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Rheinböllen in the Hunsrück

Rheinböllen, on the old Roman road Via Ausonia, is the historic centre of the iron industry in Hunsrück, where the "Rheinböllerhütte", an iron foundry, was in operation for almost 400 years. During its long prosperity, "Rheinböllerhütte" served as a thriving processing plant for 30 iron ore mines over a wide. These iron ore mines, for the most part, were operated under quite difficult conditions, since Hunsrück is rich in poor ore; while numerous, the ore deposits are largely limited to narrow cavities, and widely scattered across the Hunsrück region. The limestone required for the furnace process was delivered from the nearby limestone quarries in Stromberg, which also supplied the local ironworks there (the "alte Stromberger Hütte" and the "Stromberger Neuhütte"). However, at the beginning of the 19th century big iron-processing plants in the Ruhr region and Saarland started production. Since their iron ores had a much better quality, the old iron works in the Hunsrück gradually became redundant. The illustration of the orphanage in 1864 was donated by the industrial Puricelli family, -owners of the former Rheinböllen iron works. This orphanage was later replaced by a hospital and retirement home. Today the building is used as a nursing home, but the massive building still bears witness to the former grandure of Rheinböllen.

Photo: Observation tower on the Hochsteinchen (648m), the landmark mountain of Rheinböllen, which is covered with a lot of primeval forest (left photo).

Lookout tower on the Hochsteinchen mountain (648 m) near Rheinböllen («Soonwald» Forest)
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