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Hochwald with the Erbeskopf (818 m)

The Hochwald with its dense forests surrounding the 818 meter high Erbeskopf (the highest mountain west of the Rhine in Germany) is a fertile source of legends and heroic tales. Many researchers of local history suspect that here, in this pristine area of Hunsrück, is one of the central settings for the medieval Nibelungenlied. In this place, according to the legend, Hagen von Tronje slew the noble hero Siegfried at the behest of Brunhilde. In fact, Dhronecken castle at the foot of Erbeskopf mountain is thought to be a possible family seat of Hagen von Tronje and Hagen's friend Hunold is thought to have come from nearby Hunolstein castle. Moreover, the towns of Worms and Alzey —the most important locations in the Nibelungenlied— are little more than a day's ride on horseback from the Hunsrück mountain range.

There is, admittedly, practically no evidence for any of this in the many accounts, which are full of "local-color", for only the expulsion of the Burgundians from Worms after their defeat by the Huns is historically proven. The rest probably comes from the pen of a medieval poet who, around the year 1200, combined two originally independent legends into one courtly drama about love, passion, revenge and, naturally, gold.

Photo: A cold, snowy winter day on Erbeskopf mountain (818m).

vSpacer Winter in the Hochwald Forest with snow-covered spruces («Hochwald» Forest)
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