Price without VAT for non EU residents : €5.66
3D cardboard puzzle, model
Dimensions 12 x 7 x 31 cm
Number of sheets with pieces:: 2,5
difficulty rating: 2
Warning! Not suitable for children under 3 years due to small parts! Danger of suffocation.
On a small island near the town of Bingen in the world-famous Central Rhine Valley there stands a single tower called the Mouse Tower. The Romans were the first to build a small fortification on this site. When, in the 10th Century, the town of Bingen had to accept a subordinate role to the Archbishopric of Mainz, the tower was rebuilt and used as a watch tower and toll building. In the 13th Century the tower was integrated into the toll system of Klopp Castle and Ehrenfels Castle which were situated nearby. The name of the tower is also derived from its function: the Middle High German word "musen" meant "lurk" or "keep watch".
The tower was destroyed twice: in the year 1632 by Swedish soldiers and in the year 1689 by the French. It was only in the years 1856 to 1858 that the tower was rebuilt. The Prussian king ordered Ernst Friedrich Zwirner, the master builder of Cologne Cathedral, to build the tower in the Neo-Gothic style and to provide it with corner turrets and battlements. The new construction of the tower since then served as a border post and signal tower for shipping. The dangerous reefs in this part of the Rhine, the so-called "Bingen Hole", were blown up in the 19th Century in order to make the rapids more moderate.
Many legends and myths surround the Mouse Tower. One of them tells of Bishop Hatto who took control of Bingen in the 10th Century and persecuted the population. When he feared a rebellion during a famine, he had the supplicants arrested, thrown into a barn and had it set on fire. According to the legend, as a punishment for this terrible deed, he was plagued by an infestation of mice and he fled from them to the watch tower on the small island in the Rhine. However, it is said that the mice followed him to the tower and ate him alive.
The location of the tower on the former "Bingen Hole" was interesting for many artists. As early as the 17th Century Dutch artists discovered the building as a popular motive. For this reason, the Mouse Tower is one of the oldest Rhine motives in landscape painting. The legend about the cruel Bishop Hatto also became part of European literature through writers such as Clemens Brentano, Victor Hugo or Ferdinand Freiligrath.