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Photographer's Note

The infamous Binger Loch ("Bingen hole") is situated exactly on the point where Rhine river turns from a westerly direction towards north and enters the Rhenish Slate Mountains. A layer of quarzite runs across the river's bed, making ship passage impossible in the middle ages.
It was not before the 17th century that a four meters wide passage (!) was blown into the reef. The present passage is 120 meters wide, so there is nothing to be afraid of, and piloting is no more mandatory.
However - ships mean taxes, and so the Middle Rhine Valley is full of castles, most of them former tax posts like Ehrenfels Castle to the left.
Mäuseturm (mice tower, in scaffolding) used to be a tax post as well. There is a fairy tale that a cruel bishop took refuge on this tiny island, but mice found him even there and ate him up alive...
For a total view see http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo1464117.htm

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Additional Photos by Sven Erich Czernik (Energysavingelk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 81 W: 0 N: 155] (903)
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