From early on, the region's central location made it a popular stage for the powerful — and a veritable heartland of Europe. From Caesar to Constantine, the Romans founded the oldest towns in Germany at Trier, Koblenz, Worms, and Speyer, and left their mark over centuries in the region. In the Middle Ages, the state's rivers were important transport and trade routes. Today, more than 500 castles and palaces, along with countless historical finds, bear witness to the state's eventful history.
As a unique cultural landscape, the central Rhine valley enjoys worldwide renown primarily by virtue of the Loreley ballad by Heinrich Heine. Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, sitting on a rocky island in the middle of the Rhine, or Stolzenfels Castle — these sights represent fairytale castles and Rhine romanticism, and draw visitors from around the globe. The Moselle valley, too, along with the Hunsrück mountains and the Südwestpfalz area, are dotted with castles of great historical significance. Hambach Castle near Neustadt an der Weinstraße represents the liberal spirit and is considered to be the cradle of German democracy. 30,000 freedom-loving citizens from all over Germany, France, and Poland celebrated the Hambach Festival there in 1832 and promoted German unity, freedom, and democracy. In Rheinland-Pfalz, history can still be experienced today through sites that bear witness to times past.
UNESCO has awarded world-heritage status to four of the state's historical sites. The first to be accepted into the UNESCO world-heritage list was the cathedral in Speyer, the largest remaining roman church in the world; this was followed by the roman town of Trier (Augusta Treverorum) with its Porta Nigra, amphitheater, Imperial Thermal Baths, Basilica of Constantine, cathedral, and Liebfrauenkirche, as well as the cultural landscape of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley between Bingen and Koblenz. The most recent protected heritage site is the northernmost section of the 550-km-long Upper Germanic Rhetian Limes, which span multiple federal states.
Visitors will find world-class contemporary culture at St. Stephen's Church in Mainz as they behold the windows created by the painter Marc Chagall. The "Villa Ludwigshöhe" between Neustadt and Landau tempts visitors with a large collection of works by Max Slevogt. The art of Hans Arp can be found in the museum of the same name in Remagen-Rolandseck.
Enchanting landscapes, romantic towns, sophisticated cuisine, an unparalleled cultural scene, wine, water, and wellbeing — what sounds like a vacation to most of us is just everyday life in Rheinland-Pfalz. The rivers Rhine, Moselle, Saar, Ahr, Lahn, and Nahe are on your doorstep, and you can rest and relax in the state's many vacation spots.
Here, people live in Germany's number-one wine region. 65 % of all German wines are grown in Rheinland-Pfalz. In almost 5,000 wine-growing enterprises, vintners produce award-winning, internationally successful wines and sparkling Sekts. Of the around 1.8m hectoliters of German wine exported, Rheinland-Pfalz contributes around 95 %. Local people live right in the thick of the vintners' work, from the planting of the vines to the many wine festivals that characterize the state. As well as wine, Rheinland-Pfalz also produces the mineral water to go with it. With over 60 springs, Rheinland-Pfalz is also a water-producing state with renowned mineral waters such as Apollinaris, Gerolsteiner, Staatlich Fachingen, and many more.
The inhabitants of Rheinland-Pfalz enjoy the finer things in life, and enjoy them best in good company. Culinary delights and regional specialties await the visitor in all corners of the state. Whether you dine courtesy of a star chef or rustic wine tavern — what reaches your table is generally produced right here in the region. Many festivals and events known outside of our borders, such as "Rhein in Flammen" or the "Nibelungenfestspiele" enrich the region's cultural scene. Those who visit our region enthuse about the open, friendly locals, and love to come back time and again. You quickly start to feel at home here.
It is not only for wine lovers that the state has plenty to offer; sport lovers and adventurous family groups will feel especially at ease here. Mountain biking in the Hunsrück or Eifel mountains or in the Pfälzerwald, cycling on one of the seven long-distance cycling and walking routes, canoeing on the river Lahn, or walking on the Rheinsteig, Westerwaldsteig, or Saar-Hunsrück-Steig trails — there's something to suit everyone. And, in case the rain clouds arrive, visitors can enjoy a welcome change of scene at one of the state's many museums or multitude of concerts. The best proof of our appeal are the almost eight million visitors that come to Rheinland-Pfalz every year.
Tens of thousands of rock fans from many different countries yearly flock to Europe's third-largest rock festival "Rock am Ring".
Those who prefer the quieter, sensual side of life can spend time in the state's wellness oases. Switch off in one of the famous thermal baths or spoil yourself in one of the high-class hotels. A range of 23 health resorts and therapeutic baths offer pure relaxation. In Rheinland-Pfalz, we mean it when we say: Living, where others go on vacation.