1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bingen
BINGEN (anc. Vincum or Bingium), a town of Germany, in the grand-duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, 15 m. N.W. from Mainz, on the main line to Cologne. Pop. (1905) 9950. It is situated on the left bank of the Rhine opposite Rüdesheim, at the confluence of the Nahe (or Nava), which is crossed near its mouth by a stone bridge, attributed to Drusus, and certainly of Roman origin, and an iron railway bridge. On a height immediately to the south-east is the ruined castle of Klopp, on the site of a fortress founded by Drusus, and higher still the celebrated chapel of St Roch (rebuilt in 1895 after a fire), where thousands of pilgrims gather on the first Sunday after the 16th of August. Apart from its situation, which renders it a convenient place of tourist resort, the town itself presents but few attractions. There are a Protestant and three Roman Catholic churches, among the latter the parish church with a crypt dating from the 11th century, and a medieval town hall. It has a considerable commerce in wine, grain and cattle, and, new quays and a harbour having been recently constructed, does an extensive transit trade in coal and iron. A short way down the Rhine is the Bingerloch, a famous whirlpool, while about halfway between it and the town rises on a rock in the middle of the stream the Mäuseturm (derived from Muserie, cannon), in which, according to legend, Archbishop Hatto II. of Mainz was in 969 eaten by mice (the legend being doubtless due to the erroneous derivation from Mäuse, mice). Another legend states that the Nibelung treasure is hidden hereabouts in the Rhine.