Natural heritage Natural heritage Natural heritage Natural heritage Natural heritage Natural heritage Natural heritage Natural heritage

Natural heritage

At the start of the 19th century, the Rhine's flow changed with each rising, creating and destroying islands and peninsulas, supplying humid zones and marshes. This large river took several meanderings, divided into several branches and sometimes spread over several kilometres in width. At this time, the ecosystem developed according to the whims of the river. Salmon swam upstream to spawn and the alluvial forests were created along the edge of the river. But in order to protect the villages from flooding, sanitize the marshes, ensure a better flow of the rising waters, and recover new land for farming, the River Rhine has been gradually tamed and canalised, further to significant development work. Nowadays, several nature reserves have been opened and maintain some of the last natural landscapes of the River Rhine. Don't miss them!

  • Königswinter: Dragon's Hill

    Full of legend, the hill in the Siebengebirge range has become a major tourist attraction due to its spectacular position above the Rhine and the ruins of the old Drachenfels Castle. To get to the top of the hill, one has to pass Schloss Drachenburg, a picturesque castle dating back to the 19th century. Once at the top, visiotrs have a marvellous view of the Rhineland.

  • Rhäzuns

    The alluvial areas between Rothenbrunnen and Reichenau constitute one of the Rhine's last natural river-side landscapes upstream from Lake Constance. One characteristic of the alluvial landscape is its constant transformation. Subject to the whims of floods and droughts, it evolves every year. Alluvial deposits are taken away or left, new islands and new meanders are formed, providing a wide variety of habitats for plants and animals.

  • The Kromme Rijn, or Crooked Rhine

    The secondary branch of the Rhine is 17 miles long. Known as the Kromme Rijn, or Crooked Rhine, it was an important waterway until the construction of a dam in 1122 during the Middle Ages. Still flowing gently, the Kromme Rijn has maintained a pleasant landscape, with castles and private estates built alongside the river. Eurovélo 15 crosses the Kromme Rijn at the town of Wijk bij Duurstede.

  • Lampertheim Nature Reserve

    The Lampertheimer Nature Reserve is one of the most important wildlife conservation areas in the northern part of the Upper Rhine. A dominant feature of the 525-hectare area, which includes the Biedensand peninsular and the shallow Lake Welsch Loch, is the natural flood dynamics of the Rhine.

Les pays

Les etapes

Conseils de voyage