Otzenhausen Celtic Hillfort

Otzenhausen, Germany

The Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen is one of the biggest fortifications the Celts ever constructed. It was built by Gauls of the Treveri tribe, who lived in the region north of the fort. The first fortification was constructed in the 5th or 4th century BC, but the real heyday of construction dates to the 2nd and 1st century BC. For reasons yet unknown, the fort was abandoned shortly after this expansion.

The site is formed in the shape of a triangle with rounded ends. One rampart surrounds the whole fort. On the southern side, another similar embankment is built about 40 metres in front of the main one. The ends of this outer rampart approach the main one but do not touch it. Because the entrance of the main rampart is located on the western side, no significant purpose for the outer one has been determined. From west to east the fort extends 460 m, from north to south 647 m. The total length of the ramparts is 2500 metres and they contain 240,000 cubic metres of stone. Thousands of beams were attached to the ramparts which, as the diagram shows, probably presented a vertical stone wall to the exterior. Perhaps there was a second gate on the eastern side, but its existence is not yet proven.

In Roman time a small temple of 2.15 metres x 2.70 metres, dating from the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. was built of quartzite rubble stone and brick-shaped sandstone. When German tribes invaded the Roman territories in 4th century A.D, the fort was used again. During the Thirty Years War (1618–1648) the citizens of the surrounding villages again took refuge in the remains of the Celtic fort. Excavations took place in 1883 and from 1936 to 1939.

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Details

Founded: 400 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Germany
Historical period: Iron Age (Germany)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tom Maessen (7 months ago)
Until I've visited the area I'd never heard of this place. Now I did, I'm intrigued by it. It's an unique mysterious place An enormous Celtic stone wall on top of a hill dating as far as the 5th century b.C. We can only imagine what it would have looked like when the wood in the walls was still there and the walls were straight. The climb towards it can be steep and slippery. I wouldn't recommend to make the walk with a pram and it is certainly not suitable for people handling a wheelchair, going up there is not a walk in the park.
Simon Klar (8 months ago)
Good soup
Wandering Auntie (10 months ago)
Nice hike with good information about the history
KC Mitch (14 months ago)
Such a nice place to explore. They have done a great job of keeping this place clean and well marked. We enjoy this place and the forest has so much to offer. Kids love climbing the rocks.
L S (18 months ago)
Great hike with beautiful terrain. The old Celtic fortification remanants that make the wall are awesome to see. Much bigger than you would think and magical. Pretty cool historic area. Bye the way, we didn't park where the shows on the map, but up the road off Hunnenringweg at the parking lot across from the Keltenpark Otzenhausen.
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