The Germany Rally has virtually everything that increases the pulse rate of rally enthusiasts.
It is hard to believe that the Germany Rally has only been part of the world championship since 2002 – these days, it is no longer possible to imagine top-class rally sport without the three-day event held in and around Trier. Besides fans from Germany, the event in the heart of Europe also attracts a highly international crowd. Spectators from Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and many other nations add multicultural flair to Trier and the surrounding areas.
In the labyrinth of the vineyards.
The narrow, angular roads among the Mosel vineyards constitute the heart of the rally. Tight hairpin bends alternate with confusing junctions and forks. It is not always easy to keep track of everything in this labyrinth. What’s more, there is no room for error with high walls on one side and steep slopes on the other. One of the most beautiful spectator vantage points of the world championship can also be found on the ‘Dhrontal’ special stage in the Mosel region: fans can get a bird’s-eye view of the cars as they watch them negotiate their way around the many bends of the vineyards.
On the open road.
The character of the special stages is completely different in Saarland, because the drivers set off at isolated intervals. A heavy lead foot is called for on the fast, flowing B roads; when the drivers emerge from the vineyards, they almost feel as if they are on the motorway. It is not uncommon here for the World Rally Cars to achieve their top speed.
Armour plating and monoliths.
The best-known special stage in the Germany Rally is associated with the third type of course: the ‘Panzerplatte Arena’ on the Baumholder military training ground. Slippery concrete slabs that ruin the tyres are just as much a hallmark of this special stage as the monoliths that stand next to the road. These boundary stones are designed to stop tanks, so it’s probably best not to get too close to them in the rally car. The terrain is usually closed to the public and is traditionally overflowing with raucous fans on the Saturday afternoon.
Must-sees in the vicinity of Rally Germany.
Cologne: a cosmopolitan city by the River Rhine.
Germany’s fourth-largest city, Cologne, offers a colourful blend of history, culture, art and entertainment. Founded by the Romans in AD 50, Cologne soon became a central hub for trade, the church and culture. The city’s most famous landmark, Cologne Cathedral, took more than 600 years to build and was not completed until 1880. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the largest Gothic church in northern Europe. If you’re not interested in climbing the spire’s 533 steps for a panoramic view of the area, the cathedral also boasts the relics of the Three Wise Men and has therefore been a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world since the twelfth century. In addition to having examples of historical architecture, Cologne is nowadays a media city that pulls people in from far and wide with its highly diverse cultural offerings and a vibrant night life. The city is also renowned for its open-mindedness and tolerance.
Trier: Roman history by the Moselle.
Founded more than 2,000 years ago, Trier is Germany’s oldest city. It is a city bursting with well-preserved Roman history, with an amphitheatre, the Barbara baths, a Roman bridge, the Basilica of Constantine and the Porta Nigra city gate, all of which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site together with Trier Cathedral and the Liebfrauenkirche church. But Trier has more to offer than historical superlatives set in a delightful old town – it is also wonderfully located by the Moselle, tucked between the Eifel and Hunsrück mountain ranges.
Koblenz: a fortress city by the “German corner”.
Koblenz is located at the heart of the four low mountain ranges Eifel, Hunsrück, Taunus and Westerwald, and at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers. As such, it was a key strategic hub from an early age and therefore has a history spanning just under 2,000 years. It’s therefore not much of a surprise that Koblenz boasts Europe’s second-largest intact fortress – Ehrenbreitstein Fortress towers 118 metres above the Rhine and affords an excellent view of the city and the “Deutsches Eck” (German corner) where the Rhine and Moselle rivers merge and where there stands a statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I. The heart of the old city is also well worth a visit, with its narrow alleyways and romantic corners, not forgetting the medieval Balduin Bridge, the Alte Burg residence and the Kurfürstliches Schloss (electoral palace).
Upper Middle Rhine Valley: a romantic World Heritage site.
The Rhine Gorge that winds its way through the Rhenish Massif is one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful cultural landscapes. The approximately 65-kilometre-long region that stretches between Koblenz, Bingen and Rüdesheim has also had UNESCO World Heritage status since 2002. The gorge is considered to be the epitome of Rhine romanticism, with its steep valley sides sometimes covered in vineyards, small riverside settlements, some 40 castles and fortresses, and the favourable climate thanks to the protection from the wind afforded by the Hunsrück mountain range. Down the centuries, numerous painters, writers, philosophers and musicians have drawn inspiration from the outstanding beauty of the landscape and its culture. The Lorelei rock is surrounded by numerous legends and is an absolute must-see when visiting the region.
Moselle-Saar-Ruwer: a traditional wine-growing region.
Bacchus, the god of wine, would be in his element in the Moselle region. The vineyards along the Moselle, Saar and Ruwer rivers are considered to be Germany’s oldest wine-growing region. The region boasts the largest number of steep-slope vineyards in the world, and the steepest vineyard in Europe is the Bremmer Calmont near Cochem Castle in the Lower Moselle. Nowadays, the region constitutes Germany’s fifth-largest wine-growing region, with approximately 5,000 vintners working more than 9,000 hectares at 125 wine-growing locations. Moselle vintners consider themselves to be experts in producing Rieslings, which account for 60 per cent of all the wine produced there, with the remaining 40 per cent being made up by grapes such as Rivaner, Müller-Thurgau, Elbling, Kerner, pinot noir, Dornfelder, pinot blanc and pinot grigio. The traditional “Straußwirtschaft” taverns are a particularly pleasant way in which to savour the local wines: for around four months a year, the vintners offer their own wines in the courtyard, cellar or a tasting room at their estate. Keep your eyes peeled for a bunch of flowers, a wreath or a broom – when any of these are on display, it means there is wine to be tasted there.
Park Plaza Hotel, Nikolaus-Koch-Platz 1, 54290 Trier
Messepark Trier, In den Moselauen 1, 54294 Trier
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