It would be worth writing about this place just for the sake of photos – a small old town that has preserved the same appearance that it had more than 300 years ago. This city is beautiful and has a unique history, which we will talk about today in this article.
This small town is always full of tourists, but if you are not planning to go on vacation yet. Then relax at home and visit https://vave.com/live.
The city of Monschau, which is located in Germany, near the border with Belgium, was lucky – it did not experience any destruction during its entire existence.
After the defeat of Germany in World War II, American troops came here. But, they say, the tanks could not drive through the narrow streets and the Americans left. The city simply had no strategic significance, there was no military action here. Monschau is located in a gorge – partly on a peninsula formed by a bend of the Ruhr River, and partly along its small tributary.
Accordingly, narrow streets run along the water, and sometimes the water is right between the houses. And wherever you look around, you have to go up.
Interestingly, the Germans call this mountainous area the Eifel (or Eiffel), and the Belgians call it the Ardennes. The Ruhr River itself originates in Belgium, crosses the border with Germany near Monschau, and at the end flows into the Meuse River already on the territory of the Netherlands.
But, of course, this is not the peculiarity of Monschau. Because the city has hardly been rebuilt for at least 3 centuries, it has almost completely preserved its houses in their original form.
Everything Is the Same as 3 Centuries Ago
Monschau Castle stands above the bend of the river, its construction dates back to the end of the 12th century – or rather, its first mention, or rather mention of the castle of the same name.
In principle, similar towns can no longer be found in Germany itself. Its architecture is distinguished (apart from the very principle of development associated with the location by the river) by the fact that almost all the buildings in it are so-called half-timbered houses.
Even if you do not know this term, you will immediately understand what it is about if you say that these are the very “gingerbread” houses that we often call “German”.
Although you can meet them in the same Holland, the Czech Republic, the Baltic States, and even in our Kaliningrad. The technology itself was also used in Russia – it is believed, for example, that the first Admiralty building in St. Petersburg was made using this technology.
Although in general the technology itself is attributed to the ancient Romans – they just invented it for fast and cheap construction on the conquered lands of the Franks and Gauls. Actually, due to the lack of the right amount of materials – stone in the first place and wood in the second. And, probably, the comparative simplicity of construction.
A Brief History of the City
But back to Monschau. As you have already understood, the whole city is one continuous attraction. However, there are also their main tourist places – first of all, the already mentioned castle. At least because the city itself received this status in the 14th century after a small settlement grew thanks to the then-owners of the castle.
However, after a couple of hundred years, the castle was destroyed by the troops of Charles the Fifth, in the 17th-century slate began to be mined under the castle, as a result, labyrinths of caves formed under it, which were used as bomb shelters during World War II.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, a hostel has been set up in part of the castle, which, they say, is still working. Also, various festivals and concerts are held in the castle, and on winter holidays it is decorated with lights.
People from all over Germany, Belgium, and many other countries come here for concerts, and just for weekends and holidays. In general, it is believed that Monschau began to become a purely tourist town after the closure of the old weaving factory, built back in the 18th century.
Now the factory building is called the “Red House” and this is the second main attraction of Monschau. The house still belongs to the Schreiber family, whose ancestors built the factory.
They say that the growth of the city itself and its fame is not the least of its merits. The factory building is now a museum where you can see the old interiors with the main hit – a wooden carved staircase without supports connecting three floors.