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Schneifel & Westwall

Description

The 'Schneifel' is a range of hills in the Eifel of the Rhineland-Palatinate, some 15 km long and 2 km wide. It is a so-called truncated upland which, on account of its high quartz content, was able to resist being ablated by the forces of erosion to some extent. The term refers to a forest aisle or ridgeway, which was very probably used as long ago as in Roman times. The term 'Schnee-Eifel' ('snow-Eifel') for a larger area was not used until the 19th century.

The heights of the Schneifel are a former border area. From the Middle Ages onwards, the territories of various different farms, monasteries, estates, bishoprics – and later nation states – bordered on one another.

In the Battle of the Bulge, the heights of the Schneifel were the starting point for an unsuccessful German offensive towards Antwerp with thousands of casualties. Remains of the Siegfried Line (dragon's teeth, ruins of bunkers) can still be seen in places.

The highest point of the Schneifel, at 697.3 metres above sea level, is the winter sports area 'Schwarzer Mann', the third-highest hill in the Eifel after the Hohe Acht and the Erresberg. The larger-than-life wooden statue of the same name reminds us of the charcoal makers and the charcoal which used to be produced here.

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Contact details

Schneifel & Westwall
D-54608