Ordensburg Vogelsang and Hike
Travel Update Summer 2020: Most destinations, sites and parks reopened with limitations. Check the official websites and read our crucial ‘BEST TIME TO GO' and ‘AVOIDING THE CROWDS’ tips:
The Visitor Center and Ordensburg Vogelsang are opened year-round from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. In December 24th and 31st open until 2 p.m. It is beautifully situated in the Eifel National Park.
Highlights (Tower, Exhibition, Hike)
The 48 meters high tower is accessible from April until October and closed for the remaining months. Visiting the tower is only possible guided from Monday until Friday at 1 p.m. At weekends and public holidays, every hour from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed in bad weather conditions. This 45 minutes guided tour has an ascent of 172 steps. It’s a 360° scenic view from the top to the whole Vogelsang area, The price is 6 € p.p. Maximum 15 people per tower ascent are allowed.
Don't miss the exhibition of the German History from 1930-45. It gives you an honest view how Hitler planned to create a "master race". It leaves you poignant. The exhibition is an exhortation that it never gets repeated. Audio multimedia guides are offered in different languages.
There is a 16 km hike which can be done all year. We came here in October and enjoyed the fall foliage.
Vogelsang is very popular nowadays and is even more crowded at weekends, bank holidays and summer holidays in July and August. In September 2016 the Vogelsang reconstruction was finished, and two permanent exhibitions were established. Fewer people come here mid-week.
Top Tip - Sites Nearby
If you are into nature, you will love to stay here for a couple of days. Vogelsang is situated in the National Park Eifel at the River Rur Dam.
- It's an excellent location for hiking in the National Park and the nearby Ardennes, High Fens in Belgium. Boardwalks are leading through the bog. Top Hikes in the Ardennes
- Don't miss the historic town Monschau with its half-timbered houses.
- Visit the historic Mustard Mill close to Monschau just half an hour drive from Heimbach. It's a family run manufacture. They are famous for their huge variety of mustard and the restaurant Schnabuleum. Have a closer look and try the different mustards. It's always a perfect present to bring back home.
- Stay in a quiet hotel at the Rur Dam. Enjoy the waterfront views, the local cuisine on a high standard, and the spa. Experience the area in the hotel Der Seehof with included breakfast buffet.
- It's just a 10 minutes drive to the Mariawald Abbey from the hotel Der Seehof and 15 minutes from Vogelsang. The Abbey is the only Trappist Monastery in Germany. It's famous for the home cooked pea soup. Open weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm and weekends from 9 am to 6 pm.
The former National Socialist (NS) „Ordensburg“ Vogelsang is located at Urft river dam and Urft reservoir in the heart of the National Park Eifel. It is one of the largest constructions of this era and “an expression of its arrogance and contempt for humanity.” It was built in 1934/35 for the future leaders of the NSDAP. After World War II in 1946, it was used by the British military administration as a training area. Four years later it was under Belgium Military administration and partly a NATO Site.
Since 2006 it’s open to the public and an “International Place” for tolerance, diversity and peaceful coexistence. The visitor center is located in the middle of the Adlerhof. The staff is accommodating and provides you with information. Tickets for the exhibitions can be purchased at the information counter.
From here you get to the two permanent exhibitions; NS documentation about the NS Ordenburgen between fascination and crime and in contrast the exhibition “Wilderness Dreams” of the National Park Eifel. It's such a vast complex that you can spend a whole day at Vogelsang.
Lots of information are provided on the multimedia display to illustrate the geology, environment, Vogelsang and the National Park Eifel with several hiking trails.
The six-meter wall figure influenced by the sculptures created for the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.
The Thing Theatre was built for a special NS open-air theatre. The simple performances should reflect the NS ideology. Due to the dwindling interest of the audiences, it was supported by the state until 1937 only.
- There is a immense parking area. You get to the closest parking after passing the archway. There are several car parks directly after the gate and before the archway. Usually, these areas are closed. Only open if the first one nearby is full. The parking fee is 4 € all day.
- The entrance fee for the exhibitions is 8 € per adult.
- Multimedia visual guides in English and other languages are available.
- The entrance fee to the tower is 6 €.
- Most of Vogelsang is wheelchair accessible.
- There is a nice cafe at the beginning of the complex where you can sit in- and outside.
- Many facilities are available at the information center.
- Overnight stays can be booked at the guesthouse K 13.
Helpful Links for Vogelsang
Vogelsang, Urft dam and reservoir to the historical village Wollseifen. You see the vestiges of the past of the cold war in Wollseifen. It's quite eery walking through the different buildings.
The trail is 16 km long, uphill and downhill more than 500 meters in elevation and takes 4-5 hours. It’s a well-marked circular trail, and it starts at Vogelsang, leads downhill to the Urft reservoir and across the Victor Neels suspension bridge which was built in 2009.
Continue hiking along the Urft reservoir and the wilderness trail to the historical village Wollseifen. Walking through the old village with ruins of the former church, the primary school, and several other buildings is quite oppressive. The village is full of history. The 550 inhabitants were forced to leave their home within three weeks because it was part of the British occupation zone. In 1950, it became a Belgium military area and since 2006 Wollseifen and the Dreiborn Plateau belong to the National Park Eifel.