Monday, April 11, 2011

Hiking to Celtic ruins--Alt Konig in Taunus (near Frankfurt)

These photos are from my hike on Saturday to Alt Konig, a mountain in the Taunus range, near Falkenstein. The fallen walls I saw ranged from about 8 to 12 feet high. Originally the walls were stacked without mortar and supported by wood and earth. The ringwalls circling the top of the mountain are from 400 BC and built by people from the La Téne Celtic culture.

(There are many Roman ruins a short distance from my home. We live close to the Limes, a 300 mile long Roman wall from the 1st and 2nd century, as well as many nearby Roman forts. There are even some Roman ruins in downtown Frankfurt. When we went on this hike, I had assumed we'd see Roman ruins, not ruins from several hundred years earlier.)

A section of one of the inner ringwalls, taken while standing on the wall. Remnants of a stone building can be seen in the middle left.

A section of one of the outer ringwalls. Cities and farms can be seen in the distance.

Another section of an inner ringwall, with a fallen structure. In the background in the trees is another ring wall. (Look carefully and you'll see it.)

This last photo is of forest not far below the Celtic fortifications. The hike from the trailhead to the top of the mountain was a little more than 2 miles (I think--that is my guess based on our hiking time back to the car) and a climb of about 1000 vertical feet. Much of the trail passed through this type of forest.


Anonymous said...

My husband has a thing for ringwalls. Very cool to live so close to one!

Sarah Blake Johnson said...

It is very cool.
We can take visitors to Roman ruins and a nice museum and the Limes (Roman wall--over 300 miles long), the Celtic ruins, and very nice castle ruin, and only be gone from our apartment for 6 hours!

Jasmeenie0897 said...

Me and two friends are wanting to hike Altkonig on Thursday next week. If you have any tips it would be greatly appreciated. I wasn't aware there was celtic ruins, we are from the Isle of Man so that is a large part of our heritage. It would be amazing to get to see them, is it acheivable at this time of year? And our starting is near Kronberg, not from where you were living?

Sarah Blake Johnson said...

I believe one can hike it this time of year. The trails are pretty good, but if it is rainy, they could be muddy. The hike is only 2-3 hours. We would drive to Falkenstein, which is between Kronberg and Konigstein (which has a great castle, by the way.) We always parked at Parkplatz Schartwald. That was the easiest way that we found to get to the hiking trails. (You can find this parking area easily on google maps.) There were signs at the trailhead. There are a lot of trails, in that area--not a single way up, so if you can get a trail map, either online or from someone, that may help. (We just explored the trails a bit, but if you are tight on time or the weather is bad, a good map would be helpful.)
Enjoy visiting Germany.