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Lava, Volcanoes and Crater Lakes

Mendig is the land — where many thousands of years ago — fire-belching volcanoes covered everything with incandescent lava. Everyone has heard of the world-famous 900 years-old Benedictine Abbey Maria Laach by Lake Laach (Laacher See), the largest of all the Eifel's crater lakes. A journey to the sights of Mendig is an excursion to excavated volcanoes and mountain sides which reveal the history of the earth. Vault-like subterranean lava rock chambers at a dept of 32 metres and stretching for 3 km below the town of Mendig are unique throughout the world. The subterranean vault-like millstone quarries in the Mendig basalt testify to the heyday of stone-mason's skill in the region. A paradise for everyone interested in geology and the earths history.

1. Location of Mendig in Germany

The town of Mendig is located in-between the Eifel holiday region and the Romantic Rhine holiday region, approximately 102 km to the north of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (see map on bottom of page).

The Eifel is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. The blue of the maars — or water-filled volcanic craters — and the bright yellow of the gorse in summer are hallmarks of the Eifel massif. This paradise for walkers and cyclists is centred between Trier, Koblenz, Cologne and Aachen. The Eifel has more than 100 mineral springs that offer an impressive insight into its volcanic past, and there are fascinating 'geo routes' and volcano safaris on which to actively explore this holiday region. ... read more about the Eifel holiday region

The Romantic Rhine is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. Rhine River, Wine and Castles Rhine Romanticism is still very much in the air today, as anyone who has visited this world-famous valley between Bingen/Rüdesheim and Koblenz will tell you. With its picture-book castles and ruins and its historical towns and sights, this impressive stretch of the river epitomises some of the loveliest river scenery in the world. Only a short time ago, it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Experience a journey back in time and let the diversity, the beauty and the culinary specialities of this region work their magic on you. ... read more about the Romantic Rhine (Rhine Valley) holiday region

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2. Lava Dome in Mendig

The Lava Dome is a world of experience on the subject of volcanoes spread over a total exhibition space of 700 square meters. The heart of the Lava Dome is the adventure space, ‘Im Land der Vulkane’ (‘In the Land of the Volcanoes’). The extensive multimedia presentation takes the visitors back to the prehistoric world of the Eifel volcanoes. The story is told of two large volcanic eruptions that had enormous effects on the Eifel landscape. In the course of the eruption of the Wingertsberg volcano some 200,000 years ago, a massive stream of lava flowed upon which today Mendig and the Lava Dome facility stand. The explosion of the Lake Laach (Lacher See) volcano some 13,000 years ago was even more catastrophic: Huge sections of the Eifel disappeared under massive pumice and ash deposits. Following the visit to ‘Im Land der Vulkane’, its intensive impressions can be explored in greater detail in the interactive exhibition, ‘Die Vulkanwerkstatt’ (‘The Volcano Workshop’). A tour through the large-scale underground lava cellars is in any case an absolute ‘must’!

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3. National Volcanoe Park (Vulkanpark)

The Eifel was formed by violent volcanic eruptions, the latest of which was the massive explosion of the Lake Laach (Laacher See) volcano 13,000 years ago. This was Germany’s most recent landscape of fire, glowing lava and ash. Today still, numerous cinder cones, maar, meter-thick tuff und pumice walls and cooled lava streams tell the story of how the area was formed. So you don’t have to travel to Hawaii or Mount Etna to experience the world of volcanism. It’s also here in the Eifel, practically in your front garden! The Volcano Park (Vulkanpark) presents to its visitors the dormant volcanism of the Eifel as well as life of men in the ambiance of volcanoes. Tour paths with modern info tablets, four well-marked car routes, signposted cycling paths as well as hiking and circular tour paths guide the guests through the Volcano Park.

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4. Volcanic Eifel in Germany

This is the land where, many thousands of years ago, fire-belching volcanoes covered everything with incandescent lava. But now it is a green and exceedingly fertile countryside, bull of surprising and beautiful features. It lies in the ‘green heart of Europe’, as nature-lovers charmingly call the Eifel. An extensive network of footpaths and cycle ways constructed along the track-bed of closed railways and where no car traffic is permitted makes the entire district easily accessible and links such tourist attractions as the Laacher See (lake) with Benedictine Abbey, the Eltz Castle, Genoveva Castle in Mayen, Monreal and Bürresheim Palace.

More than 100 unforgettable kilometres of cycling trails through the volcanic eastern Eifel are waiting to be discovered by you. It is not only the sportive and active biker who feels attracted by this amazing landscape. It offers the perfect route for each biking experience. You can do serious mountain biking as well as family tours with children, for example: the Vulkanpark-bike-tour or the Eifel-bike-adventure or the Mosel-Schiefer-bike-trail. The biking network in the volcanic eastern Eifel is well connected to the bike tours along the Rhine, the Moselle and the Ahr as well as to the public transport, so that you can easily manage even more extensive tours by bike.

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5. Points of Interest

Lava Dome
The Lava Dome is a world of experience on the subject of volcanoes. Extensive multimedia presentations take the visitors back to the prehistoric world of the Eifel volcanoes. A visit is in any case an absolute ‘must.!
Volcano Park
The Volcano Park presents to its visitors the dormant volcanism of the Eifel as well as life of men in the ambience of volcanoes. Interesting nature trails and loop-roads with modern information panels guide the visitors through the park.
Deutsches Vulkanmuseum (German Volcano Museum)
This museum explains the volcanism in the Lake Laach (Laacher See) region as well as the mining and processing of basalt stone. The exhibitions include a comprehensive mineral show. In addition, guided tours of the basalt lava mine and the volcano park are on offer.
Mendiger Museumslay
This outdoor exhibition at a former mine facility demonstrates the conveyance and processing of basalt stone.
Historic stone cellars
At a depth of 32 meters and spread over a surface of almost 3 square km, a network of underground cellars that is unique throughout the world stretches out below the city of Mendig. The stone cellars can be viewed in guided tours.
Benedictine Abby Maria Laach
The Maria Laach Abbey is one of the most well-known of the Benedictine Order. It is located in a picturesque setting on Lake Laach (Laacher See), which was formed by volcanism. The abbey church and the convent are most impressive in their architecture and cultural heritage. The facilities at the convent include a botanical nursery, book & art shop and a convent estate with a farm shop.
St. Winfried Natural History Museum in Maria Laach
With exhibition space of over 1,000 square meters, the museum displays domestic animals and exotic animals in their natural surroundings. The latest highlights are the live snakes and lizards that can be viewed in their terrariums.
Fraukirch (Thür)
This is one of the oldest churches in the Eifel and Rhineland region. The church’s famous high altar is of particular viewing interest.
Wingertsberg Wall
Europe’s most significant pumice wall formation, formed by the most powerful volcanic eruption in Central Europe. A tour provides information on the story of the volcano’s eruption.

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6. Events Finder

There is always something happening — whether it is art, music, wine festivals or a host of other activities. The Events Finder gives you an overview about what is on, where and when. Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.

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7. Hotel & Holiday Flat Finder

Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations.

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8. How to get there from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

8.1 By Rental Car

Google Maps: Route from (A) Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to (B) Mendig
(102 km distance / 1:08 hours driving time) » get directions

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8.2 By Rail and Bus Services

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has no direct railway or bus connection to Mendig. However, the buses from the airport will take you to railway stations where you can connect with Deutsche Bahn trains or local transport links.

Weblink: Deutsche Bahn — show integrated Rail and Bus Services from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Mendig

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Tourist Office Address

Mendig Tourist Information
Marktplatz 3
56743 Mendig

Tel.: +49 (0) 26 52 - 98 00 - 14
Fax: +49 (0) 26 52 - 98 00 - 19