Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen

Nonnweiler, Saarland, Germany

Peta Stamper

13 Jul 2021

About Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen

Thought to be the most impressive Celtic fortifications in Europe, the Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen contains the remains of an ancient fortification in Germany, thought to have been constructed by the Treveri tribe. Sometimes known as the Hunnenring, it is doubtful the site had anything to do with the more famous ancient tribe of similar name, the Huns.

Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen history

The hillfort is positioned at the edge of the Hunsrück Nature Park, and their considerable height and location gives them a dominant view of the surrounding area – going some way to demonstrate their strategic location. In times of conflict, the circular rampart was a strong defence against enemies.

The fortification was likely built in the 5th or 4th century BC and remained in use until some point around the 1st century BC, when the site was abandoned for reasons unknown. It is believed the fort also acted as a permanent settlements, home to a village or seat of a local leader.

During excavations at the site, the foundation walls of a small Roman temple dating from the 2nd and 3rd century AD were discovered, indicating a continued presence in the area throughout Roman times.

Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen today

Today, the Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen consists of the remaining circular earth ramparts, which are topped with stones. Visitors can explore the site, which today contains a replica Celtic village, although running to more than 4 kilometres the hillfort is not easy to pack into one day!

There are a number of signposted vantage points along the route which carry explanations and additional information. Positioned high among the forests, the site makes for a beautiful hike along the logging roads.

Getting to the Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen

Located just off the L147 from the 1 and 62 motorways, the Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen is a 56 minute drive from Trier or 2 hours 15 minutes from Frankfurt.

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