Hiking Highlight (Segment)
The ring wall of Otzenhausen is a mighty Celtic fortification on the slope of the Dollberg near Otzenhausen. Like other pre-historic or early-historical fortifications, it was popularly misleadingly called a Hunnenring. Archaeologists, however, date their origins to the La Tène period (5th-1st century BC). The term was first created in modern times, when you did not know anything about the genesis, the building has nothing to do with the Asian tribe.
At Keltenpark, at the foot of the Otzenhausen ring wall, a "real" Celtic village is being built, as it might have looked 2,000 years ago inside the mighty fortress on top of the Dollberg. The reconstruction of an authentic Celtic settlement is an integral part of the emerging Celtic Park.
The Celtic rampart wall is freely accessible and can be visited all year round.
August 23, 2018
The Celtic ring wall "Hunnenring" from OtzenhausenThe popular name "Hunnenring" refers to one of the most powerful fortifications in the Celtic world. As a relic of the romantic era, the designation "Hunnenring" incorrectly suggests the existence of nomadic peoples from the Eastern European-Asian region on the ring wall Ring wall as a prehistoric fortification of unexplained character. Possible theories range from a pure refuge to an oppidum (town-like settlement) to a center of power and rule, or the aristocratic seat of a rich Celtic tribe, whose existence is proven by numerous, richly furnished princely tombs in the area Spatially, the "Hunnenring" is located on the southern edge of the tribal area of the Treveri, a Celtic tribe that lived here and was built as a protective castle in the 5th / 4th century BC (end of the Hallstatt culture) for the 2nd and 1st centuries before BC (time of the Lateneculture) sufficiently secured. In the 1st century BC, the castle complex was abandoned for reasons that have not yet been clarified. With its triangular shape, the "Hunnenring" delimits the southwestern part of the 695m high Dollberg. It is divided into a main system and a preliminary system with an embankment in the south. The extension is 460m in east-west direction and 647m in north-south direction. Together with the matrix area, this results in a total area of 18.5 hectares. Thus the "Hunnenring" is considered to be one of the largest Celtic fortifications. The length of the 5 stone walls, which are made up of 240,000 cbm of fall material from the former defensive walls, is around 2500m in total. The dimensions of the facility are still very impressive to the viewer today. During excavations in the 1930s, a small part of the interior settlement and the gate system could be examined. New research excavations started in 1999 in order to gain further scientific knowledge. It is hoped that this will uncover the many secrets of the complex. Source: Text information board
October 4, 2021
The main wall - north wall part 1The imposing rock masses of the north wall are silent witnesses of what was once the mightiest Celtic fortress walls in Europe. Built to seal off the populated mountain spur from the adjoining mountain ridge, this wall had to be far more powerful than the side walls. Due to the hillside location there, these were difficult to attack by an enemy. With a height of over 10m and a base width of 40m, the collapse of the wall still gives an impression of its former size. Based on a formerly vertical front and rear, it would have been in the 1st century BC. Chr. Had a size of about 20m high and 25m thick. However, the north wall is much older. Already around 400 BC A wall crossing the ridge from W-E, consisting of a wooden frame with earth and stone filling, was built. As a section wall with a trench in front of it, it formed the oldest wall of the fortress. A second, similar section wall was located at the height of today's refuge as a second defensive wall. At the latest in the 1st century BC. The now recognizable ring wall, a circumferential, closed fortress wall was built. This probably happened in the course of the Germanic dangers and the Gallic War. The later wall construction of the 1st century v. BC, which was built over the remains of the section wall, has not yet been investigated. The huge, loose rock masses prevent this. Was the north wall built in the manner of a "murus gallicus", the Gallic wall, described by Caesar. This consisted of a framework of nailed or mortised beams with the local Taunus quartzite filling. In any case, this could be proven in the gate area of the fortress. Or was the wall simply constructed as a heaped stone wall? In addition to its fortification significance, the fortress was also used for representational purposes. Outwardly, it impressively reflected the power of the ruling prince on the ridge that was deforested at the time. Source: Text information board - Dr. T Fritsch, Terrex GmbH
October 4, 2021
The main wall - north wall part 2In its final phase, the importance of the Hunnenring was likely to have developed from a refuge to an oppidum (town-like settlement). A multitude of shattered, Roman republican wine amphorae interpret the place as an important trading center of the Hochwald region. Traces of cult practice underpin its cultic significance. Around 50 BC The complex was cleared without a fight in the course of the bello gallico (Gallic War). The new Roman rulers demonstrated their power with a 25 hectare military camp near Hermeskeil. The change from the Celtic to the Gallo-Roman culture took its course. Source: Text information board - Dr. T Fritsch, Terrex GmbH
October 4, 2021
The stairs at the ring wallIn 1836 the residents of Otzenhausen and the surrounding area used the stones of the ring wall as building material. For fear of the cultural heritage, Count Villers von Burgesch, a member of the "Society for Useful Research", wrote to the then Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV and asked that the local people be forbidden from doing so. The king appeared in person on the "Ringwall" a year later. So that the king could comfortably climb the fortress, a staircase was built over the north wall. The royal visit had far-reaching consequences that will continue into the future. The ring wall of Otzenhausen became a protected cultural monument and was saved from destruction. The staircase now enables everyone to cross this imposing monument.
October 4, 2021
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