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Monschau is a small resort town
Resort town
A resort town, sometimes called a resort city or resort destination, is a town or area where tourism or vacationing is a primary component of the local culture and economy...

 in the Eifel
The Eifel is a low mountain range in western Germany and eastern Belgium. It occupies parts of southwestern North Rhine-Westphalia, northwestern Rhineland-Palatinate and the south of the German-speaking Community of Belgium....

 region of western Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, located in the district Aachen
Aachen (district)
The district of Aachen is a district in the west of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Heinsberg, Düren, Euskirchen, and also the Netherlands province of Limburg and the Belgian province of Liège.- History :...

, North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...



The town is located in the hills of the North Eifel
North Eifel
The North Eifel , the northern part of the Eifel, a low mountain range in Germany and East Belgium, comprises the following six sub-regions:*Venn Foreland,*Hohes Venn,*Rur Eifel,*Limestone Eifel,*Our Valley and*High Eifel....

, within the Hohes Venn – Eifel Nature Park
Hohes Venn – Eifel Nature Park
The German-Belgian Hohes Venn – Eifel Nature Park , often called the North Eifel Nature Park , is a cross-border nature park with elements in the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate as well as the Belgian province of Liège...

 in the narrow valley of the Rur
The Rur , — not to be confused with the Ruhr — is a river which flows through portions of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. It is a right tributary to the river Meuse...


The historic town center has many preserved half-timbered houses and narrow streets have remained nearly unchanged for 300 years, making the town a popular tourist attraction nowadays. An open-air, classical music festival is staged annually at Burg Monschau. Historically the main industry of the town were cloth-mills.


On the heights above the city is the castle Monschau, which dates back to the 13th century — in 1198 the first mention of Monschau was made. Starting in 1433 the castle was used as a seat of the dukes of Jülich
Duchy of Jülich
The Duchy of Jülich comprised a state within the Holy Roman Empire from the 11th to the 18th centuries. The duchy lay left of the Rhine river between the Electorate of Cologne in the east and the Duchy of Limburg in the west. It had territories on both sides of the river Rur, around its capital...

. In 1543 Emperor Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 besieged it as part of the Geldern Feud, captured it and plundered the town. However the castle stayed with Jülich until 1609, then it became part of Palatinate-Neuburg
Palatinate-Neuburg is a former territory of the Holy Roman Empire, founded in 1505. Its capital was Neuburg an der Donau. Its area was about 2,750 km², with a population of some 100,000.-History:...


In 1795 the French captured the area, and under the name Montjoie made it the capital of a canton of the Roer département
Roer (département)
Roer is the name of a département of the First French Empire in present day Germany and the Netherlands. It was named after the river Rur, which flows through the département. It was formed in 1795, when the Southern Netherlands and the left bank of the Rhine were occupied by the French...

. After the area became part of the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 in 1815, Monschau became the capital of a district, the Kreis Montjoie.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 some people argued that Monschau (or "Montjoie" as it was still called then) should be annexed to Belgium since it was historically a Walloon
Walloons are a French-speaking people who live in Belgium, principally in Wallonia. Walloons are a distinctive community within Belgium, important historical and anthropological criteria bind Walloons to the French people. More generally, the term also refers to the inhabitants of the Walloon...

 area that had been Germanized by the Prussians.

In 1918 William II, German Emperor
William II, German Emperor
Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia, ruling the German Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. He was a grandson of the British Queen Victoria and related to many monarchs and princes of Europe...

, changed the name to Monschau. In 1972 the town was enlarged with the previous independent municipalities Höfen, Imgenbroich, Kalterherberg, Konzen, Mützenich and Rohren.

Notable residents

  • Karl Wilhelm Scheibler
    Karl Wilhelm Scheibler
    Karl Wilhelm Scheibler was a German - Polish industrialist.- Biography :Scheibler was born in Montjoie in the Prussian Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg into a family of textile fabricants. He attended school in Monschau and Krefeld and received a practical education at his uncle's Worsted factory...

     (1820–1881), industrialist.
  • Elwin Bruno Christoffel
    Elwin Bruno Christoffel
    Elwin Bruno Christoffel was a German mathematician and physicist.-Life:...

    (1829–1900), physicist and mathematician.

External links