. Tourism has more and more resplaced shipping as a source of income.

In 1939, under the secrecy that held sway at the time, the formerly self-governing community of Eibingen was forcibly amalgamated with the town by the National Socialists, against the community inhabitants' will. In 1977, within the framework of municipal reform, Assmannshausen, Aulhausen and Presberg were incorporated into Rüdesheim as Ortsbezirke.


Town council

The municipal election for the town council (German: Stadtverordnetenversammlung) was held on 6 March 2016 and yielded the following results, compared to previous elections:

Town partnerships

Culture and sightseeing


Notable sites

Hiking trails

The Rheinsteig from Wiesbaden to Bonn leads through Rüdesheim's municipal area by both the Eibingen Abbey and the Niederwalddenkmal. Another trail is the Riesling-Route. It leads along the Rhine and through Rüdesheim's vineyards on the way to Wiesbaden.


A well known tradition is the Weinkönigin ("Wine Queen") with her princesses. Each year in the summertime, the Rüdesheim wine festival is held, whose highlights include the Wine Queen's and the princesses' coronation. They represent the town of Rüdesheim and its wine in other communities and other winegrowing areas.

In the deeds held by the Counts of Katzenelnbogen, vineyards are already found in the Rüdesheim area in 1399: auf dem Berge ("on the mountain"), bei dem Morgen Marschalls ("near Marshal's acre") and unterhalb Eibingen am Fluß ("beneath Eibingen at the river").

Rüdesheim lies in the north-west corner of the German wine producing region Rheingau. Riesling grapes are the main type grown in this area, producing mainly high-quality white wines. One can taste the local wines, including the Rüdesheimer Riesling, in the many wine houses in Rüdesheim.

Regular events


Notable people

The town's medieval noble family called itself "von Rüdesheim". One of its members was Rudolf of Rüdesheim (1402–1482), papal legate and since 1468 Prince-Bishop of Breslau.

Born in Rüdesheim

Other people linked with the town

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