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Donnersberg (Kirchheimbolanden)
The Highest Point in the Pfalz

Donnersberg (Thunder Mountain) is the highest point in the Pfalz holiday region. You will be amazed at the abundant variety of excursions offered. Tracks from the past bring history alive. Then again, advanced eco-projects are proof that the future has already begun. On your holidays in the Donnersberg area you can expect to experience exciting and eventful days. You can appreciate the natural beauty of Donnersberg all year round, whether per bike, on foot or from the air. For the sportsmen and women there are well kept golf courses and excellent tennis courts. Autumn is harvest time for the delicious grapes grown here in two wine-growing areas. How nice that one can enjoy the wine whatever the season!

1. Location of the Donnersberg in Germany

The Donnersberg is located in the Pfalz holiday region, approximately 95 km to the southeast of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (see map on bottom of page).

The Pfalz is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. The Pfalz, the southernmost part of the Rhineland-Palatinate, is a veritable Garden of Eden. Fruits such as almonds, figs and kiwis thrive here thanks to a climate that is exceptionally mild. This is a land of superlatives: with more than 150 million vines, the Pfalz has the largest uninterrupted wine-growing area in Rhineland-Palatinate. In Bad Dürkheim, you will find not only the biggest wine barrel in the world but also the biggest wine festival, the Bad Dürkheim Wurstmarkt. The Pfalz also has plenty to offer in the way of historical interest. Speyer's cathedral, for instance, is a UNESCO world heritage site. ... read more about the Pfalz holiday region

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2. ‘Pfälzer’ Hospitality & ‘Pfälzer’ Wine

Panorama of the Donnersberg (Thunder Mountain), the highest point in the Pfalz
Panorama of the Donnersberg (Thunder Mountain), the highest point in the Pfalz

Here in the ‘Pfalz’ the locals enjoy taking care of you and your culinary well-being. Hospitality is top priority. Holiday makers are welcome guests at numerous festivals. These festivals are great places to make new friends and try the local specialities. Wine has become a cult here in the ‘Pfalz’, over the years. If you are a connoisseur of wine you can test the award winning wine grown in this area, directly from the winegrower. A resident brewery makes sure that the beer drinkers amongst you aren´t neglected and will gladly help you quench your thirst. The beer is brewed with the spring water from Donnersberg — proof in itself for good quality. Whether you prefer to spend your holiday in a four star hotel, a holiday flat, a youth hostel or on a camping site, the Donnersberg region has something to offer for everybody's taste. In the many restaurants in the region you can try the local specialities. If ‘Saumagen’ is on the menu, you really must try it! There are excellent restaurants, too which surprise you with delicious creations from the new ‘Pfälzische’ cusine.

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3. Living History & Monuments

Celt Village (Keltendorf) in Steinbach
Celt Village (Keltendorf) in Steinbach

What do you know about the Celts? A journey into the prehistoric past of the Donnersberg region can jog your memory. Before Germanic tribes populated the area, the Celts had already built a fortress on Donnersberg. Remains of the outer wall, which once protected the settlement, can still be seen today. An illustrated chart along the footpath can answer any questions. The Celt village in Steinbach on Donnersberg is built in a similar manner. You can learn here, how the Celts lived and worked and of course their culture.

Falkenstein Castle Ruin
Falkenstein Castle Ruin

A visit to the Roman Museum is the next stage of the journey through the centuries. There are some new and interesting finds as well as the existing exhibition. Recent excavations enable one to imagine how the Roman villas were built.

The next leap in your journey in time, takes you into the Middle Ages. Let your imagination run wild looking around monastry and castle ruins. These as well as historical town centres and town walls tell the tales of the rise and fall of once powerful princes and knights.

The former ‘Weiße Grube’ mine, is an industrial monument. It invites visitors to walk around underground and imagine the miners working conditions, many years ago. At the same time you can gain understanding of the earths history in the area.

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4. Points of Interest

Keltendorf am Donnersberg
Keltendorf am Donnersberg
The Celtic village and the Celtic garden are designed to bring visitors closer to life, work, culture, and natural surroundings during Celtic times in a descriptive way. The Celtic village was built in keeping with traditional craftsmanship in accordance with findings from excavations. Visitors can participate in many activities resembling the Celtic craftsmanship and life. Many activities are especially for children and are fun for the whole family. Special events and festivities from March to October. » show on google maps
Keltengarten am Donnersberg
Keltengarten am Donnersberg
A stroll through the Celtic garden next to the Celtic village in Steinbach gives you a vivid impression about the working life, culture and natural environment at the time of the Celts. Displays provide information about the importance of the various plants, Celtic customs, habits, beliefs and technical achievements of the Celts. » show on google maps
Roman Vicus & Roman Museum
Roman Museum
The exhibition entitled ‘The Roman Eisenberg’ includes numerous ceramic pieces, glass and metal objects, as well as an early Christian bread stamp. Roman living quarters are represented in the reproduction of a dining room and kitchen. Archaeological excavations have found 17 Roman buildings from the 1st and 5th century AD. Many exhibits shown are from the excavation and are a testimonial of the life in the Roman Vicus (Roman settlement). » show on google maps
Steinhauermuseum Alsenz
Steinhauermuseum Alsenz
Exhibits include machinery and tools, and video films explain the social history. Binoculars for viewing sandstone structures. ‘Technician's office’ from the turn of the century. » show on google maps
Kahnweilerhaus
Kahnweilerhaus
Picasso patron Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Kahnweiler’s German-language book collection is available as a reference library. Changing exhibitions on contemporary culture. » show on google maps
Pfälzisches Bergbaumuseum
Pfälzisches Bergbaumuseum
In addition to old craft tools for extracting raw materials, the museum displays unique pieces for iron manganese extraction, a gold pan dated 1880 in the ‘silver cabinet’, a collection of Davy lamps, documentation on how to extract mercury, an original old mine chart, and many things more. » show on google maps
Bergbauerlebniswelt Imsbach
Bergbauerlebniswelt
Large areas of the tunnel system of the ‘White Pit’ (Weiße Grube) have been reopened over the past years to accommodate visitors. Several hundred metres of supported tunnels as well as large underground and aboveground extraction sites are accessible today. Here you can follow the historic traces of 500 years of mining, from the Middle Ages to modern mining at the beginning of this century. Three walking routes with numerous information displays along the way give you a tour of the surrounding area and its mining history. » show on google maps
Stumpfwaldbahn
Stumpfwaldbahn
This historic narrow-gauge railway runs on a scenic route that is approximately 4 km in length, located between the Eiswoog and the Kleehof. Travel days: Sundays and holidays from June to the beginning of October, Eiswoog train station. » show on google maps
Pfälzisches Turmuhrenmuseum
Turmuhrenmuseum
An old farm with a clock tower creates the setting for more than 30 large tower clocks, sundials and sand clocks. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Daily guided tours by appointment, closed from Christmas to March. » show on google maps
Art Museum Pachen
Museum Pachen
Heinz Pachen dispose of a unique collection with over 2,000 works by approximately 300 artists from all over Germany, including names such as Otto Dix and Käthe Kollwitz. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Daily guided tours by appointment. » show on google maps
Falkenstein Castle Ruin
Burgruine Falkenstein
Falkenstein is one of the most famous fortresses of the Donnersberg massif. The fortress is perched almost vertically approximately 100 m above the village of Falkenstein on jagged melaphyre cliffs. The fortress was rebuilt into an amphitheatre in 1993. Accessible at any time. » show on google maps
Moschellandsburg Ruin
Moschellandsburg Ruin
The floor plan shows the typical characteristics of a medieval fortress. Destroyed in 1689, the fortress still hints at its former grandiose size even today. Accessible any time. » show on google maps
Kloster Rosenthal Ruin
Kloster Rosenthal Ruin
Former Cistercian abbey. Parts of the sidewalls with flying buttresses and the west gable with the little turret and stone bonnet roof typical for the valley are all that remained from the original single aisle abbey church. The tomb plates of abbesses and founders can be found along the sidewalls of the churches. Open Sundays and holidays and by appointment. » show on google maps
Donnersberg and Keltenweg
Donnersberg Ludwigsturm
The Donnersberg rises as the highest elevation of the Pfälzerwald, or ‘Palatinate Forest’, straight up from the plain. The main plateau of the 687 m high Donnersberg is surrounded by a ring wall system with a total length of 8.5 km. These walls represent the remains of the circular wall of a Late Celtic village built in the 2nd half of the 2nd Century B.C., one of the largest early municipal settlement areas in Central Europe. A section of the Celtic wall has been reconstructed — the Keltenmauer. The ‘Keltenweg’ (‘Celtic Trail’), with a length of 8.5 km, begins at the Donnersberg parking lot and leads hikers with a knack for the archaeological and/or historical to numerous excavation sites and monuments. Information signs provide a good overview of this important cultural treasure. And the plateau of the ‘Ludwigsturm’, or ‘Ludwig’s Tower’, provides a fantastic panoramic view of the region. » show on google maps
Lake Eiswoog
Lake Eiswoog
The Eiswoog near Ramsen is the ideal lake for swimming, boating, Kneipp therapy and relaxation. Your culinary needs are met by the ‘Gasthaus Forelle’, located directly on the lake and featuring its own fish farm. » show on google maps
Börrstadt Golf Course
Börrstadt Golf Course
There is much that is unique about the Donnersberg area, including its golf course on the Donnersberg, featuring 18 holes and designed by Donald Harradine. Located on the southern face of the Donnersberg, you frequently have a broad view into the landscape all the way down to the Rhine River plains. The course is open all year round. » show on google maps
Gartenbahn
Gartenbahn Börrstadt
The ‘Gartenbahn’ at the Sport and Leisure Facility in Börrstadt. Located adjacent to the church hall, there is a park-like site with rail facilities, a rail station built lovingly in its original style, a switch tower, tunnel, bridge and rail crossing with crossing barriers, all in miniature format! A real pleasure for young and old! » show on google maps
‘Geokulturpfad’ in Obermoschel
Geokulturpfad
The ‘Geo-Kulturpfad’ (Geo Culture Trail) can be walked either as a small tour covering 1.5 km or a large round trip tour covering 2 km. Along with adventure stations for the children, such as a cable-car, there is also much to learn and experience about the forest, its wildlife, history and geology. The starting point is the Obermoschel Open Air Stage (across from the Burghotel). The hike also takes in the Moschellandsburg castle ruins. » show on google maps
Park der Sinne (Sensory Park)
Park der Sinne
Feel, see, hear, smell, taste and experience. The most important thing in all of this is to take some time for yourself and new or perhaps forgotten sensory impressions, to let them affect you and to allow yourself to delve into senses that are often overlooked in everyday life. So, off with those shoes, turn off your watch, close your mouth and enjoy this sensory adventure! ‘Park der Sinne’ is open all year round. » show on google maps
GeoTours
Geotours
The Donnersberg area features rock formations from many epochs of the last 300 million years. Along with geological objects, the historical mining relicts from the last 2,000 years also play a very important role. Tourists can enter into an exciting, sometimes interactive journey through time in the mining world of the Donnersberg area, where the relations between geology, mineral deposits and historic settlements become clear. » show on google maps

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5. Holiday for Families

Family Holiday
Relaxing Holiday for Families:
Fun in the Keltendorf, playground at the Keltengarten, playing knights at castle ruins

Children want to be kept busy on holiday. There is nothing worse than bored kids! For the water rats amongst you, there are five indoor and outdoor swimming-pools to choose from. Besides that, there is a sandy beach in beautiful surroundings where you can hire boats. Other children are enthusiastic about riding. You do not have to look very far because there are many riding stables in the Donnersberg area. A lot of them offer special riding holidays for youngsters. During these holidays, the kids can learn to ride, are shown how to look after and groom the horses and of course, generally have fun together. Families also enjoy excursions to the many castle ruins. While their parents learn about the history of castles, the children can have fun playing knights of the round table! There are numerous adventure playgrounds, too. The children can let off steam and just enjoy themselves.

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6. Nature & Palatinate Forest (Pfälzer Wald)

Landscape around Donnersberg
Landscape around Donnersberg

Botanists love Donnersberg and the area around it because of the different types of landscape you can see. There is a rich assortment of animal and plant species too. Rare and wonderful plants can be seen, not just in the nature reserve but also along pretty country lanes, which makes walking or driving a pleasure. You can experience live, what you normally only see on postcards. Mining in the district provides evidence of the treasure chest of minerals, nature has to offer. For those of you who want to learn more, we would advice an excursion with an experienced guide who can pass on all the necessary knowledge. Foresters and conservationists invite you to take part in specific excursions in the forest, which can be of valuable experience.

Donnersberg´s landscape with its vast areas of forest, meadows and vineyards is the perfect surrounding for your well-being. For many holiday makers in Donnersberg, hiking is their number one hobby. Donnersberg offers unlimited possibilities for excursions. Just the signposted footpaths through forest and field are enough to fill a book. There are theme paths available to those who want to learn as they walk. Three of the delightful walks are part of the national network of public footpaths ‘Westpfalz — hiking without baggage’. The idea of the Kneipp cure has been rediscovered in the last few years. There are many interlinked Kneipp facilities which enables you to spend countless hours or days relaxing in nature.

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7. Sports & Fitness Activities

Sport is ‘in’ around Donnersberg. There is a wide range of sport activities to choose from. Donnersberg mountain is 687 metres high and offers wonderful winter sport activities. You can go cross-country skiing or sledging or just enjoy a brisk walk through the beautiful snow covered landscape. Or in the summer months when wind conditions are favourable, you can enjoy an adventure in a hot air balloon. For the really daring, hang-gliding or gliding is a favourite activity in the area. Back down to earth, we must not forget there is golf, riding, tennis, swimming, Boule and Nordic Walking. For active holiday-makers these hobbies can be enjoyed under excellent conditions whatever the season and weather.

Attractive Cycle Routes
Attractive Cycle Routes

There are also attractive tours for cyclists in the Alsenz Valley. The tourist office can suggest various routes and give cyclists important tips. Three times a year cars are banned and the cyclists have the roads to themselves! What an experience! Skateboarders, inline skaters and not forgetting hikers, have a great time, too. A well loved sport is the Donnersberg run and a variety of cycle tours. Ideal for long hikes is the possibility of hiking without baggage. Your baggage can be transfered from hotel to hotel.

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8. Wine-Growing in the Alsenz and Zell Valley

Wine Experience in the Zellertal
Wine Experience in the Zellertal

You are invited to sample the very fine wines of this area with the winegrowers. Not only average or good wine is produced here but also fine to excellent quality wine which has been awarded a variety of outstanding prizes. You can find wine here for every occasion. The wonderful names of the wine locations are for example; Adelsberg, Rosenberg, Weißenstein, Silberberg and Paradiesgarten. The names interpret that the wine-growing area is located in a beautiful landscape. Get to know the wine. The local winegrowers will gladly send you a price list of their wine and give you any information you may need during a wine tasting afternoon or evening.

The Nahe wine area begins in the southernmost Alsenz Valley with the wine growing communities; Steingruben, Mannweiler-Cölln, Oberndorf, Kalkofen, Niedermoschel and Obermoschel. And the Zell Valley is the most exquisite place along the Deutsche Weinstrasse (German Wine Route). Because of its charming, gentle countryside and the excellent wine, the Zell Valley is often called the most exquisite area along the Deutsche Weinstrasse (German Wine Route). In the wine-growing landscape of the Zell Valley which is spread across 550 hectares, there are 15 wine locations. Especially the ‘Zeller Schwarzer Herrgott’, is a wine which is very popular. Other attractive sounding names are Goldloch, Klosterstück, Herrgottsblick or Silberberg.

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9. Events Finder

There are open-air events in castle grounds and jazz concerts and classical plays shown in the vineyards. During the summer months various events are offered on unusual stages. Other back drops are in castles and monasteries. In the Donnersberg area the combination of traditional and modern objects have been cleverly thought out. Pretty half timbered houses have become home for modern galleries. One of the most important private collections of twentieth century art is exhibited in one of these houses. Many other restored architectural monuments are used for cultural purposes. Some of them function as places to exhibit jewellery, art, craft and sometimes to show the customs of the area.

On the subject of art - in this area we have a very famous example to follow. The Picasso Patron, Daniel Henry Kahnweiler had his roots in the north "Pfalz". In his honour, the "Kahnweiler Haus" was created and modern art is shown there regularly. Local artists prefer to make their homes in picturesque villages and landscapes. We can confirm this. The artists enjoy to open their studios for creative holiday makers.

Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.

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10. Hotel & Holiday Flat Finder

Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations. To download an accommodation directory, please click here.

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11. How to get there from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

11.1 By Rental Car

Google Maps: Route from (A) Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to (B) Kirchheimbolanden
(95 km distance / 1:04 hours driving time) » get directions

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11.2 By Rail and Bus Services

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has no direct connection to Kirchheimbolanden at the Donnersberg. However, the buses from the airport will take you to the railway station in Mainz where you can connect with Deutsche Bahn trains or local transport links.

Weblink: Deutsche Bahn — show integrated Rail and Bus Services from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Kirchheimbolanden

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Donnersbergkreis Logo

Tourist Office Address

Donnersberg-Touristik-Verband
Uhlandstrasse 2
67292 Kirchheimbolanden
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 63 52 - 17 12
Fax: +49 (0) 63 52 - 71 02 62

Website: donnersberg-touristik.de
Email: touristik@donnersberg.de