Remagen

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Remagen is a town in Germany in Rhineland-Palatinate, in the district of Ahrweiler. It is about a one hour drive from Cologne German: Köln, just south of Bonn, the former capital of West Germany. It is on the River Rhine. There is a ferry across the Rhine from Remagen every 10–15 minutes in the summer. Remagen has many historic buildings, churches, castles and monuments. Cars are banned from the big pedestrian zone which has plenty of shops.

Overlooking the west bank of the Rhine just north of the city centre is a church called the Apollinariskirche. It has an observation deck that is only open to parishioners on Sundays. Walkers reach the church via a dirt track that passes a series of roadside monuments. One for each of the fourteen Stations of the Cross. The church grounds contain an outdoor crypt and an abbey. Further down the river is one of the many castles along the River Rhine, perched even higher than the Apollinariskirche.

History[change | change source]

The Roman Empire built a border fort at Rigomagus (or Ricomagus), west of the Rhine. This was about 12 miles north of the site of the first bridge ever built across the Rhine (at Neuwied).

The fort was one of several built by Drusus, commander of the Roman army along the Rhine. The gateway still survives and is a popular tourist attraction.

Local legend says that a ship carrying various relics from Milan to Cologne was stopped in the river in 1164, unable to move despite the strong current, until it mysteriously edged in toward the shore. The remains of St Apollinaris were put ashore, and the ship was then able to sail onward. These remains were buried in a chapel which had been part of the Roman fort, which became the basis for a church which bore his name, and was rebuilt several times over the years.

Prisoner enclosures[change | change source]

In 1945 the U.S. built one of the many enclosures on the west bank of the Rhine–the so called Rheinwiesenlager– close to Remagen. The camps were used by the Allies to house captured Germans, often under very poor conditions. Several thousand prisoners are estimated to have died in the various camps, including 1,212 who are now buried in the Bad Bodendorf Cemetery.[1] They were deprived of the legal protection that the Geneva Convention provides prisoners of war by being called Disarmed Enemy Forces. The International Red Cross was not permitted to investigate conditions in the camps.

Sights[change | change source]

Apollinariskirche[change | change source]

The Apollinariskirche was built 1839-1842 on the site of the medieval Martinskirche. The frescos on the inside of the neo-Gothic church were painted by members of the artists group called the "Nazarenes". Three cycles show the life of Jesus, the life of Mary, and the history of Saint Apollinaris, legendary Bishop of Ravenna. In the crypt is a silver bust of the saint, which is raised from the sarcophagus every year at the pilgrimage time at the end of July. From the statue of Saint Francis of Assisi on top of the church, there is a lovely view of Remagen and the romantic Rhine Valley.

Peace Museum "Remagen Bridge"[change | change source]

Bridge towers

Remagen Railway Bridge was the first bridge across the Rhine captured in World War II The museum is housed in the towers of the famous bridge built between 1916 and 1918. It opened in 1980 and tells the story of the bridge and the prison camp, "Golden Mile."

Arp Museum housed in the Bahnhof Rolandseck[change | change source]

The historic railway station at Rolandseck now houses a museum devoted to the work of Hans Arp. The 19th century railway station was transformed into a cultural venue for all the arts. Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann and Franz Liszt gave concerts there. The young poet Guillaume Apollinaire even fell in love there. The building was almost destroyed after World War II, but in 1964 the Bonn art dealer Johannes Wasmuth brought it back to life. Musicians such as Martha Argerich, Stefan Askenase, and Yehudi Menuhin, artists such as Hans Arp, Oskar Kokoschka and Günther Uecker, and performers such as Marcel Marceau have all appeared there.[2]

Famous People[change | change source]

  • Peter Maech, 23rd abbot of Maria Laach (1512–1552)
  • Henriette Jügel (born 1778 in Remagen), painter
  • Emilie Storck (born 1827 in Remagen), wife of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen
  • Thomas Gottschalk (born 1950), German TV presenter, lives at Schloss Marienfels
  • Rudolf Caracciola (born 1901 in Remagen; died 1959 in Kassel), racing driver
  • Bernhard Philipp (born 1948 in Remagen), Capuchin, theologian, artist
  • Klaus Barth (born 1935 in Remagen), retired ambassador, assistant chairman of the German Nepal Friendship Association
  • Jean Lessenich (born 1942 in Remagen), tracer, author
  • Baptist Schneider (1867–1946), photographer in Remagen
  • Roland Ries (born 1930 in Remagen), prelate, first clerk of the Catholic bureau in Mainz, president of the Deutsche Krankenhausgesellschaft (German hospital association)
  • Willi Ockenfels (born in Remagen), missionary in South Africa
  • Stefanie Manhillen (born 1973 in Remagen), artist
  • Charles Rettinghaus (born 1962 in Remagen), actor and dubbing artist

References[change | change source]

  1. Alan Heath - Friedhof an Bad Bodendorf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8TFyn8wxw
  2. Official Web site

Other websites[change | change source]