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Camp Vogelsang was built on a slope above the Urft-Valley reservoir starting from 1933 as a Nazi boarding school and training camp for specially selected youths. The efforts to create a "Master race" weren't quite successful, not even initially, because the ideological selection criteria did not allow a very high profile schooling and training -- large and blond people are not necessarily intelligent people after all.
The whole complex did receive some bomb hits but fell into allied hands largely intact at the end of World War II. After a short usage by British occupational military, the complex and adjacent area was used by NATO forces as a training area under Belgian authority until 2006 when it was handed back to the local German authorities. It was decided to incorporate the complex into the newly erected Eifel National Park and use Camp Vogelsang as one of the park's centers. In addition, it is planned to convert the numerous barack buildings into an international youth convention center to foster peace and understanding.
At the moment, 2 years after the end of military usage, conversion is in full swing. An information center is already operational, and two walking routes have been introduced. The center has various audiovisional presentations and also hosts themed exhibitions. Basic wheelchair access to the forum building including an accessible loo. Cars with disabled plaques/ID cards are allowed to drive right up to the forum building with some 3-4 disabled parking bays. The hilltop plateau walking route is supposed to be barrier-free, but it has at least one steep section and it is also -- to be honest -- quite boring. The nicest section is the one along the ridge with views down into the Urft valley; it's certainly no mistake to stop here and go back to your car.
Be aware that large parts of the complex are closed awaiting renovation and conversion. Hiking within the premises of the former training range and beyond is currently the main activity. Lovely views across the Northern Eifel high grounds.
Updated May 4, 2008
This is a neat and efficient restauraant with a very friendly staff. It was the best on our trip. It serves local seasonal delicacies such as asparagus and game prepared to please the palate. The service is attentive and the guests appeared to be primarily repeaters , mostly ones who were rooming there and happily satisfied! (Double rooms with breakfast are 60 euro).
Favorite Dish: Asparagus and various meats; potato croquettes
Written Aug 20, 2006