Moselle River

Moselle River


The Moselle (Moselle, Mosel, Musel) is a river flowing through France, Luxembourg and Germany. It is a left tributary of the Rhine river, joining it at Koblenz. A small part of Belgium is also drained by the Mosel through the Our.

Its name comes from the Latin Mosella, meaning the "Little Meuse" (Mosa in Latin). The river gave its name to two French départements: Moselle and Meurthe-et-Moselle.


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 545 km.

Towns along the river Moselle are:


From the left: Madon, Terrouin, Esch, Rupt de Mad, Orne, Fensch, Gander, Syre, Sauer, Kyll, Salm, Lieser, Alf, Endert, Brohlbach, Elz.

From the right: Moselotte, Vologne, Meurthe, Seille, Saar, Olewiger Bach, Avelsbach, Ruwer, Feller Bach, Dhron, Ahringsbach, Kautenbach, Lützbach, Flaumbach, Altlayer Bach, Baybach, Ehrbach.


The Moselle valley between Nancy, Metz and Thionville is an industrial area, with coal mining and steel manufacture.

The Moselle has been made navigable for large cargo ships 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.

The Moselle valley is famous for its beautiful scenery and the excellent wine produced, most well-known is the German wine-growing region of Mosel, while Luxembourg wine-growing 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.


The Moselle was celebrated in Mosella, an ancient Roman poem by Ausonius. In the twentieth century, the river and the folklore and local history of the towns along its banks were described by British travel writer Roger Pilkington.


  • Burg Thurant: Near the town of Alken stands Thurant castle,which was built in the 13th century. It is the only twin-towered castle along the Mosel.
  • Burg Eltz: The von Eltz family castle, whose history goes back to the 12th century,remains in private hands to this day but is open to visitors.
  • Burg Pyrmont: This 13th century castle was remodelled and extended several times during the Baroque era.
  • Castle of Cochem: The castle in Cochem was originally built in the 11th century, but was completely destroyed by French soldiers in 1869. The present castle was rebuilt later in the 19th century.
  • Burg Bischofstein: Across from the town of Burgen stands this 13th century castle, which was destroyed during the War of the Grand Alliance but was reconstructed and now serves as a retreat center for Fichte Gymnasium in Krefeld, Germany

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