When you’ve got a hankerin’ for a medieval village, do I have one for you! Silly me, of course you’re looking for a medieval village like Blankenheim in the Eifel region. Isn’t everyone?
Honestly, Blankenheim only looks like a medieval village; it’s got all the modern day conveniences we couldn’t live without. However, I know that all its historical sites are the reason you’ve come.
Before you’re off to see the castle and museums, you gotta check out the source of the River Ahr. No, this water doesn’t come flowing right out of a mountain or anything like that. No, the river starts in the cellar of a timber-framed house!
Just a note, though. There are many, many framework houses in Blankenheim—but only one kicks off an entire river. How cool is that?
Also around the River Ahr is the Ahr-Radweg, a 90 mile bicycle route.
Blankenheim isn’t all fairytale houses; there are a few museums to boot. The Eifel Museum is totally dedicated to life here in the Eifel Hills with exhibits on everything from landscaping, to shoe making, spinning, and weaving.
While the Eifel Museum is about working in the area, the Carnival Museum is about partying in the area. Opened in 1990, the museum looks at the fun festivities of Carnival that take place right before the Lenten Christian holiday.
Here you can learn about the Blankenheimer Geister (Blankenheim Ghosts). They’re the “ghosts” carrying the torches on the Carnival parade on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday.
Another festival that’s great to be here for is the Lake Festival complete with fireworks on the first weekend of August.
Now are you ready to get medieval? Burg Blankenheim is a medieval castle that was built in 1115. One interesting piece of the castle’s history is a medieval aquaduct (known as the Tiergartentunnel) that supplied water to the Burg. It was built in 1468 yet wasn’t (re-)discovered until 1997.
Then you’ve got the Hirtentor, the only remaining gate of the city from the 15th century. Today it houses a natural history exhibit.
Sorry, I was a bit off, the Church of St. Mary Assumption isn’t from the Middle Ages, it was built in the early 16th century which is the start of the Renaissance.
Ah, who cares! Blankenheim will forever be a medieval village in my mind and I sure hope I’ve convinced you, too.