Volcanic Eifel: Totenmaar is losing its authenticity

The maars are a special geological phenomenon in the German Volcanic Eifel. The craters of erupted volcanoes filled with rain and groundwater and formed the eyes of the Eifel. One of these maars is the Weinfelder or Totenmaar. For years, people could walk, mountain bike and hike freely around the Weinfelder Maar. Wheelchairs and strollers could be accommodated without any problems. This has changed since 2013. It was then decided to install barbed wire around the area. Access is now through revolving doors. The Weinfelder but has lost much of its authenticity!

The Weinfelder or Totenmaar

Where can you find the Weinfelder Maar?

The Weinfelder maar or Totenmaar is located in Germany, in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, more specifically in the Volcanic Eifel. A maar is a lake formed by rain and groundwater in the crater of an erupted volcano. You’ll find the Weinfelder only about two kilometers south of the town of Daun. There are three maars near Daun: the Schalkenmehren Maar, the Gemunder Maar and the Weinfelder Maar. They are close to each other and from the top of the mountain you have a beautiful view of the Schalkenmehren Maar on one side and the Weinfelder Maar on the other. The Gemunder is a little further away and cannot be seen here.

Protected nature area

Swimming is allowed in the Schalkenmehren Maar and the Gemunder Maar. The Totenmaar is a nature reserve and swimming is therefore out of the question. Until 2013, unlimited hiking, walking and mountain biking were possible in the entire area around the Weinfelder Maar. The area was also freely accessible for wheelchair users and strollers. The dog was also allowed to come along and many Germans allowed him to roam freely here. Near the Weinfelder but there is also a beautiful church with a legend attached to it and a cemetery. A little further on is the Mauseberg with the Dronketurm on top. The ideal place for an afternoon of walking or a day of picnicking and enjoyment.

2013: done with freedom

Revolving doors and electrical wires

Anyone who went for a walk around the Weinfelder Maar in early 2013 was struck by the bareness of its flanks. All trees had been cleared and the flanks looked barren and dry. Many people may have thought that trees were sick or dead due to the harsh winter and therefore removed. Not so. There was definitely a lot more going on! It was decided to cordon off the entire area with a three kilometer long, 1.2 meter high barbed wire. The EU in Brussels had about 500,000 euros for auction. To enter you now have to go through revolving doors.

Problems with wheelchairs, strollers and bicycles

The result: the area has become virtually inaccessible for wheelchairs and strollers. It is also difficult to enter by bicycle. Mountain bikers can no longer easily get in with their bikes. A disadvantage for the Vulkaneifel Trail Park, which normally passed through this nature reserve and now has to make a long detour around it.

Dogs and children

Dogs must now be kept on a leash because of the goats. Children must be careful of the electric wire. Walking around undisturbed and free is now out of the question. The construction of the barbed wire started in May 2013. The appearance of this idyllic place changed drastically and took on a grim look. The whole looks bare and empty, especially in autumn and winter.

Forty goats

It looks like a fairy tale following the example of the wolf and the seven goats”. But unfortunately it isn’t. To maintain the flanks

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