Strung along the outside of a horseshoe bend in the Rhine, 21km south of Koblenz and 14km upstream of St Goar, BOPPARD is a sizeable and attractive place, which is reasonably touristy, despite having few real sights. Its great assets are its riverfront promenade and a chairlift that takes visitors to the Vierseenblick, an attractive viewpoint above town.
The place centres on its right-angled Marktplatz, home to a Friday-morning market and the late Romanesque Severuskirche, in which tender medieval frescoes venerate its patron saint. The square south of the church is the busiest and adjoins main shopping-street Oberstrasse. Crossing it is Kirchgasse, which leads to the Römer-Kastell, a preserved part of Boppard’s fourth-century Roman walls. Of the 28 watchtowers that once graced the military camp, four have been preserved and illustrations on information boards here help conjure up the past.
Gedeonseck and the Vierseenblick
The 1950s chairlift at Boppard’s northern end, Sesselbahn Boppard, makes its unhurried journey to two premier views, each with attendant restaurant and attractive terrace. Gedeonseck, near the summit of the chairlift, affords perfect views of the Rhine’s hairpin curve; while a five-minute walk further on, the famous Vierseenblick, or Four Lakes View, is so-called because the four visible sections of the Rhine look disconnected. The pleasant wooded terrain around here is home to a few good hikes, the most rewarding and adventurous of which is the Klettersteig: a clamber up precipitous rock faces with the aid of chains and ladders set into the rock. It’s best climbed rather than descended – a perfect three-hour -loop for the reasonably fit, starting from the base of the chairlift, which you can use to get back down if your legs give out.
It’s also possible to drive or cycle up to the Vierseenblick, and locals have built a pretty hairy mountain-bike trail from the summit – day-passes for taking a bike on the chairlift cost €12.