Typical landscape of Mosel vineyards near Schweich
|Basin countries||France, Germany, Luxembourg|
|Length||545 km (339 mi)|
|Source elevation||715 m (2,346 ft)|
|Avg. discharge||290 cubic metres per second (10,000 cu ft/s)|
|Basin area||28,286 km2 (10,921 sq mi)|
The Moselle (French: Moselle, IPA: [mɔzɛl]; German: Mosel; Luxembourgish: Musel) is a river flowing through France, Luxembourg, and Germany. It is a left tributary of the Rhine, which it joins at Koblenz. A small part of Belgium is also drained by the Moselle through the Sauer and the Our.
The source of the Moselle is at the western slope of the Ballon d'Alsace in the Vosges mountains. The Moselle flows through the Lorraine region, west of the Vosges. Further downstream, in Germany, the Moselle valley forms the division between the Eifel and Hunsrück mountain regions. Its total length from source to mouth is approximately 546 kilometres (339 mi).
Towns along the Moselle River are:
- in France: Épinal, Toul, Pont-à-Mousson, Metz, and Thionville
- in Luxembourg: Schengen, Remich, Grevenmacher, and Wasserbillig
- in Germany: Trier, Bernkastel-Kues, Cochem, and Koblenz
The Moselle was celebrated in Mosella, a Latin poem by Ausonius (4th century). In the 20th century, the river and the folklore and local history of the towns along its banks were described by British travel writer Roger Pilkington. In the tale, "The Seven Swabians" of the Brothers Grimm, the eponymous Swabians drown trying to cross the Moselle.
The Moselle valley is famous for its beautiful scenery and the excellent wine produced. Most well-known is the German Mosel wine region, while the Luxembourgish winegrowing region is called Moselle Luxembourgeoise and the French region is called VDQS Moselle. Most notable among the wines produced here are Riesling, Elbling, Müller-Thurgau, Kerner, and Auxerrois. The German part of the Moselle is a popular tourist destination. An important asset is today's Moselradweg, the 311-kilometre (193 mi) long cycleway from Metz to Koblenz, which also connects to nine other cycleways.
The Moselle has been made navigable for large cargo ships up to 110 metres (360 ft) long from the Rhine in Koblenz up to Neuves-Maisons, south of Nancy. For smaller ships it is connected to other parts of France through the Canal de l'Est and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin. There are locks in Koblenz, Lehmen, Müden, Fankel, Sankt Aldegund, Enkirch, Zeltingen, Wintrich, Detzem, Trier, Grevenmacher, Palzem, Apach, Kœnigsmacker, Thionville, Richemont, Talange, Metz, Ars-sur-Moselle, Pagny-sur-Moselle, Blénod-lès-Pont-à-Mousson, Custines, Pompey, Aingeray, Fontenoy-sur-Moselle, Toul, Villey-le-Sec, and Neuves-Maisons.
- Château de Meinsberg (dit de Malbrouck): near Manderen, this castle was built in the 15th century but rebuilt in the 1990s. Today it is used for numerous cultural events.
- Château Fort de Sierck-les-Bains: situated just on the French-German border at Sierck-les-Bains, this fortress of the Duke of Lorraine dates back to the 11th century. Most of today's castle was constructed in the 18th century, following plans from Vauban.
- Schloss Berg: a Renaissance castle at Nennig, today a hotel and a casino.
- Alte Burg: a manor house built in 1360 at Longuich. One of the few surviving manor houses in rural Rhineland-Palatinate.
- Schloss Lieser: a palace at Lieser built from 1884 to 1887 in historistic style.
- Landshut Castle: a castle built by the Electorate of Trier in the 13th century at Bernkastel-Kues.
- Grevenburg: ruins of a castle at Traben-Trarbach built by Johann III of Sponheim-Starkenburg about 1350, destroyed, after many sieges, in 1734.
- Marienburg: a 12th-century castle and later monastery near Pünderich and Alf.
- Arras Castle: a 12th-century castle in Alf.
- Metternich Castle: a castle built around 1120 at Beilstein, today partly in ruins.
- Cochem Castle: The castle in Cochem was originally built in the 11th century, but was completely destroyed by French soldiers in 1689. The present castle was rebuilt later in the 19th century.
- Thurant Castle: Above the town of Alken is Thurant Castle, built in the 13th century. It is the only twin-towered castle along the Moselle. The fortress was built by the Count Palatine Henry of the house of Guelph between 1198 and 1206. From 1246 to 1248, it was the two archbishops of Cologne and Trier. Following conquest, it was divided by a partition wall into two halves, each with a keep (tower). During the 19th century, Thurant disintegrated, becoming a ruin; and in 1911 was aquired by Privy Councilor, Dr. Robert Allmers, who had it rebuilt. Since 1973, the castle has been owned by the Allmers and Wulf families.
- Ehrenburg: a 12th-century castle built by the Electorate of Trier at Brodenbach.
- Eltz Castle: The von Eltz family castle, whose history dates back to the 12th century. It remains in private hands to this day but it is open to visitors.
- Lower and Upper Castle, Kobern-Gondorf: two 11th-century castles, today mostly in ruins.
- Pyrmont Castle: This 13th-century castle near Roes was remodelled and extended several times during the Baroque era.
- Bischofstein Castle: Across the river from the municipality of Burgen is this 13th-century castle, which was destroyed during the Nine Years' War, but was reconstructed and now serves as a retreat centre for the Fichte Gymnasium in Krefeld.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Moselle River.|
- mosel.de, mosel.de
- Die Mosel, die-mosel.de
- Moseltal, moseltal.de
- www.mosel.com, mosel.com
- HoloGuides - Moselle, hologuides.com
- Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law Peace Palace Libray at ppl.nl
- Livecam Moselle river, webcam.cochem.c
- German-Luxembourgish-French Mosel Agency (in German/French)
- German Waterways Agency Trier (Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Trier) (in German)