Hunsrück-Hochwald is impressive not just due to its unique flora and fauna, but also because of its fascinating history. Nature and culture, the Celts and the Romans, a medieval and an industrial heritage - all these worlds come together in the National Park. The Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park: With history, naturally!
Many of its vast forests, wetlands and meadows have been extensively exploited by mankind and have witnessed the development of civilization. Over the course of several thousand years, agriculture and livestock, wood and water management, and raw material extraction have shaped the fauna and flora. Settlers to Hochwald had to adapt to the geographical features of the area. Even climate change impacted their fate. Temperature fluctuations at higher altitudes had a particularly big impact on agriculture. This struggle to survive shaped the lives of people in Hochwald up until very recently. And nature often won out in the end.
However, a unique opportunity was afforded by these changes. Thanks to its remoteness, Hochwald can reveal the history of the people who lived here long ago like no other landscape can. While archaeological evidence was destroyed by agriculture in other places, here, it still exists. Impressive fortifications and abundant grave discoveries testify to a blooming Celtic culture in this region. They also tell the story of the Roman conquest by Julius Caesar. During this period, Roman villages and small towns emerged. However, in the 4th century AD they were abandoned when the climate forced people to retreat. They didn’t conquer Hochwald again until the Middle Ages. New centres and marketplaces were established. But once again, this blooming of habitation was short lived due to the outbreak of the plague in the 14th century and the “mini ice age” which decimated the population. Technological innovations and an almost unlimited supply of wood transformed Hochwald into an industrial region in the early modern period. However, this brief economic boom in the 19th century also fell victim to further advances.
Many more exciting stories are waiting to be discovered. Take a tour through Hunsrück-Hochwald and make a unique journey into the past.