"Gerolstein - In the heart of the Volcano Eifel" Gerolstein by MikeAtSea
Gerolstein Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 115 photos
Located in between the river valleys of Rhine, Moselle and Ahr and close to the borders of Luxembourg and Belgium lies the Gerolstein region in the heart of the volcanic Eifel region. A landscape of bizarre rock formations and stone riffs it is one of the most unique and diverse natural regions of central Europe.
Historical the region also has lots to offer, from roman natural water sources, to the phenomena of ice caves in Birresborn or Roth, to the mineral water center of Germany the town of Gerolstein. Water and spa resorts make this one of the main economical resources and ensures that the region is well known beyond its borders.
In 1871 the region obtained a boost when the rail link was built and Gerolstein was connected by rail service to Cologne and Trier.
The town lies on the river Kyll in the Vulkaneifel, a part of the Eifel known for its volcanic history, geographical and geological features, and even ongoing activity today, including gases that sometimes well up from the earth.
One form of the name Gerolstein first cropped up in connection with the building of the Löwenburg (Castle Gerolstein) in 1115, which was then named as the Burg Gerhardstein. Nevertheless, as early as the Stone Age there is evidence of human habitation in the Buchenloch, a nearby cave. In the Bronze Age, the Dietzenley was used by the Celts as a flight castle. From Roman times, a temple and dwellings are known, and remnants are preserved.
Town rights were granted Gerolstein in 1337. In 1691, the town was almost utterly destroyed when it was liberated from French occupation by troops from the Duchy of Jülich. After reconstruction, there was a devastating fire that burnt the town down in 1708; another, likewise disastrous, came in 1784. In the 1801 Treaty of Lunéville, Gerolstein, along with all areas on the Rhine’s left bank, passed to France, and were only returned to German control in 1815. Count Sternberg-Manderscheid acquired in the 1803 Reichsdeputationshauptschluss as the landholder, among other things, the holdings formerly belonging to the monasteries at Weissenau and Schussenried in Upper Swabia to offset his loss of Blankenheim, Jünkerath, Gerolstein and Dollendorf. It is known that water from the spring that had once been used by the Celts and the Romans was being bottled and sold beginning in 1724. This still forms the basis for today’s mineral water industry in Gerolstein. Late in the Second World War, in 1944 and 1945, Gerolstein’s status as a railway junction town brought Allied air raids down on the town, and 80% of it was destroyed. Town rights were granted Gerolstein once again in 1953.
Covering a hiking trail of nearly 300 km from Aachen to Trier which traverses the Eifel is the Eifelsteig hike through... more travel advice
Gerolstein with its riches in mineral water is also a Spa and right in the heart of the city one can find the green... more travel advice
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