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Watertravel & Waterside Destinations The excursion boat Beethoven passes in front of the ruins of Ludendorff Bridge, Remagen, Germany.

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For many, the name will always be associated with Operation Lumberjack.

Built during the first World War, the Ludendorff Bridge played a pivotal role in the second. In March of 1945 it was captured by the U.S. 9th Armored Division, thus allowing a quicker defeat of the Nazi forces by the Allies. The Nazis hadStanchions at the eastern end of the Ludendorff Bridge, by the town of Erpel.5 tried to destroy it on numerous occasions to deny the Allies the ability to cross the river easily. It did eventually collapse, but not until some 10 days after the crossing was effected. Today there is a ferry carrying autos and passengers across the Rhine.

For many others, the fact that the city dates back to Roman times is equally if not more interesting than its roles in the last century’s wars. The area was originally conquered by Roman legions under Julius Caesar in the year 50 B.C. By 50 A.D. there was a Roman fort or military camp here called Castra Rigomagus which evolved into the city of Remagen. 

Nearby — a little over 10 kilometers or roughly six miles south of Remagen — is the Vinxtbach, a small creek that flows into the Rhine. In Roman times, it formed the boundary line between provinces of Germania Superior and Germania Inferior.

An American flag flies atop the ruins of the Ludendorff Bridge at the southern end of Remagen.
Copyright Don Douglas