Dominant building in the town and seat of the municipal government.
The Kloppberg (Klopp Hill) is the perfect place for a castle or fortification. The entire hill was once part of a defensive belt surrounded by a wall, in which the small town of Bingium was also located. In 355 CE, the fortification fell victim to the Alemanni. The following centuries badly affected the hill. Castles were built and destroyed. In 1282, the name of Klopp Castle was first mentioned in an official document. Klopp Castle was destroyed several times in wars, most recently in the War of the Palatinate Succession in 1689. The picturesque ruin became a popular destination during the era of Rhine Romanticism. It was not until the middle of the last century that a wealthy merchant, Ludwig Cron from Cologne, began the lavish reconstruction work. In 1897, the castle came into the possession of the town of Bingen. Since that time, it has been the seat of the mayor and the municipal government. Badly damaged in World War II, the castle has become one of the town’s most beautiful landmarks again.
Climbing the tower:
April – October, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
BINGEN MOUSE TOWER
From toll tower and signal tower to world-famous Landmark.
Historical traditions and legends are woven around the tower on the small island in the middle of the Rhine. We can safely assume that the Romans built a small fort here. Under Frankish rule, however, it fell increasingly into disrepair. Only when Hatto II took power in the Archbishopric of Mainz in 968 and became Bingen’s sovereign ruler does the island tower re-emerge from the mists of history. Though up to then Bingen had been de facto an independent town, the harsh rule of the new regime now meant increased levies and strict subservience on the part of the populace. The name “Mouse Tower”, which is recorded for the first time in 1516, is derived from its function as a guard tower (Middle High German “musen” = lie in wait). However, in the 16th century, the tower was linked to the legend of Bishop Hatto, who was said to have been eaten alive by mice as a punishment for his mercilessness. In 1298, the tower was incorporated into the customs protection system of Ehrenfels Castle. In 1689, it was destroyed by French troops. Its importance was forgotten until 1855. The Prussians built a signal tower on the island for shipping, which can still be seen today.
Bingen Mouse Tower
Binger Mäuseturm / Bingen Mouse Tower
THE OLD CRANE
Long-serving and preserved in its original form – the old Bingen harbour crane.
The precise date of construction has only been known since 2007, when the inscription plate was discovered on the crane’s foundation: the Old Crane was built in 1487 – as the first verifiable land crane on the Rhine between Mainz and Cologne. In order to load and unload all ships, the chargeable use of the crane had been mandatory since the Middle Ages – giving the crane concomitant importance as a source of income for the Cathedral Chapter of Mainz (which administered Bingen at the time). As the crane was subject to substantial wear, it was frequently repaired. We know it was entirely rebuilt in the 17th century. The wooden construction, which is still preserved today, dates back to the years after 1787. The Old Crane, which was located directly on the shore and continued to operate until the Rhine bank was raised in 1890, was completely restored as a fully functional system between 2005 and 2007. The crane was powered by men running in two large wheels. The upper part of the dome with the cantilever can be turned with a large beam. Primarily, wine, salt and grain were loaded here. Bingen had the staple rights for the latter two. On the occasion of the State Garden Show in Bingen in 2008, the crane was placed on the waterfront again by building a small port basin.
THE DRUSUS BRIDGE
One of the oldest stone bridges in Germany – with a chapel in it.
Bridges have a long tradition at the mouth of the Nahe river. The first bridge was built in the decade before Christ was born: at that time, Drusus fortified the left bank of the Rhine to mark the borders of the Roman Empire by constructing defensive works, and built a wooden bridge over the Nahe. After it was destroyed in 70 CE, the first stone bridge was built, which fell victim to the Normans in 891. It was not until a good hundred years later that Archbishop Willigis built a new stone bridge over the Nahe. In the eastern pillar of this bridge, a small early Roman chapel made of stone from the banks of the Nahe was carved out in order to have the bridge protected by the Church. In 1689, the French destroyed it and in 1772, it was rebuilt again. In March 1945, elite troops blew up the bridge before the approaching Allies could reach it. Today, the Drusus Bridge dominates the townscape of Bingen again. Visit the bridge chapel: You can borrow the key to the chapel at Tourist Information.