Germany's countryside: tiny and beautiful Assmanshausen am Rhein
To this day, whenever I close my eyes, I can still feel the sensation produced by the landscape around the River Rhine when I visited tiny Assmanshausen am Rhein. It is almost a village, right beside the (more known) town of Rüdesheim am Rein, but hardly ever considered in most sightseeing tours. So unfortunate! The entire town is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This alone would be enough to place it on a high level of historical and cultural importance.
It has a privileged location since the war time: crossed by the River Rhein, it was saved thanks to its location, that stopped bombings from targeting its area. It is interesting to see the vast number of castles that surround the river. They are all preserved and many open to visitors (some are privately maintained by families). When you are at the city, you can see the river on one side and the Taunus mountains on the opposite side. This combination of natural elements, together with the cold and hot climates, allows the perfect condition to the region’s vineyards, resulting in spectacular wine harvests, mainly Pinot Noir (or Spätburgunder). When strolling through Assmanshausen, you have the impression you are living a dream. Just like any other small town, it has a countryside atmosphere: an old man walking his dog early in the morning; a merchant arriving with her products at a family-owned restaurant; a small hotel owner shopping for bread at a local business; the early-bird neighbor who is already alert to the street bustle; a kitty at the church flowerbed…
Assmanshausen could easily be mistaken by any other countryside town if it weren’t for the many small wineries, with an almost private production, that guarantee their place in the German wine map. It is very interesting to see how the several families deal with the (almost unpretentious) wine production and live from their own land - the terroir is so favorable. The busier city life takes place in areas surrounding the Rhine. Small hotels are all situated in the same area and it is uncommon to see them full. The reason why is because many tourists who want to explore the region stay in the neighboring Rudesheim, and it takes them no more than five minutes to cross the road, which is still under construction. According to the locals, this is the main reason why it doesn’t appeal to more visitors, besides the fact that it is not utterly attractive to the young tourist. What a shame! For me, Rüdesheim ranks at the top of my all-favorite list.