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Slate-roofs of Monschau town centre and castle. The castle's courtyard in preparation for Monschau Open Air Klassik music festival
Slate-roofs of Monschau town centre and castle.
The castle's courtyard in preparation for Monschau Open Air Klassik music festival
Coat of arms of Monschau
Coat of arms
Monschau is located in Germany
Coordinates: 50°33′36″N 06°15′23″E / 50.56000°N 6.25639°E / 50.56000; 6.25639Coordinates: 50°33′36″N 06°15′23″E / 50.56000°N 6.25639°E / 50.56000; 6.25639
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Köln
District Aachen
Subdivisions 7
 • Mayor Magga Ritter (CDU)
 • Total 94.620312003 km2 (36.533106706 sq mi)
Elevation 517 m (1,696 ft)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 11,866
 • Density 130/km2 (320/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 52156
Dialling codes 02472
Vehicle registration AC / MON

Monschau (French: Montjoie, Walloon: Mondjoye) is a small resort town in the Eifel region of western Germany, located in the district Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia.


The town is located in the hills of the North Eifel, within the Hohes Venn – Eifel Nature Park in the narrow valley of the Rur river.

The historic town center has many preserved half-timbered houses and narrow streets have remained nearly unchanged for 300 years, making the town a popular tourist attraction nowadays. An open-air, classical music festival is staged annually at Burg Monschau. Historically, the main industry of the town was cloth-mills.


History of Monschau (Montjoie)
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1100 —
1200 —
1300 —
1400 —
1500 —
1600 —
1700 —
1800 —
1900 —
2000 —
1198 - First written evidence of Monschau
1433 - Became the seat of the dukes of Jülich.
1543 - Besieged by Charles V
1609 - Became part of Palatinate-Neuburg.
1795 - Captured by the French
1815 - Became part of Prussia
1918 - Renamed "Monschau".
1972 - Town was enlarged

On the heights above the city is Monschau castle, which dates back to the 13th century — the first mention of Monschau was made in 1198. Beginning in 1433, the castle was used as a seat of the dukes of Jülich. In 1543, Emperor Charles V besieged it as part of the Geldern Feud, captured it and plundered the town. However, the castle stayed with Jülich until 1609, when it became part of Palatinate-Neuburg.

In 1795, the French captured the area and, under the name Montjoie, made it the capital of a canton of the Roer département. After the area became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815, Monschau became the district capital of the Kreis Montjoie.

During World War I, some people argued that Monschau (or "Montjoie" as it was then still called) should be annexed to Belgium since they believed it historically to be a Walloon area that had been Germanized by the Prussians.[2][original research?]

In 1918, William II, German Emperor, changed the name to Monschau. In 1972, the town was enlarged with the previous independent municipalities of Höfen, Imgenbroich, Kalterherberg, Konzen, Mützenich and Rohren. Mützenich, to the west of the town center, is an exclave of German territory surrounded by Belgium. It is separated from Germany by a railroad line that was assigned to Belgium by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

Notable residents[edit]



  1. ^ "Amtliche Bevölkerungszahlen". Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW (in German). 4 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Finot, Jean. New York Times, May 30th, 1915

External links[edit]

Media related to Monschau at Wikimedia Commons