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Züsch and the Primstal reservoir

It is worth combining a visit of "Hunnenring" with a circular hike, for the area around Dollberg has a whole range of other attractions to offer. As a starting point of this circular hike Züsch, a small village at the northeast foot of Dollberg, has a church that is worth seeing. From Züsch the European long-distance trail, "Atlantik-Ardennen-Böhmerwald", first leads you to the Züsch mill on the Allbach stream and then to the Celtic ring wall on Dollberg (620 m). The return journey leads steeply down into the Prims valley, where the Nonnweiler dam has formed Primstal reservoir, the largest reserve of freshwater and water for industrial use in both the districts of Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland (bathing and diving not allowed). It is worth noting that the Prims river does not drain into the Nahe but into the Rhine via the Saar and Mosel Rivers. There is a dense forest alongside the reservoir to the mouth of Allbach stream, which you follow upstream to Züsch and, just before you reach the village, you encounter the ruins of "Züscher Hammer", a former iron-smelting plant that was shut down 165 years ago. It started up in the second half of the 17th century together with another iron-smelting plant in the neighboring village of Dampflos and processed the iron ore from the region, especially the ore mined near Otzenhausen. At the beginning of the 19th century, when the great iron-processing industries started production in the Ruhr Basin and Saarland, the "old" ironworks in Hunsrück had no chance due to the much poorer quality of their iron ore.

Photo: The small river Prims is dammed by the Nonnweiler Dam to form the Primstal Reservoir, the largest drinking and industrial water reservoir in the two federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. It is remarkable that the Prims does not drain to the Nahe river, but via the Saar and Moselle rivers into the Rhine.

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Primstal reservoir near Zuesch («Hochwald» Forest)
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