Welcome to Rudesheim. I told you we would be visiting some places you may not have heard of before, and this small town may be one. Rudesheim is located in the Rhine Gorge and is part of this areas World Heritage Site.
Rüdesheim – extract from the Topographia Hassiae by Matthäus Merian the Younger, 1655
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.
Check back next week for Part 2 of Rhine River Gorge.