Eltville, Germany

In recent months I discovered that my husband and sons are descended from a German couple who came to Australia in 1856 from Eltville, Germany.  Now, I’ve just been to Eltville, and found it a lovely restored town along the German Timber-Frame Road (Deutsche Fachwerkstrasse), a tourist route passing through towns where houses are half-timbered.  It was very pleasant to stroll through the winding mediaeval streets and see houses with centuries-old dates marked on the front, including one from 1365.  This date might not blow your mind if you grew up in Europe, but for me, having lived my life in a young country where nothing is much more than 200 years old, it’s precious.  I had to photograph it so I wouldn’t forget how old it all is.

Eltville on the Rhine is known for roses and wine, in particular the sparkling wine, Sekt.  I bought a small bottle of Sekt and it came in a rose-printed bag.  Our family ancestors would have seen the Electors Castle every day, a former residence of the archbishops and electors of Mainz.  But the rose-growing began after they left, so they wouldn’t have seen this rose-filled maze beside the  Castle.  When I was there the rose bushes were in new leaf.

Along the Rhine there’s a pleasant promenade beneath an arbour of pollarded trees.  In their early spring nakedness I found them amusing.  I’ve seen pollarded trees before, but not as bulbous as these here in Eltville, which have been cut back quite severely.  The amputated branch stumps are nobbly in the dormant season, but I’m assured that the compact, leafy canopy that grows in spring and summer creates a spot for romantic rendezvous beside the Rhine.

Pollarded trees on the Rheinpromenade, Eltville

Pollarded trees on the Rhine promenade, Eltville

Eltville.  In the mid-nineteenth century some of its winegrowers left this lovely village to make the long journey across land to Hamburg, then to make the long journey across the seas to Australia, where they would plant vines and make wine in their new homeland.  But the descendants of those who stayed in Eltville have kept their town beautiful and inviting.  I doubt anyone would want to leave this lovely place now.  Unless they’re a tourist, like me.

*****

6 thoughts on “Eltville, Germany

  1. Hmmm! We sailed past Eltville on our cruise in 2012. I don’t recall it being mentioned but we did note all those pretty villages along the way. Morning in Mainz, afternoon in Rudesheim, with its mechanical music museum and famous coffee – I remember that day very well. Sigh 🙂 Thanks for taking me back there, Trish.

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    • I’ve read that the villages on the Rhine look quite different from a boat. I would need to stay for a week to see Eltville from all angles and heights. Glad you enjoyed the memory.

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  2. Those trees are really mind boggling to look at, beautiful all the same, this certainly looks a lovely place to visit and to have some link to it must make it more interesting…

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  3. The trees look fantastical to me, coming from a country where trees are not often tamed since we have plenty of space. We have a few pollarded plane trees in one of the up-market older suburbs, but it’s probably only to give it a European ambiance. 🙂

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