Germany’s Explosive Fireworks

by Melissa Shock
Stripes Europe

Maybe they bring us back to our childhood, maybe it’s the dazzling colors, or maybe it’s just that loud BOOM followed by “ohhhs” and “ahhhs.” No matter the reason, there’s no denying that everyone loves fireworks. Your love for these pretty firecrackers will deepen once you see them set against castle and river backdrops.  
Rhine in Flames

Rhine in Flames is a fireworks spectacle that takes place along the most scenic stretches of the Rhine River several nights this year. Illuminated riverboats beneath mesmerizing patterns of light in the sky create a romantic and unforgettable experience for the whole family. There’s always a traditional wine festival or similar celebration happening at the same time near each starting point that offers stands of German foods and local drinks. Hop on a boat, or watch from the riverbank, where there will be music and dancing. Fireworks start at around 10 p.m. on each of the following dates and locations: July 7 in Rüdesheim-Bingen, Aug. 11 in Koblenz, Sept. 8 in Oberwesel, and Sept. 15 in St. Goar. The event’s official website is 
Rhine River Lights 

Rhine River Lights is a special event throughout the summer that is celebrated exclusively onboard. Boats cruise down the most picturesque parts of the Rhine, offering views of medieval castles and monasteries. A stopover at one of the charming Rhine-side towns, wine tastings, live music  and  dancing are included on this adventure, not to mention a finale of fireworks, where every spot on the boat is a “front-row seat.” Go to to learn more and see various departing locations. Dates of Rhine River Lights: Aug. 25 Oct. 6 and 13.  
Moselfest Winningen 

The Moselfest in Winningen (near Koblenz) is a 10-day festival ending in dazzling fireworks over the Mosel (or Moselle) River. Considered the oldest wine festival in Germany, it’s much more than that, with an impressive and elaborate program of activities sure to keep the whole family entertained. Cruises, theater events, 150 different flavors at the wine market, and a parade through town are just a few of the events happening Aug. 24-Sept. 2. A fireworks show on the last day of the event called “The Mosel River in Fire Magic” (“Die Mosel in Feuerzauber”) really does say it all. Not only do the fireworks beautifully light up the night sky, it’s a pleasure for two senses. While the fireworks are stunning to see, the setting of the show in a canyon of the Mosel River makes for a heightened experience with the explosions echoing off the mountainside. Visit for more details. 

Neckar River and Heidelberg Castle Fireworks   

Recommended as one of the best summer events worldwide, the Castle Illuminations and Neckar fireworks are sure to amaze this summer. Held on July 14 and Sept. 1, the event, known as the Schlossbeleuchtungen, is a long-time tradition celebrating its 405th anniversary in 2018. Around 10:15 p.m., Heidelberg Castle is illuminated with red flames, paying tribute to its history. After a few minutes, the flames die down as a spectacular firework show begins over the Neckar River. A concert of festive music offers a prelude to the show in the church of the Holy Spirit.  
The best views are from the north banks of the Necker and Philosopher’s Walk. Local ships, the Old City  and  the castle are all great viewing spots, as well. Read further about this event at

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