ABC in KMC: Celts at Donnersberg

Photo by Donnersberg-Touristik-Verband e.V.

There are many stories about Celts in the world, but the best-known ones are Asterix and his friends, who have fought against the Romans for 2,000 years, although they only exist on paper or in cartoons. Many theories focus on the Celts and their actual origins. One states that first tribes came from what is now Türkiye and Iraq about 4,000 years ago to settle in various locations around Europe.

It is a proven fact though that the Celts play a decisive role in the history of Rheinland-Pfalz with settlements such as in Trier. There they were overrun by the Romans about 100 B.C. and gave the city its first name “Treviris” based on the name of the tribe then a days. Ruins of a ring wall can be found in Otzenhausen along A62, there are traces of settlements near Landstuhl and Ramstein, mound graves were also found near Weilerbach.

The best-known place to experience the lives of the Celts and just nearby is at Steinbach below Donnersberg, north of Winnweiler. Over 2,000 years ago, Celtic ancestors erected an impressive central city on the plateau of the mountain, referred to as an Oppidum. This Oppidum was the central hub point in the Rhine River valley and was one of the largest Celtic settlements north of the Alps. Take a journey into history and experience the mystic and exciting world of the Donnersberg Celts.

A visit to the Celtic village in Steinbach is like a fascinating journey into the mystical world of early inhabitants. The reconstructed village is more than a museum, you can actually experience the culture of the Celts. Dwellings with wooden posts and semi-timbered structures, wooden shingles and facades made of clay, give a realistic insight to the lives and times of the early inhabitants of the region. A nearby garden with stone sculptures in a circle can also be visited.

Visitors can become active and try out Celtic handcraft techniques such as felting, building arrows or creating beads out of clay. The village is open on weekends during the summer months and ends the season with a Samhain Festival, the early ancestor of what we consider Halloween, at the end of October with spooky torch walks and tales at the bonfire.

Whether the Celts were more or less driven out by Romans or Germanic tribes, or wandered further on their own accord, cannot always be historically reconstructed. In any case, numerous tribes made their way to Ireland, via Spain, France or Belgium. The best-preserved ruins in all of Europe can be found on the island and shaped its history for over 2,000 years.

Direct descendants of these people still inhabit the western regions along the Wild Atlantic Way and have maintained their language and some traditions of their ancestors to date, with Gaelic (or Irish) being an official language in Ireland. Fáilte go Eire! Fáilte go Donnersberg!

For more information about our local Donnersberg Celts and the village, visit: