Loreley

Type: Slate Rock

Image provided by Wikimedia Commons
Image author: ©jean melis

Can a boulder become a UNESCO World Heritage Site? It can! At the Rhine kilometer marker 555 a sheer boulder rises 132 meters (433 ft) from a curve on the Rhine: the “Loreley”, much extolled in song, world famous, and immortal since being mentioned in Heinrich Heine’s poetry. Here narrow curves hug an area of rocks, and the navigable portion of the Rhine is deepest here at 25 meters (82 ft) deep. There are dangerous straits which have cost uncounted sailors on the Rhine their lives. Heine depicted that the “Nixe Echo” was the cause as the lovely enchantress Lore Lay distracted the sailors through her singing. Since some boulders were removed and light signals were installed about 100 years ago, this stretch of the river is no longer so dangerous.