Arensberg 54578 Zilsdorf

The Arensberg, one of the largest geological attractions in the Hillesheim holiday region, is the only significant volcanic peak from the Tertiary period.

The Arensberg near Walsdorf-Zilsdorf is a cone-shaped volcanic peak that was hollowed out like a tooth for lava mining. Inside you can see in all its glory how magma arched up through other layers of rock. The mountain is the result of two Tertiary volcanic eruptions. 32 million years ago, the rising magma tore up huge blocks of clay and slate, limestone, marl and sandstone from the Devonian and Triassic ages. Molten lava and lime created new minerals in the heat.

The crushed remains of the bedrock mixed with initially loose ash deposits, through which further magma rose and formed a basalt dome. The contrast between multi-colored, light stones and dark ash, which originated in the earth's interior and is now clearly visible, looks like it has been painted. About 24 million years ago, a second eruption pushed even more magma under the existing crest. Erosion and later basalt mining caused the Arensberg to shrink.

Access through a tunnel

The power of the earth's history alone affects the people who find their way here through a small tunnel driven into the volcanic wall. Vegetation has developed that has adapted to the sometimes terraced, sometimes vertically rising rocks; after periods of rain, large pools of water filled with life collect on the bottom of the former mining site.

The wide forest path from Zilsdorf over a small parking lot on the edge of the Arensberg forest to the tunnel and into the volcano leads past a small chapel dedicated to Saint Arnulphus. The Arensberg used to be called Arnulphusberg.

Highlights nearby


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