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Wertheim, Germany -- European River Cruise Port of Call


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Pointed Tower of Wertheim - European River Cruise Port of Call - Wertheim, Germa
The Pointed Tower of Wertheim, Germany

The Pointed Tower of Wertheim, Germany

Photo (c) Linda Garrison
Everyone has heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but Wertheim, Germany has its own leaning tower -- the Pointed Tower (Spitzer Turm). This 13th century tower does not lean because of an architectural defect, but because of 800 years of flooding. Wertheim's location on the edge of the Main and Tauber Rivers makes it susceptible to flooding, and many of the old town structures including the Pointed Tower have markers that show just how high the water has been over the centuries.

We visited Wertheim on a Grand European River cruise from Budapest to Vienna on the Viking River Cruises' river vessel the Viking Spirit. Disembarking the Viking Spirit, old town Wertheim was just a short walk, and the Pointed Tower was one of the first things we saw in the village. Like all of our ports of call, we had a wonderful local guide who entertained us with stories about Wertheim.

The Pointed Tower was originally built as a lookout tower, but also served as a prison for drunkards and feuding women. It seems that the medieval citizens of Wertheim liked their peace, and if two women were deemed to be shrews because of their fighting or bickering with each other, they were locked in this dark tower together for up to six weeks! They had to climb a ladder and enter the tower through the only entrance 30 feet off the ground, and then be lowered to the bottom of the tower with ropes. Food and water was also lowered to them, but they were kept "in the dark" together.

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