A Beautiful Muse
Heinrich Heine’s well-known 1824 poem about the legend further cemented the fairytale in the hearts and minds of the German people, describing a woman with golden jewels and hair and a golden comb who fell – or flung herself -- into the river because of an unfaithful lover. Her spirit sings an enthralling, haunting melody – like a spell – that is powerful enough to send sailors to their deaths. The murmur from the waters was thought to be the sound of Lorelei’s voice.
While no blockbuster cinematic version has yet to hit the big screen, the legend has inspired countless musicians, artists and storytellers. Johann Strauss composed a waltz for Lorelei, Sylvia Plath wrote a poem, Felix Mendelssohn composed an opera, Styx performed a song, Marvel Comics created a character and Star Trek even centered an episode around a planet of beautiful women who lure ships to their world.
Visiting Lorelei Before Your Journey
For travelers from the United States -- the Lorelei Fountain, originally planned to be erected in Heinrich Heine’s hometown of Düsseldorf, can be enjoyed in the Bronx before or after your journey.
Uncover even more charming local legends with our Rhine River itineraries.