Historic castle town of Blankenheim
Castle flair and half-timbered idyll of yesteryear
Blankenheim has made a name for itself as the source of the Ahr. The pretty castle town also has a lot to offer beyond that. The best way to find out exactly what is on offer is to pay Blankenheim a visit.
Historical Centre with Sublime Castle
The Count's Castle rises proudly above the roofs of Blankenheim and dominates the townscape. Originally built as a hilltop castle around 1115, the fortress was rebuilt several times over the course of time and transformed from a medieval fortification into today's Baroque castle. The castle now houses a modern youth hostel, offering guests the opportunity to spend the night within its historic walls.
Where the Ahr rises
Of course, a visit to the source of the Ahr is a must - after all, it is one of the town's most important landmarks. It rises in the cellar of an ancient half-timbered house in the centre of town and is well worth seeing. From the source, the river then winds its way through the romantic Ahr valley to Sinzig, where it finally flows into the Rhine. The Ahr cycle path and the Ahr-Steig hiking trail start at the Ahr spring. The long-distance hiking trail Eifelsteig (stage 7) also passes here. Afterwards, the ramble through the charming old town alleys can be continued. For families with children, the Weiherpark adventure playground is a perfect stopover for romping and playing. Other sights include the Shepherd's and George's Gates as well as the Eifel Museum, the Hülchrath Chapel and the "Villa rustica" Roman villa.
Tip: If you happen to be in the area at carnival time, don't miss Blankenheim's historic ghost procession. During this annual procession on the evening of Carnival Saturday, spring spirits parade through the alleyways to drive away the winter demons.
Blankenheim's favourable location in the heart of the northern Eifel also makes it an excellent starting point for further forays into the surrounding countryside. Especially on warm summer days, an excursion to nearby Lake Freilingen is worthwhile and offers the opportunity to cool off, sunbathe or have a picnic in the open air. You can also discover in-depth insights into the local flora and fauna in the Lampertstal valley. The nature reserve is one of the largest of its kind in North Rhine-Westphalia and offers pure nature experiences on numerous hiking trails.