You've probably heard Europe's Rhine River being referred to as 'romantic,' and given that it weaves in and out some of the world's most remarkable cities and beautiful landscapes, it's most definitely a waterway that can inspire love and romance. But did you know that when we say the 'Romantic Rhine', we don't mean romance in the modern Hollywood sense? In fact, falling in love with another person doesn't have much to do with how this stunning river received its famous moniker. Instead, the name comes from the Romanticism movement which occurred throughout Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was an intellectual movement greatly concerned with the preservation of the natural world, individualism and critiquing the burgeoning modernity which came in the form of both industry and scientific thought.
For the Romantics, the castles along the Rhine Gorge, as well as the lush vineyards and rolling countryside running alongside it, hearkened to a better, more innocent time. An appreciation for the region's natural beauty and cultural history found its way into their timeless works of art, literature, music and philosophical thought. Even today, it's not hard to understand why these intellectuals became so enamored with the Rhine Valley. When you travel here for yourself, it will not surprise you that the Rhine Gorge (or, Upper Middle Rhine Valley) is in its entirety a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site.
Are you thinking of embarking on an immersive river cruise to discover the romance of the Rhine for yourself
? In the following article, you'll have the chance to dive into the fascinating history of Rhine Romanticism, uncover some of the waterway's most cherished sites, and get inspired for your next adventure with Emerald Cruises.