Standing in the Rüdesheim music museum, I felt the wonder and enchantment of a child as a colourful fairground organ started into life with breathy melodies and exotic moving figures. Clearly the others who had joined this tour from our Rhine Cruise with Lüftner Cruises felt the same, and we sang along to the scratchy gramophone record; “When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what would I be?”
The music museum is housed in an attractive old manor house, the Brömserhof, a knight’s residence that dates back to the 15th century, with a vintage car outside where we had our photo taken. It was started by German collector, Siegfried Wendel who gathered together this collection of mechanical musical instruments and opened his museum in the 1960s in Hochheim am Main, which later moved to its current home in Rüdesheim when the collection became too large.
I hope that you enjoy my video below from the Rüdesheim Music Museum
The museum houses about 350 self-playing musical instruments and can only be visited during a 45 minute guided tour, in which the guide explained the history of many of the instruments and set them to play for us. We saw how the old punch cards were fed into many of the instruments for each song, and were told how the gramophone needle had to be changed each time, or it would destroy the record.
Our tour included colourful fairground organs, a sophisticated mechanical piano topped with violins, a ghostly piano that played itself and tiny musical boxes containing a trilling bird, reproductions of which were available in the museum shop for a mere €2000! The museum opens between March and December 10am-6pm and you will need to join a tour to have the musical instruments explained and demonstrated. Cost (information from the website as ours was part of the cruise tour of Rüdesheim) is €6.50 adults, €3.50 children.
Afterwards, take a walk down the narrow Drosselgasse, a lane that is lined with inns and wine houses where you can try some of the local wines from the Rhine region or enjoy a Rüdesheim coffee as we did, laced with Asbach brandy and topped with whipped cream.
For more information on the Rüdesheim music museum visit the Siegried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet website
More tales from Our Rhine River Cruise
All aboard the Amadeus Princess – what to expect from your river cruise ship
From Riesling to Gewürztraminer – our wine tasting on the Alsace Wine Route
Cruising the Rhine Day 4 – Rüdesheim, The Middle Rhine and Koblenz
About Lüftner Cruises
My thanks to Lüftner Cruises who hosted our Rhine River Cruise – Lüftner Cruises specialise in European river cruises on the Rhine, Danube, Rhône and other destinations in Europe, with personal service and Austrian hospitality. You can also follow them on their Facebook Page. We travelled on the Amadeus Princess on a 7 day Classical Rhine Cruise which travelled from Basel to Amsterdam, although we disembarked at Cologne.
You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey