The Trip
Bad Ems
Bad Kreuznach
Abtei St. Hildegard  Lennep  Remagen/Linz

Tracing Roman Germania 2002
Tracing Roman Germania 2003 in the works
Ancient Rome as seen in the year 2001


East Bridge Tower, click here for more



On a blazing hot Sunday, we decided on a boat trip up the Rhine  from Bad Godesberg to Linz, a little town opposite Remagen. We enjoyed the river trip which led us past the Remagen Bridge among other things. We had meant to have lunch in Linz – which most of us knew well – and then go back on the next boat and stop at a wooded river island further down river. However, service was so slow that we missed the boat, and the next one didn't leave for two hours. So we strolled, or rather climbed, through picturesque Linz which lies on a steep hill…I almost had a heat stroke…

Remagen Bridge

Rigomagus is a Celtic name. The Romans built a castellum there probably in 43 CE. It was a Roman settlement, mainly for auxiliaries, way into the fourth century. Ammianus reported that it survived the German raids of 365/366 CE.

From finds in the river, there has been speculation that the bridge which Julius Caesar built across the Rhine was in the vicinity of the modern bridge. But that may be wishful thinking... For an idea how the Romans built lasting bridges, go here.

The modern bridge was built 1916-1918 for strategic reasons and named Ludendorff-Brücke after the WWI general.

On March 7, 1945, the Allied armies unexpectedly found a still standing railroad bridge across the Rhine River at Remagen. When they attacked the bridge, it was exploded by the Germans. However, the main charge failed to ignite, and the emergency charge damaged but did not destroy the bridge. In what was the first crossing of the Rhine in the war and making the bridge world famous, Allied troops poured over it. (An official image has diasappeared in cyberspace.) Ten days later, the damaged bridge collapsed under the heavy traffic and a ponroon to Linz was then built a mile or so south of the old bridge. Provided by a reader: The bridge fell at 1510 hr. 17 March 1945...

Update 2009: Most links I posted here before have become obsolete, but there is still The 78th Division Veterans Association, and a Wikipedia page: Ludendorff Bridge, with several photos and a video.

No new bridge was ever built. Instead, two ferries continuously cross the river between Remagen and Linz. 

The towers on either side of the river, however, have been preserved,. On the Remagen side, they house the Friedensmuseum (Museum for Peace). On the Linz side, a German and an American flag can be seen flying.


Across from Remagen is Linz, a picturesque little place, hugging a steep hill. It received city rights in 1320 and was hardly damaged during the war, despite its proximity to the Remagen Bridge, so it has beautiful old houses, mostly half-timbered and with colorful flower boxes. We strolled among the many tourists – the town's main source of income – and whiled away the time until our boat left, window shopping, taking pictures, and resting in the shade by a fountain.

Then the boat brought us back to Bad Godesberg and to a wine & cheese party on a cool hillside terrace, late into the evening. This time, the wine came from the Neckar region, to add to the variety…

© Irene B. Hahn 1999

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