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Upper Middle Rhine Valley

Photo by Eagle2308 / Getty Images.

The Upper Middle Rhine Valley, popularly referred to as the Rhine Gorge, is a 40-mile stretch of land along one of Europe’s major rivers, the Rhine. The river and its gorge have functioned as an important trade route through central Europe since prehistoric times. As wealth flowed in with the river, merchant settlements and castles developed along its banks. The Rhine Gorge played a central role over the centuries through Europe’s many geopolitical transformations, serving as a major hub of the Holy Roman Empire, the northeast border of France during the Napoleonic era, a crucial battleground and disputed territory during the Thirty Years War, and later, as part of Prussia, an iconic symbol of German landscape. Around 40 hilltop castles, including the Marksburg, Eltz and Stolzenfels castles, still stand today.

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

May 17, 2024, World Tribune, p. 12

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