Römerwarte Katzenberg (Roman Hill Fort)
During the time of the Romans, a large hill fort watched over the people of the Mayen vicus. Around 70 metres of the fortress wall with an accessible walk along the battlements and two towers have since been reconstructed. From the protective post on the summit of Katzenberg, they had a far-reaching view out over East Eifel – an industrial region pre-dating modern times.
In about 300 AD, when the Roman hill fort was built, there were no more limes to protect against marauding bands who came robbing and murdering across the Rhine. Without it, Mayen would certainly have been a worthwhile target, as the ceramics industry was booming there because of its clay deposits, making it a global player on the European market. The local clay could be used to produce highly heat-resistant ceramics, which was particularly important for cookware. Altogether, the ancient volcanic activity of East Eifel bestowed rich treasures. The Romans were already mining basalt lava for highly productive grain mills at the Mayen mining site, and tuff was being extracted from the Roman mine in Meurin for major building projects. Both mining sites as well as the Roman hill fort are part of "Vulkanpark Osteifel" (East Eifel Volcano Park) and are well worth visiting as excursion destinations.
A station along the Roman roads.