Oberwesel – Gruß Dir, Romantik!

Oberwesel on the Rhine
Town of Rhine Romanticism

Oberwesel on paper and canvas

The museum has a large collection of town views depicting Oberwesel during the period known as Rhine Romanticism. The first Rhine tourists were English, and they flocked to the Rhine at the beginning of the 19th century. They were enchanted by the picturesque ruined castles and age-old towns and villages. Many artists took with them paintings of the landscape when they returned home, using them to produce inexpensive steel engravings.

Oberwesel, Romanticism’s Fairest Refuge

"Hail, Romanticism! As in a dream, I enter your fairest refuge by the Rhine". The poet Ferdinand Freiligrath used these words to extol the beauty of Oberwesel. In 1840, Oberwesel was indeed a "refuge by the Rhine" for many poets. Their favourite haunt was the inn "Zum goldenen Pfropfenzieher" (The Golden Corkscrew), where they felt free to discuss their progressive political ideas. And it was here in 1843 that Hoffmann von Fallersleben first recited his Lied der Deutschen, which is now the German national anthem. The museum bears witness to this important event in German history.

Charmed by the Wine Witch

Instead of the usual wine queen, Oberwesel has a wine witch – die Weinhex. She bewitches the people with her special wine witch’s charm and casts her spell over the wine. On Walpurgis Night – the night before May Day, she appears from a great barrel on the Market Square to begin her job of warding off all evil from the vines and the wine-makers. "Visitors to the museum will be fascinated by the photo gallery and the historical costume of the wine witches."