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Where is the Nürburgring - and Spa?


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#1 Muzza

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 15:34

Dear Fellows,


The interesting thread "The Old Nurburgring - How Many Corners?" made me finally gather enough courage to make a question I always wanted to ask but was always afraid to do...

Where exactly is located the Nürburgring? I have visited the track, so I am not really asking for directions but for something rather different. Instead, within the territory of which town - or, more likely, towns - is it built? A circuit so vast probably crosses a few borders, I imagine...

I understand that Germany is divided in ländes and then in cities, so the whole national territory is a puzzle of internal borders (like, say, Italy, Switzerland and Brazil; note that the United States is different, as less-urban areas are considered "non-incorporated" and actually do not "belong" to any town). Am I right? If so - and then comes the magic question - I am trying to overlay a political map of the towns that are in that region with a same-scale drawing of the whole Nürburgring complex, and determine where the track crosses borders between towns. Is that possible? Does someone have any information on this concern?

(consultations to public libraries and to Geography Departments of a few American universities were not fruitful)

I am also trying to do the same for Spa-Francorchamps: a few years ago I found a relatively crude political map showing the borders of Belgian cities, and it looked like the whole Spa-Francorchamps racing circuit - the new and the old one - is not in Spa, nor Francorchamps, but actually fully contained by the limits of Stavelot...

Thanks for participating!

Regards,


Muzza

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#2 Stefan Schmidt

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 15:50

The Nürburgring is in the German Eifel Area, very close to the Ardennes and Spa. If you follow the main street which is alongside the long straight you will appear in Spa after 40 Minutes.

#3 j-ickx-fan

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 16:25

It is not easy to answer about Francorchamps because it is located in the Ardennes and there is not much towns in the area. Furthermore, in 1977 the Belgian Government decided to reduce the number of "Communes" (municipalities) and merged several small existing communes into single large ones. IMHO, in Belgium, we are more talking about communes than towns.
I will try to find a map from the years before the merging.
What can be said is that the name of Francorchamps was always used because the start/finish line is on the Francorchamps territory.
At its beginning, the circuit was designed into a triangle drawn by the roads connecting Malmedy, Stavelot and Francorchamps.
Why was it called "Spa" (mainly by foreigners) ? Because the first main events were organized by the RAC of Spa.

#4 Udo K.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 16:31

Hi Muzza,

I lived for about 12 years very close to the circuit in three different places. For a few years we were actually living just about 500 meters from the Start-and-Finish line!
So I will try to answer your question as accurate as possible. The Ring is located, as Stefan already said, in the "Eifel" Region, which is part of the state "Rheinland-Pfalz". The Eifel is bordered by the river Rhine on the east, and the river Mosel on the south, so you should find it on a map of western Germany. Actually there are no big cities close to the track, only a few villages, the names of which are either famous, as Nürburg, or unknown, as Meuspath, Herschbroich or Quiddelbach (which gave its name to the "Quiddelbacher Höhe", a part of the track). Quite well-known is, of course, the little city of Adenau, which is very close to the track. Breidscheid is part of Adenau and is crossed by the Ring. You will know the Breidscheid-bridge maybe. But this is only a tiny village, and there are just a few houses, two hotels and a gas station near the track. This is the only place where the Nürburgring gets close to a town, with the exception of Nürburg, of course, which lies very near the Start-and-Finish area. The famous castle is towering just above the village of Nürburg and you have a beautiful view over the Ring and the landscape from there. I will post some pictures, which I took this summer from the tower of the castle.

#5 Udo K.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 16:42

This web-site should be helpful as well:


http://www.nurburgri...hleife&lang=eng

#6 bigears

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 16:53

Originally posted by Udo K.
Hi Muzza,

I lived for about 12 years very close to the circuit in three different places. For a few years we were actually living just about 500 meters from the Start-and-Finish line!
So I will try to answer your question as accurate as possible. The Ring is located, as Stefan already said, in the "Eifel" Region, which is part of the state "Rheinland-Pfalz". The Eifel is bordered by the river Rhine on the east, and the river Mosel on the south, so you should find it on a map of western Germany. Actually there are no big cities close to the track, only a few villages, the names of which are either famous, as Nürburg, or unknown, as Meuspath, Herschbroich or Quiddelbach (which gave its name to the "Quiddelbacher Höhe", a part of the track). Quite well-known is, of course, the little city of Adenau, which is very close to the track. Breidscheid is part of Adenau and is crossed by the Ring. You will know the Breidscheid-bridge maybe. But this is only a tiny village, and there are just a few houses, two hotels and a gas station near the track. This is the only place where the Nürburgring gets close to a town, with the exception of Nürburg, of course, which lies very near the Start-and-Finish area. The famous castle is towering just above the village of Nürburg and you have a beautiful view over the Ring and the landscape from there. I will post some pictures, which I took this summer from the tower of the castle.


I look forward to your Nurburgring photographs you took last summer. :)

#7 Caterhamnut

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 17:04

Was just about to post a link to our 'Surrounding Area' pics on our website - lots of views from the Castle etc etc - only to find I have not put them up yet! They were up but I was going to move them when I put our 'lap guide' up, and obviously never got round to it - oops - another job!
Still, there is one view of the village of Nurberg, 2nd picture http://www.mycaterha...1802/92024.html
looking towards the newer GP track.
Some more views from the Castle:
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and one looking down towards the 'Grune Holle'
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zoom...
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and a general view
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Fantastic to look at that view and imagine what is between the trees, and the history that has happened there...

...sorry Muzza - not exactly what you were looking for, but I'll have a look through any books and maps I have just in case I have any more info... :)

#8 Udo K.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 17:15

So caterhamnut was quicker... but still here are 5 more views from the castle:

1.
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2.
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3.
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4.
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5.
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#9 Caterhamnut

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 17:17

Very nice Udo!
All we need is some taken in the snow and we have all year round pics! Mine are very autumnal, your pics look a lot greener :up:

#10 Udo K.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 17:25

Originally posted by Caterhamnut
Very nice Udo!
All we need is some taken in the snow and we have all year round pics! Mine are very autumnal, your pics look a lot greener Udo :up:


They were taken during this year's 1000KM weekend.

#11 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 18:02

If I understand Muzza's question right, then I don't think his question has been answered yet.

As far as I know, Germany is devided into Landes, Kreisen, and (Verbands)gemeinden.

If I'm not mistaken, a Land is the equivalent of a province, which would be Rheinland-Pfalz.
One level "lower" is the Kreis, which would be Ahrweiler.
Then comes the Verbandsgemeinden, which in this case is Adenau.

So, in short:

The complete Nürburgring is located in:
Verbandsgemeinde Adenau , which is located in
Kreis Ahrweiler , which is located in
Land Rheinland-Pfalz.


I hope this makes sense, perhaps one of our German friends can confirm of correct this?
What I don't understand yet, is the difference between a Verbandsgemeinde and a Gemeinde.

#12 Udo K.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 18:33

Yes, Rob that's it exactly.

"Verbandsgemeinde" means a certain number of smaller villages belonging to a bigger one, in this case Adenau is the biggest one, where you can find the "administration", the "Rathaus" and so on.

#13 Muzza

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 18:48

Thanks a lot Rob and Udo! :clap:


That's exactly what I was looking for - so the whole Nürburngring is located with Adenau (for administrative purposes). I understand what you mean by having other villages subordinate to Adenau.

I forgot to say in my opening posting that I asked this question to the folks at the Nürburgring museum once; they were not sure themselves to give me an answer first-hand, so they asked me to wait some minutes until they contacted a senior member of the museum administrator (I was not told the name of the person, and I regret to say that I forgot to ask at the time). That "senior person" did say that the track was located in Adenau.

Best regards,


Muzza

P.S.: Thanks caterhamnut and Udo for your wonderful pictures as well.

#14 uechtel

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:02

Yes Rob, I think you got the idea correct.

Germany is divided into states (Länder). Some of them are already cities of their own, but the rest (with the exception of the Saarland) is split up into government districts (Regierungsbezirke). All such districts are again sub-divided into independent cities (kreisfreie Städte) or rural districts (Landkreise). As always with the cities we are already at the end of the line, but of course the rural districts consist usually of communities, sometimes including also towns, but not necessarily so.

Still not at the end since around the seventies we know "combined" communities (Großgemeinden, Verbandsgemeinden etc.). So while the towns and bigger villages are still units of their own these consist of a number of formerly independent villages, which were packed together in order to save administration costs.

(If this sounds complicated then I have to tell you that before Napoleon started his great "consolidation process" the previous Holy Roman Empire of German Nation was a mess of not less than 328 [!!!] more or less INDEPENDENT states consisting of an even greater number of sometimes fragmentaric territories!)

Applied to the Nürburgring this means it is located in the Rheinland-Pfalz state and there in the Regierungsbezirk Koblenz (not to be mismatched with the city of the same name - it has nothing to do with that!) and there in the Landkreis Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler (formerly I think two independent districts put together for the same reasons). Beneath that I am not absolutely sure whether there is everything within the Verbandsgemeinde Adenau or whether Müllenbach, Quiddelbach, Meuspath etc. are still communities of their own.

#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:06

Just to be picky...Could our Belgian TNFers perhaps confirm that the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is actually situated in the Hautes Fagnes hills rather than the Ardennes proper? At least that's what I was once told by Jacques Swaters who I presume would know what he was talking about...???

DCN

#16 Udo K.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:09

Originally posted by uechtel
Applied to the Nürburgring this means it is located in the Rheinland-Pfalz state and there in the Regierungsbezirk Koblenz (not to be mismatched with the city of the same name - it has nothing to do with that!) and there in the Landkreis Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler (formerly I think two independent districts put together for the same reasons). Beneath that I am not absolutely sure whether there is everything within the Verbandsgemeinde Adenau or whether Müllenbach, Quiddelbach, Meuspath etc. are still communities of their own.


Yes, Markus, we forgot the "Regierungsbezirk Koblenz", of course - but it is really complicated enough, I think. Müllenbach is a community of its own, I'm pretty sure, whereas the other places, Quiddelbach, Herschbroich and Meuspath should belong to the Verbandsgemeinde. They should have a web-site, I will check it out.

#17 Udo K.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:13

Here we go:

http://www.adenau.de/orte/orte.html


(So Müllenbach is also in the Verbandsgemeinde..)

#18 j-ickx-fan

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:33

Thanks for ignoring my answer !
If it's only this kind of answer you need, check this map and you'll notice that beside the part going from L'eau Rouge to Masta, which is on Malmedy territory, the rest of the circuit is locate on Stavelot territory.

#19 Muzza

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:35

Originally posted by Udo K.
Here we go:

http://www.adenau.de/orte/orte.html


(So Müllenbach is also in the Verbandsgemeinde..)



Quite fascinating, Udo!


If you come across a map of the Verbandsgemeinde Adenau broken down in communes please let us know - that's what I am most looking for.

Quiddelbach (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_quidd.html), Herschbroich (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_hersb.html) and Nürburg (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_nuerb.html) have mayors, so they are most likely communes, right? (bear with my ignorance, please). Meuspath (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_meusp.html) just outside the Döttinger-Hohe straight also has a mayor, and nearby Wimbach (http://www.adenau.de...omm/f_wimb.html) and Kottenborn (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_kottb.html) as well.

If the map at http://www.adenau.de/orte/orte.html has been drawn following a certain legend - that means, marking communes by red dots - then Breidscheid is also be a commune. Therefore there are four communes inside the Nordschelife (I used to call them "villages", what may be incorrect for administrative purposes), and it is quite likely that the track crosses a few borders - or commune-borders at least...

Cheers,


Muzza


P. S.: Doug, interesting point about Spa! Calling Marc Ceulemans, Luc Ghys... :wave:

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#20 Muzza

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:40

Originally posted by j-ickx-fan
Thanks for ignoring my answer !
If it's only this kind of answer you need, check this map and you'll notice that beside the part going from L'eau Rouge to Masta, which is on Malmedy territory, the rest of the circuit is locate on Stavelot territory.


Thanks a lot, j-ickx-fan!


This map clarifies a lot of questions...

Also, on your previous posting you mentioned some reasons why the track became known as Spa-Francorchamps - I think the fact that Spa was known since the 19th century as a tourist resort (I once heard from a Belgian friend that Spa was "the first international tourist resort since the consolidation of Europe into countries") also played a role.

Mercis,


Muzza

#21 j-ickx-fan

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 19:48

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Just to be picky...Could our Belgian TNFers perhaps confirm that the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is actually situated in the Hautes Fagnes hills rather than the Ardennes proper? At least that's what I was once told by Jacques Swaters who I presume would know what he was talking about...???

DCN


The Belgian Ardennes is the whole area situated South East of the river Meuse. The Hautes Fagnes is a natural reserve formed by the triangle Eupen - Malmedy - Monschau (Germany).

#22 Udo K.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 20:02

Originally posted by Muzza




If the map at http://www.adenau.de/orte/orte.html has been drawn following a certain legend - that means, marking communes by red dots - then Breidscheid is also be a commune. Therefore there are four communes inside the Nordschelife (I used to call them "villages", what may be incorrect for administrative purposes), and it is quite likely that the track crosses a few borders - or commune-borders at least...


I noticed that Breidscheid is marked with a red dot. But I'm very sure that Breidscheid is NOT a commune of its own. On the signs marking the entrance into the place it says:
"Adenau - Ortsteil Breidscheid". Ortsteil means something like: quarter or part of...
I used to work for the local post office as a student (during the holidays) and I also drove a post van to all the villages... great time! So I know, that Breidscheid was always a part of Adenau.

#23 ReWind

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 20:46

Anyone who has read a book about the Nürburgring will have noticed the name of Dr. Otto Creutz who was a keen supporter of the plans to build a race track in the Eifel region. In those days he was the Landrat of the Kreis Adenau. Only later Kreis Adenau got incorporated in the Kreis Ahrweiler.

According to the late Luki Scheuer Kreis Adenau measured only 550 km² with a population of 25.000 in 107 (!) communities.

Scheuer states one of the reasons for the length of the track was the fact that the surrounding communities were eager to get the track as close as possible to their territory. They even gave pieces of land for free!

Also according to Scheuer each of these communities liked to have the start-finish-line on their ground. The town of Adenau where the administration of the Kreis Adenau was located made every effort but in the end failed. It was the small village of Nürburg which got the nod.

So at least in the 1920s and 1930s the Nürburgring should have passed the property of several communities which TODAY are all part of the Verbandsgemeinde Adenau.

Following Udo’s link, http://www.adenau.de...komm/f_ade.html (click on „Geschichte Adenau“ = history of Adenau) tells us that Breidscheid was an independent community until 1952 before becoming part of the Verbandsgemeinde Adenau.

#24 Hugo Boecker

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 21:49

Where is the old Nürburgring and the old Spa ?
Just to say in Rod Stewart's words : They're in our heart and our souls!;)
The Spa circuit in at the old German/Belgium border. Till 1918 the Region of Hohes Venn/ hautes fanges with the towns of Eupen and Malmedy was part of the German Kaiserreich. The old Eau Rouge was only the bend with the little bridge, than the circuit went a little up the hill to the old Virage Ancienne Douane (means old border) a right hand bend. From there it went back to the now know straight. The eau Rouge was built 1939 (I'm not quite sure).
I think you can locate the circuit in the Ardennes rather than the Hautes Fanges because it has been in the "old" Belgian part.

#25 LittleChris

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 22:14

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Just to be picky...Could our Belgian TNFers perhaps confirm that the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is actually situated in the Hautes Fagnes hills rather than the Ardennes proper? At least that's what I was once told by Jacques Swaters who I presume would know what he was talking about...???

DCN


DSJ always seemed to make the same point in his articles.

#26 j-ickx-fan

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 22:36

Originally posted by Hugo Boecker
Where is the old Nürburgring and the old Spa ?
Just to say in Rod Stewart's words : They're in our heart and our souls!;)
The Spa circuit in at the old German/Belgium border. Till 1918 the Region of Hohes Venn/ hautes fanges with the towns of Eupen and Malmedy was part of the German Kaiserreich. The old Eau Rouge was only the bend with the little bridge, than the circuit went a little up the hill to the old Virage Ancienne Douane (means old border) a right hand bend. From there it went back to the now know straight. The eau Rouge was built 1939 (I'm not quite sure).
I think you can locate the circuit in the Ardennes rather than the Hautes Fanges because it has been in the "old" Belgian part.

The Eau Rouge is a small river and it has been there for ever as well as the bridge. In 1939, it is the Raidillon that was created and was/is an artificial curve.
As for the Hautes Fagnes , it was often used for its poetic sense but it is not fully correct. As I said before, it's a natural reserve situated in the triangle formed by the 3 towns which are Eupen, Malmedy and Monschau (Germany). Only the North East part of the circuit can be qualified as in the Haute-Fagnes but still who can believe to have a motor sport circuit situated into a natural reserve. This might be poetic but in other hand it is absurd. :rolleyes:

#27 uechtel

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 23:01

Originally posted by Muzza

Quiddelbach (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_quidd.html), Herschbroich (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_hersb.html) and Nürburg (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_nuerb.html) have mayors, so they are most likely communes, right? (bear with my ignorance, please). Meuspath (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_meusp.html) just outside the Döttinger-Hohe straight also has a mayor, and nearby Wimbach (http://www.adenau.de...omm/f_wimb.html) and Kottenborn (http://www.adenau.de...mm/f_kottb.html) as well.

If the map at http://www.adenau.de/orte/orte.html has been drawn following a certain legend - that means, marking communes by red dots - then Breidscheid is also be a commune. Therefore there are four communes inside the Nordschelife (I used to call them "villages", what may be incorrect for administrative purposes), and it is quite likely that the track crosses a few borders - or commune-borders at least...


I think I have found an answer to this problem. When there was the Gemeindegebietsreform (one of those wonderful Official-German words meaning something like a "new deal of community area") in the area where I come from they worked with two different concepts. One one hand the Großgemeinde, which means, that a number of villages become one single community with only one major and no further subdivison, and on the other we have the Verwaltungsgemeinschaft, which meant that the communities remained "independent" (means still with own major each), but the administration was centralised in a single counsel house. Hence in this model for example the passport office now works for more than one community at the same time.

I am only a little bit uncertain whether the Bavarian Verwaltungsgemeinschaft is actually the same as aVerbandsgemeinde in Rheinland-Pfalz or whether this might possibly be a third (intermediate) concept?