Photo: Frank Gallas, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
Photo: Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH
Miracles, pilgrims and a saint:
Johannisberg Castle - Johannisberg meadow - Sandkopf hill near Stephanshausen - Marienthal Abbey - Nothgottes Abbey - Blaubach Valley - Eibingen - Hildegardis Convent - Niederwald monument - Rüdesheim
If any mountain is associated particularly with wine, it must be the Johannisberg. The world famous slopes of the vineyard have been planted with Riesling grapes for centuries. A statue in the courtyard commemorates the rider, who in the autumn of 1775 arrived too late with permission from the bishop in Fulda to begin the harvest. The grapes remained on the vines and produced excellent wine the next spring, inventing the idea of the late harvest.
Premium route awarded the "Deutsches Wandersiegel"
Sandkopf (360 m)
Blaubachtal (159 m)
Best time of year
Health and safety
Wear suitable weatherproof clothing that will protect you from cold, wet, heat and sunshine.
Make sure you take regular breaks and don't overexert yourself.
Take enough fluids with you as there are sections without rest stops.
Wear suitable hiking boots/shoes which give you enough grip on slippery, steep, rocky and uneven surfaces.
Avoid any sections of the route which you feel are too difficult for you. Natural trails can quickly become wet and slippery in adverse weather conditions.
Particularly in autumn, you should be careful of uneven ground, roots, stones or holes that have been covered by leaves.
You need to take these kinds of adverse conditions into account every time you go on a hike.
Particularly steep and dangerous places are made safer with handrails or ropes. Please use these as safety aids. Handrails are not to be climbed on or used to get a better view!
Johannisberg Castle is not directly on the Rheinsteig trail – it is situated on the path from Geisenheim. After enjoying the view from the castle terrace you can walk below Schwarzenstein Castle into the meadow, where you will see the blue and white 'R' Rheinsteig trail marker. The trail soon disappears into the woods and climbs steadily up the Sandkopf to Marienthal Abbey, which is still a popular place of pilgrimage today. Several votive tablets tell of the miracles that Mary is said to have performed.
The trail now climbs steeply up to the residential area of Hähnchen and passes the Antonius Chapel to reach Nothgottes Abbey, formerly another important place of pilgrimage in the Rhine District. From here, you follow the River Blaubach towards the valley for a short stretch, until you see the sign for the Eibing vineyard district. A massive church rises up out of the vineyards in front of us. Hildegard von Bingen founded a Benedictine convent here in 1165; the present day church was consecrated in 1904. Today, 60 nuns live and work at the convent, producing editions of Hildegard's writings, wine and other delicacies. On your way through the vineyards you can occasionally see the top of the Niederwald monument, the end destination of your hike.
Getting home: take the cable car from the Niederwald monument down to the valley or walk the path to the train station.
Mit dem Zug bis Bahnhof Geisenheim und dann mit dem Bus (RMV-Linie 181 u. 183) bis Johannisberg (Haltestelle Johannisberg Friedhof).
Train to Geisenheim station and then by bus (RMV line 181 + 183) to Johannisberg (the stop at Johannisberg cemetery).
Parking spaces at Geisenheim train station and near Johannisberg Castle.
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Rheinsteig-Wanderkarten sind im Rheintalshop erhältlich: www.rheintal-shop.de
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