Blücher's Rhine-Crossing at Kaub

1 to 5 January 1814

The northwestern wall of Rheinpfalz castle at Kaub, Germany, viewed from the western shore of the Rhine river

Rheinpfalz castle at Kaub was never conquered during its long history as a tax collection station, because it rests on a rock and sandbank in the middle of the river. The pontoon bridge built here on 1 January 1814 consisted of two sections, one leading from Kaub, on the eastern bank of the Rhine river, to the Rheinpfalz, and the other from the Rheinpfalz to the western bank. While the bridge was under construction by Russian pontooneers, Kaub fishermen ferried 18 Prussian infantry battalions across the Rhine in river barges. Prussian Jägers fanned out to scout the enemy shore, and line infantry established a bridgehead on the western river bank. This critical phase of the assault river crossing remained virtually undetected by French pickets quartered in the villages along the left bank, and the Prussians incurred negligible casualties in the event.

Kaub Today

The Burghotel above Kaub

The Burghotel above Kaub

Blücher-Denkmal monument at Kaub

Blücher-Denkmal monument at Kaub

Blücher's Headquarters located in Metzgergasse in Kaub

Blücher's Headquarters located in Metzgergasse in Kaub

Northeastern wall of the Rheinpfalz at Kaub

Northeastern wall of the Rheinpfalz at Kaub

The north wall of the Rheinpfalz

The north wall of the Rheinpfalz

The south wall of the Rheinpfalz

The south wall of the Rheinpfalz

Close-up of the south wall

Close-up of the south wall

The west wall of the Rheinpfalz

The west wall of the Rheinpfalz

Reconstruction of a Russian canvas pontoon

Reconstruction of a Russian canvas pontoon

Ehrenmal monument on the left bank of the Rhine

Ehrenmal monument on the left bank of the Rhine

Events

Directions

  • B42 North (Riesling-Route) from Wiesbaden via Eltville and Rüdesheim to Kaub.
  • B42 South from Koblenz via Lahnstein and Sankt-Goarshausen to Kaub.
  • A61 from Bad Kreuznach, exit No. 45 Rheinböllen. Follow the signs into Bacherach, then turn left onto the B9 in the direction of Oberwesel. You will see the Rheinpfalz castle in the river after approximately 3 kilometers. This is the location of the car ferry to Kaub. Leave your car on the left bank of the river if parking is available, have a look at the Gedenkstein monument here, then take the ferry across to Kaub.
Garmin GPS Waypoints Latitude Longitude Elevation
Kaub 50°05′15.3″ E007°45′50.3″ 76 m
GPS waypoints in WGS-84 format, taken with a handheld GARMIN eTrex Summit Global Positioning System.

If you are interested in European history, excellent wine and food, and a spectacular view of the Rhine valley, the city of Kaub and the Blüchermuseum located here are well worth a visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars, 1805–1815