As Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim – both renowned Romanticists – traveled from Heidelberg to Koblenz in 1805 via the Rhine, they dreamed of bringing the local myths and stories to life. They wrote down a collection of sagas, poems, proverbs and popular songs in the first volume of “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” (“The Boy’s Magic Horn”) in 1815, and their art lives on today, with proverbs such as “Nachtigall ich höre dich singen [trapsen]” still part of the vernacular.
Brentano was also the first to chisel the name Loreley into a rock, and thus goes down as the creator of the fairy tale of the same name. According to the myth, the nymph is said to have waited on a slate rock at the 555 kilometer marker, bewitching sailors and causing their deaths. In 1737, river expert J. L. Knoch provided a scientific explanation for the numerous shipping accidents on the Loreley rock with his drawing of the flow conditions in the area. Each year, millions of people visit the unlucky rock, possibly with the hope of capturing some of the old magic.