Saturday, January 19, 2008

More on Loreley

A gigantic stratification of slate (132 meters above sea) impressively overlooks the Rhine near St Goar. Far below, the Rhine twists its way through a narrow valley which over centuries has been the site of many a tragic shipwreck. German poets have immortalized this place through their romanticized writings. As a result, various legend and lore has come about.

In one such story, it is said that from the top of this rock a ghost-like image of Loreley sang sailors to their doom. As they heard her fascinating, sad voice when they passed the bend of the river, they would become mesmerized with her, crashing their ships onto the rocks. This tale goes on to say that she was once a mortal girl who threw herself from the top of the rock into the Rhine because her lover proved her unfaithful.

Clemens von Bretano tells yet another tale in his novel “Godwi.” Here a ravishingly beautiful woman was cursed to attract men and thus bring about their undoing. Because she could no longer bear this tragedy, she threw herself off the highest point of the rock into the Rhine to put an end to the spell.

Yet another slightly different version of the story is found in a poem written by Heinrich Heine in 1824. He tells of a girl who combs her golden hair and lilts a little song with such a powerful melody that the sailors below, instead of watching out for shallows and wild currents look up to her and crash their boats against the rocks only to be dragged to the bottom by strong river currents which at this point is almost 100 feet deep. Thus their fate was Loreley’s song.

19 comments:

Peter said...

Reminds one somewhat of the Siren.

The German Poets have expressed of centuries past in such a way that it will live on and on...

Certainly is captivating reading and again your descriptive photo's draws the reader ever closer....

Carla said...

Peter, I am sure she was a siren of sorts. Did you listen to the music? I quite like it.

sirdar said...

I tried to listen to the music but our F&%*($@ highspeed internet is not today.

It is interesting to hear all those tales of lore.

Carla said...

Sirdar, It just really hasn't been your week, has it? Hope things all smooth themselves out soon.

VE said...

Ah the Rhine. I remember driving 100mph up the Rhine in a nice German car. Ok, so it wasn't the autobahn...but close enough...

coloursofdawn said...

Now with this post, the legend is more clear to me and my memory has dredged up some memories of learning this before. Thanks you the history lesson. I rather liked the song. I patiently waited for it to load before trying to play it, and in the mean time went to visit a couple of people on your blog roll, I haven't visited in awhile.

Carla said...

VE, Yep, close enough. Much nicer scenery than on the autobahn.

Carla said...

Dawn, I'm glad you were able to hear the song. I quite like their rendition of the legend as well.

Camplin said...

I am so wishing I was there in Germany. The river reminds me of a view I observed in foot hills of Kentucky minus the city, minus the culture.

Pamela said...

now I want to go see it for myself.
I 've heard the Lorely story somewhere in my years.

Carla said...

Camplin, Germany captures the soul. I hope you have the chance to visit one day.

Pamela, I do hope that you get to see it for yourself. It is definitely worth it.

TK Kerouac said...

Loved this tale Carla

Carla said...

Tracey, I'm glad you enjoyed the tale.

Steffi said...

Yes,Germany have nice places and of course poetry too!I am still really surprised that you was in Germany....

Carla said...

Steffi, I was a little surprised I was there too. I will come back to visit again, I promise. I had a fabulous time.

rowena said...

I loved this! But for some reason I'm reminded of one of my best male friends who had his own opinion of females who caused more trouble than than they were worth. With a slow shake of his head and a look of pure chauvinism he'd say:

Women!

Carla said...

Rowena, But of course the same could be said of some men. Let's just home that these are exceptional cases.

Steffi said...

Let it me know please...

Carla said...

Steffi, When I come back, you will be the first person I let know.