|Elevation||747 m (2,451 ft)|
|Length||100 km (62 mi)|
|Area||5,300 km2 (2,000 sq mi)|
|Countries||Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg|
|States||Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia|
|Parent range||Rhenish Slate Mountains|
|Type of rock||slate, limestone, quartzite, sandstone, basalt|
The Eifel is a low mountain range in western Germany and eastern Belgium. It occupies parts of southwestern North Rhine-Westphalia, northwestern Rhineland-Palatinate and the south of the German-speaking Community of Belgium.
There are several distinct chains within the Eifel.
- The northernmost parts are called North Eifel ("Nordeifel") including Rur Eifel the origin of the river Rur, High Fens ("Hohes Venn") and the Limestone Eifel ("Kalkeifel").
- The northeastern part is called Ahr Hills (German: Ahrgebirge) and rise north of the Ahr river in the district of Ahrweiler.
- South of the Ahr is the High Eifel (Hohe Eifel), with the Hohe Acht (747 m) being the highest mountain of the Eifel.
- In the west, on the Belgian border, the hills are known as Schneifel (originally Schnee-Eifel or "Snowy Eifel"), rising up to 698 m. Also in the west, by the Belgian and Luxembourg border, the region is known as Islek (Aquilania).
- The southern half of the Eifel is lower. It is cut by several rivers running north-south towards the Moselle. The largest of these is the Kyll, and the hills on either side of this river are called the Kyllwald.
- In the south the Eifel is concluded by the Voreifel above the Moselle.
The Eifel consists mainly of Devonian slates, sandstones and limestones, laid down in an ocean south of the Old Red Continent and folded and overthrust in the Variscan orogeny. The Eifel geological structures like main folds and overthrusts can be traced in a SW-NE direction far beyond the Rhine valley.
In the Tertiary and Quaternary geological eras, the Eifel was a site of extensive volcanic activity. Some of the hills are volcanic vents. The peculiar circle-shaped lakes (maar) of the volcanic regions formed in volcanic craters. The last volcanic eruptions in the Laacher See volcanic site took place around 10,000 years ago and generated a huge volume of volcanic ash, now found in thin ash layers in contemporaneous sediments throughout Europe. The volcanism of the Eifel is thought to be partly caused by the Eifel hotspot, a place where hot material from deep in the mantle rises to the surface, and partly by melt-ascent at deep fractures in the Earth's crust. Research has shown that the volcanism is still active; the Eifel region is rising by 1–2 mm per year. Historically, the Eifel volcanoes had inactive phases of 10,000 to 20,000 years between active phases, suggesting there is a possibility of future eruptions.
19th- and 20th-century rebuilds
- Bollendorf Castle
- Vlatten Castle
- Cochem Castle
- Gerolstein Castle
- Gödersheim Castle
- Löwenburg and Philippsburg
- Manderscheid castles
- Monschau Castle
- Nideggen Castle
- Schönecken Castle
- Ulmen castles
- Nürburg Castle
Mountains and hills
The mountains and hills of the Eifel include the following (in order of height in metres above sea level):
- Hohe Acht (747 metres (2,451 ft)), High Eifel
- Ernstberg (or Erresberg) (698.8 metres (2,293 ft)), High Eifel
- Schwarzer Mann (697.3 metres (2,288 ft)), Schnee Eifel
- Signal de Botrange (694 metres (2,277 ft)), Hohes Venn
- Weißer Stein (692 metres (2,270 ft)), North Eifel
- Scharteberg (691 metres (2,267 ft)), Volcanic Eifel
- Nürburg (678 metres (2,224 ft)), with the castle of the same name (Nürburg Castle), High Eifel
- Prümscheid (675 metres (2,215 ft)), High Eifel
- Raßberg (667 metres (2,188 ft)), High Eifel
- Steling (658 metres (2,159 ft)), Hohes Venn
- Nerother Kopf (647 metres (2,123 ft)), Volcanic Eifel
- Aremberg (623 metres (2,044 ft)), Ahr Hills
- Dietzenley (617 metres (2,024 ft)), Gerolstein / Volcanic Eifel
- Hardtkopf (596 m), South Eifel
- Michelsberg (588 m), Ahr Hills
- Hochsimmer (587.9 m), East Eifel
- Eigart (565 m), North Eifel
- Rockeskyller Kopf (555 m), Volcanic Eifel
- Hoher List (549 m), Volcanic Eifel
- Wildbretshügel (525.3 m), Rur Eifel, Kermeter
- Kirchberg (520 m), North Eifel
- Häuschen (507 m), North Eifel
- Hochthürmen (499.8 m), North Eifel
- Teufelsley (496 m), North Eifel
- Kellerberg (448 m), Meulenwald
- Stockert (435 m), Münstereifel Forest
- Herkelstein (435 m), North Eifel
- Veitskopf (428 m), Volcanic Eifel
- Burgberg (400.5 m), Rur Eifel, North Eifel
- Sonnenberg (393,3 m), Rur Eifel
- Calmont (378 m), Pre-Eifel
- Bausenberg (340 m), North Eifel
- Landskrone (272 m), Ahr Hills
Points of interest
- The Nürburgring, one of the world's most famous motor racing courses, is located in the Eifel. The northern loop (Nordschleife) of the course is also known as the Green Hell (Grüne Hölle), because of its long, difficult and dangerous path through the local forest.
- An interesting archeological feature of the region is the Eifel Aqueduct, one of the longest aqueducts of the Roman empire, providing the city of Cologne with water.
- Elkins, T.H. (1972). Germany (3rd ed.). London: Chatto & Windus, 1972. ASIN B0011Z9KJA.
- Meyer,W. 1986. Geologie der Eifel, p.4. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart. ISBN 3-510-65127-8
- Meyer 1986, p. 275
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Eifel.|
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