The legend about Nibelungen
7 de Dezembro de 2019.
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Lorelei and the black cliff

Men who…

Men who try to reach her will for ever lose their life. 

Men who hear her singing will for ever lose their heart.

Men who see her appearance will for ever lose the ability to perceive something else as beautiful. 

Way op on this frightening cliff she stands with a white dress and shining blonde hair. 

Way up on this frightening cliff she stands waving at the sailors passing. 

Her smile is captivating and her voice is enchanting. 

Many sailors have lost their lives in their attempt to reach her. The home of Lorelei is the very spot of the Rhine River where the water floats the wildest, the one were the shores are the closest. It is the spot where the water looks like foam and the waves clash on the bow of the boat like hungry wolfs. It is the spot where two terrifying cliffs, like the claws of a bear, are greeting the sailors that courageously try to pass this straight. 

Once, also the devil wanted to pass the straight. The passage, however, was too narrow for his enormous boat, so he decided to move one of the cliffs. So he pushed his back against the rocky stone and started to shake the entire cliff. And with the first subtle stir, the beguiling voice of Lorelei appeared, as melodic as a bird’s song and as soft as Damascus silk. In an instant, an inexpressible feeling filled the devil that overwhelmed him entirely. He had heard nothing like that before, he had never felt something like that before. He wanted take Lorelei with him and be with her, for as long as time may be. 

Be he didn’t have any control over her. Although he had power over everything that he passed, he could not make Lorelei his own. As soon as her singing stopped, he fled, terrified of being captured by her enchanting singing. He fled, terrified of this overwhelming feeling. What remains of this burning love is a black cliff, showing the figure of the devil. Lorelei, however, still sings, to whoever passes the straight. 

This is one of the most famous legends in Germany, which comes in different versions. Another adaptation tells the story of Lorelei and her husband Eberhard, who had to go to war. Whenever he started sailing and looked back, he crushed into a rock and drowned, being captivated by Lorelei`s beauty. In shock, she jumped into the foaming river in the attempt to save her beloved husband, and drowned as well. Many more myths and legend developed during the last centuries, all revolving around this one cliff, that is still visitable in central Germany. 

Text written in August 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer:

Rebecca, 25 years old, from Germany and no longer “the new one” in the Madeira Heritage voluntary program. Experienced and educated in social psychology, but still not able to read people’s minds. Passionate about (classical) music, interculturality, and other people.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing to a diverse and rich Europe.

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