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"10] Bacherach and the vineyards" Top 5 Page for this destination Land Rheinland-Pfalz Things to Do Tip by toonsarah

Land Rheinland-Pfalz Things to Do: 218 reviews and 530 photos

by toonsarah
  • Bacherach - Land Rheinland-Pfalz
    by toonsarah
  • Bacherach - the vineyards - Land Rheinland-Pfalz
      Bacherach - the vineyards
    by toonsarah

The village of Bacherach is strung out along the Rhine at the foot of the steep hills that hold its treasure – the vines that produce the wine on which its economy relies. Indeed, wine from this region is known as Bacharacher (see photo 2). From our vantage point on the boat it seemed one of the prettiest and most interesting of those we passed, and I would love to go back one day, on dry land, to explore it properly.

One feature that stands out is the unfinished Gothic ruin of the Wernerkapelle, on the left in my photo. It has a rather regrettable history. It is named for Werner von Oberwesel, an outspoken anti-Semite. Local Christians claimed (almost certainly inaccurately) that he was murdered on Maundy Thursday 1287 by members of the local Jewish community, who then used his blood for Passover observances. These allegations were used as a reason (some might say excuse) for a pogrom, which wiped out Jewish communities not only on the Middle Rhine, but also on the Moselle and in the Lower Rhine region. A local cult grew up, worshipping Werner as a saint, and this was only stricken from the calendar by the Bishop of Trier in 1963. The chapel now bears a plaque recalling the inhuman crimes against Jewish residents and also containing a quotation from a prayer by Pope John XXIII:

“We recognize today that many centuries of blindness have shrouded our eyes, so that we no longer saw the goodliness of Thy Chosen People and no longer recognized our firstborn brother’s traits. We discover now that a mark of Cain stands on our forehead. In the course of the centuries our brother Abel has lain in blood that we spilt, and he has wept tears that we brought forth, because we forgot Thy love. Forgive us the curse that we unrightfully affixed to the Jews’ name. Forgive us for nailing Thee in their flesh for a second time to the Cross. For we knew not what we did........."

The church in my main photo is Saint Nicholas’s Catholic Church. Other sights include half-timbered houses (some dating back to medieval times), a pretty market place and the town walls, which are among the best preserved in Rhineland-Palatinate.


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  • Updated Aug 1, 2010
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