Coordinates: 50°33′34″N 7°16′37″E / 50.55944°N 7.27694°E / 50.55944; 7.27694
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the valley of the Ahr
The river Ahr
EtymologyOld High German aha ("water")
Physical characteristics
 • locationBlankenheim, Northern Eifel, North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany
 • coordinates50°26′17″N 6°38′58″E / 50.438°N 6.6494°E / 50.438; 6.6494
 • elevation470 m (1,540 ft)
 • location
Remagen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
 • coordinates
50°33′34″N 7°16′37″E / 50.55944°N 7.27694°E / 50.55944; 7.27694
 • elevation
58 m (190 ft)
Length89 km (55 mi)
Basin size900 km2 (350 sq mi)
 • average8.9 m3/s (310 cu ft/s)
Basin features
ProgressionRhineNorth Sea

Ahr (German pronunciation: [ˈaːɐ̯]) is a river in Germany, a left tributary of the Rhine. Its source is at an elevation of approximately 470 metres (1,540 ft) above sea level in Blankenheim in the Eifel, in the cellar of a timber-frame house near the castle of Blankenheim. After 18 kilometres (11 mi) it crosses from North Rhine-Westphalia into Rhineland-Palatinate.

The Ahr flows through Ahr valley or Ahrtal, passing through the towns of Schuld, Altenahr and Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. Between Remagen and Sinzig (south of Bonn), at about 50 metres (160 ft) above sea level, it flows into the Rhine. The length is roughly 89 kilometres (55 mi), of which 68 kilometres (42 mi) is within Rhineland-Palatinate. The Ahr has a gradient of 0.4 percent in its lower course, and 0.4 to 0.8 percent in its upper course.

Source of Ahr in Blankenheim

The Ahr and its tributaries are a main drainage system of the eastern Eifel. The watershed is approximately 900 square kilometres (350 sq mi).


There were isolated settlements in the Ahr valley beginning at the latest in Roman times, evidenced by the Roman villa near Ahrweiler. Owing to their isolated location, the upper and middle parts of the course were sparsely populated.

That began changing in the mid-19th century. The development of settlements and transportation routes (including three railway lines) and the expansion of the area used for agriculture in the Ahr valley led to the narrowing and constraint of the riverbed. The course of the river was graded and its banks were stabilized.

Catastrophic flash flooding occurred on the Ahr in 1910 and 2021 resulting in the deaths of hundreds.


The Ahr rises in the middle of the village of Blankenheim, in the Eifel region of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the basement of a timber-framed house in an enclosed spring at a height of 474 m above sea level (NHN). It then flows through the Schwanenweiher pond below Blankenheim Castle.

The stream, which runs in a south-easterly direction, through the valley meadows of upper Ahr valley, has not cut very deeply into the heights of the Eifel. Much of the upper Ahr valley is protected and follows the B 258 federal road. Below the hamlet of Ahrdorf in the municipality of Blankenheim, the Ahr reaches its southernmost point and enters the state of Rhineland-Palatine. From Müsch via Antweiler to Fuchshofen, the river runs northwards and turns east at Schuld heading through Insul to Dümpelfeld. Here, the Ahr collects the waters of the Adenauer Bach coming from the right and flowing in a northeasterly direction. In Altenahr, the valley bends to the east and initially follows a very winding course. Here the river is accompanied by the B 267, although it does not follow every loop in the river. In Altenahr, the largest bend in the river beings; it is protected because of its flora and fauna. From here, the valley becomes a gorge bordered by the steep cliffs of the Ahr Hills. From Reimerzhoven the valley sides are dominated by vineyards, especially on the south-facing slopes north of the river, particularly around the villages of Mayschoß, Rech, Dernau and Marienthal. The last narrow point in the Ahr valley occurs below the Bunte Kuh ("coloured cow"), a rock formation that almost reaches the river and leaves little room for road and railway. In Walporzheim, the valley widens abruptly, and the Ahr passes through the county town of Bad Neuenahr. In Heimersheim, the vineyards end. The valley floor between Bad Bodendorf on the northern side and Sinzig on a terrace in the south is dominated by agriculture and fruit and vegetable growing.

The mouth of the Ahr lies on the plain of the Golden Mile, between the Remagen district of Kripp and the town of Sinzig at a height of about 53 m above NHN[1]. Since being re-naturalised (from 1979, see aerial photographs) it has been one of the few natural river mouths on the Rhine and is under protection.[2]


The tributaries of the Ahr include (in upstream order):[3]

Name Waterbody No. (GKZ) Length (km) Direction Confluence
at km
Place Remarks
Stegbach 27181112 2.2 right 84.9 Blankenheim
Mülheimer Bach 2718112 4.5 left 83.1
Nonnenbach 271812 7.0 right 82.5
Reetzer Bach 2718132 3.6 left 80.5 Reetz
Schaafbach 271814 11.4 right 79.2 headstream: Eichholzbach
Lampertsbach 271816 9.5 right 75.7 Dollendorf headstream: Frömmelsbach
Fuhrbach 2718172 5.3 right 74.6 Ahrhütte
Mühlenbach 271818 7.1 left 74.0 Ahrhütte headstream: Weilerbach
Michelsbach 2718192 8.3 right 73.2
Aulbach 2718194 5.1 left 72.9
Willemsbach 27181992 1.4 right 71.1 Uedelhoven
Göttersbach 27181994 1.0 right 70.7 Ahrdorf
Ahbach 27182 14.9 right 68.8 Ahrdorf
Trierbach[4] 27184 25.3 right 64.2 Müsch
Huhnenbach 271852 4.3 left 61.1 Antweiler
Limbach 2718532 3.9 right 60.3 Antweiler
Eichenbach 2718534 6.9[4] left 58.7 headstream: Hirzenflosseifen
Laufenbach 2718536 2.8 right 55.5 Fuchshofen
Dreisbach 271854 10.0 left 55.4 Fuchshofen
Armuthsbach 271856 18.4 left 52.0 Schuld
Holzseifen 2718574 1.0 left 47.9 Schuld
Atzenbach 2718576 2.5 left 47.5
Lückenbach 271858 5.7 right 45.3 Insul
Adenauerbach 27186 15.7[4] right 44.7 Dümpelfeld
Ommelbach 2718712 1.8 right 43.6 Dümpelfeld
Liersbach 271872 14.5 left 42.8 Liers
Kesselinger Bach[4] 271874 14.1 right 95.0 Ahrbrück
Steinbach 271876 2.5 left 38.3 Ahrbrück
Stream from Schorling 271878 2.5 left 38.2 Ahrbrück
Sahrbach 27188 15.3 left 34.0 Kreuzberg
Vischelbach 271892 10.5 left 33.9 Kreuzberg
Stream from Burtscheiderberg (Roßbach) 2718932 2.2 left 31.5 Altenahr
Stream from Sonnenheck (Junge Berren[4]) 2718934 1.8 right 22.0 Rech
Nollbach (Donnenbach[4]) 271894 1.8 right 21.9 Rech
Kratzenbach 27189512 2.1 left 18.3 Dernau
Geusbach 2718952 2.4 right 16.8 Walporzheim
Wingsbach 271896 4.5 right 15.1 Ahrweiler
Mühlenteichgraben 27189712 1.0 left 14.5 Bad Neuenahr
Bachemer Bach 2718972 7.0 right 12.9 Bad Neuenahr
Fuchsbach 2718974 4.5 left 11.4 Bad Neuenahr
Mühlenteich 27189752 1.2 right 9.6 Bad Neuenahr
Idienbach 2718976 5.3 right 9.2 Heimersheim
Leimersdorfer Bach[4] 271898 8.5 left 8.7 Heppingen
Lohrsdorfer Bach[4] 2718992 2.5 left 7.0 Lohrsdorf
Hellenbach[4] 2718996 7.7 right 3.1 Sinzig
Harbach[4] 2718998 9.9 left 2.5 Sinzig

Tributaries with a length of over 7 km (from source to mouth): Left tributaries are in dark blue; right tributaries in light blue.


Spätburgunder grapes

The Ahr is well known for the many vineyards that grace the hillsides downstream of the village of Altenahr. The small Ahr wine region is nevertheless the largest contiguous red wine-growing area in Germany, noted especially for wines made from the Spätburgunder (Pinot noir) grape. The Red Wine Trail runs through the southern slopes of the lower Ahr Valley, passing inter alia the former government bunker.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Map service of the Landscape Information System of the Rhineland-Palatinate Nature Conservation Office (Naturschutzverwaltung Rheinland-Pfalz)
  2. ^ "Rechtsverordnung über das Naturschutzgebiet Mündungsgebiet der Ahr" (pdf). Landkreis Ahrweiler. 1981-06-23. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  3. ^ Hydrographic Directory of the NRW State Office for Nature, the Environment and Consumer Protection (Gewässerverzeichnis des Landesamtes für Natur, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz NRW 2010) (xls; 4.67 MB)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Geoexplorer of the Rhineland-Palatinate Water Authority (Wasserwirtschaftsverwaltung Rheinland-Pfalz)

External links[edit]