Mountain Biking Highlight
The "red heap" is a weathering of an ore deposit near Imsbach in the Donnersberg district of the West Palatinate.
It is located directly above one of the iron ore corridors. Even today, the heap is still largely unexpanded and finely distributed hematite makes it glow intensely red in the sunlight (see attached panel).
Two veins about 1.5 km long and up to several meters thick provided abundant iron over many centuries.
Initially, it was smelted here, later at the nearby Eisenschmelz and in Hochstein near Winnweiler. Iron ore was also of central importance for the economic life of people in the Middle Ages. It can therefore be assumed that the protection of the ore deposits was one reason why a castle was built at a height immediately above the ore mines, the castle Hohenfels. After its destruction in the 13th century, only a few remnants of the once mighty complex are preserved today. The iron ore mining near Imsbach, however, survived the end of the castle by about half a millennium, until the end of the 19th century, the ore reserves here were largely exhausted.
August 27, 2018
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