The Castles Of The Brothers

The Castles Of The Brothers.



At the same instant, the sword of his opponent pierced each lover's breast, and the two brothers fell in death, a look of hatred, yet of triumph, on each face.

The massive walls of Falkenburg commemorate a famous bandit of the Rhine, named Falkenstein, who on one occasion looked with envious eyes upon the silver bell of a church, and caused it to be brought to him that he might melt it into coin. The bishop, struck with horror at the sacrilege, went to the castle in his priestly robes to demand its return. At this, Falkenstein burst into a roar of laughter, saying: "You wish to have your bell, do you ?

Well, you shall have it henceforth forever."

Thereupon the bell was tied about the bishop's neck, and both were thrown into the dungeon-well of the tower, and covered with stones to the depth of six feet. A few days afterward Falkenstein fell ill, and when night came, the doctor and astrologer who watched beside his bed heard with terror the knell of the silver bell coming from the depths of the earth. The awful sound continued until midnight, when, at the last stroke of twelve, Falkenstein expired. Since then, as regularly as the anniversary of the desperado's death comes round, it is said the bell can be heard ringing under the ruined castle.

The Junction Of The Rhine And Mosel

The Junction Of The Rhine And Mosel.

Not far from this point, we approach the confluence of the Rhine and the Mosel, the water of which is as pleasing to the sight, as is to the taste the sparkling Mosel wine produced along its banks. This river, even after uniting with the Rhine, preserves for a long time its emerald color, as though unwilling to mingle its French waters with the waves of Germany. The city of Coblentz which is situated at the union of these streams has an interesting history. Here, eighteen hundred years ago, the Romans founded a city named appropriately Confluentes; and hither, after the death of Charlemagne, his grandsons came to divide between them his gigantic empire. In a military point of view Coblentz is of great importance, and hence is thoroughly protected, not only by its own massive walls and a connected series of strong forts, but also by the mighty citadel of Ehrenbreitstein, just across the Rhine. This stone colossus is defended by four hundred cannon, and is said to contain fifty thousand needle-guns, and stores of provisions capable of maintaining an army of eight thousand men for ten years, while it derives its water from deep wells dug within its own enclosure. Its very name, the Broadstone of Honor, is imposing; and, rising as it does in massive majesty four hundred feet above the river, it seems sufficiently impregnable to deserve the appellation sometimes given it of the "Gibraltar of the Rhine."



The most beautiful feature of Coblentz is the Rhine Promenade, which borders the historic stream for more than two miles. I hardly know a prettier walk in Europe than this river-avenue; for, aside from its charming situation, it is a thing of art and beauty. Far from being a mere promenade, as the name might imply, it is a lovely garden, sloping to the Rhine, kept with the utmost care, shaded by noble trees, carpeted with turf, embellished with statues, fountains, and elaborate flower-beds, and frequently enlivened with choice music. This river-park was designed by the Empress Augusta, who was exceedingly fond of Coblentz, and to her memory a statue has been erected here, which seems to be contemplating with serene satisfaction the scene of beauty called by her into existence.

The Promenade At Coblentz

The Promenade At Coblentz.

Ehrenbreitstein Castle

Ehrenbreitstein Castle.

One evening, as I was strolling on this promenade, watching the stars reflected in the river, and reveling in the peaceful beauty of the place, I suddenly heard in the distance the harmonious voices of some German students singing "The Watch on the Rhine." It was beautifully sung, and I stood spell-bound, listening to the thrilling words which rang out with true manly vigor over the historic stream. I was not, it is true, a German, and hence could not perhaps entirely appreciate the pride and joy therein expressed; but even as a stranger from beyond the sea, I felt the blood stir quickly in my veins, as those rich voices sang beneath the stars: