The historical city Worms as well as the first stages of the RheinTerrassenWegs lie behind us. We have enjoyed the magnificent views of the Rhine and the vast sea of vines. In Alsheim we take a longer break, but do not take off our hiking boots. The famous network of sunken paths has aroused our interest, after all it is unique in Rheinhessen.
Little Paris in Rhinehesse
The starting point of the short hike is the community center in Alsheim. There, culture and wine ambassador Melitta Schleich awaits us, who will join us on the Krummsteighohl exploration trail. She has brought along a sip of white wine, which is, after all, part of Rhine-Hessian hospitality. While we taste, she tells us a little about the wine-growing community of Alsheim.
Alsheim, with over 700 hectares of vineyards, is one of the largest wine-growing communities in Rheinhessen. Accordingly, the prosperity of the residents grew, as did the (justified?) prejudices against them. Melitta Schleich reports with a twinkle in her eye that Alsheim was soon only called "Little Paris" by its neighbors. The Alsheimers themselves had lost the nickname "Windbeidel". But since the "Windbeutel" are so good at laughing at themselves, they personified this nickname and cast it in bronze right in front of their baroque town hall.
We ask the culture and wine ambassador which spot in Alsheim she particularly loves. Melitta Schleich doesn't have to think long: The Protestant church, one of the four Rhenish Heidenturm churches, with its enchanted churchyard and historical grave monuments. The peculiarity of this place of worship is the oriental-looking tower, which is popularly called "pagan tower". We promise to stop by there as well.
A speciality of Rheinhessen
We start moving and soon reach the outskirts of soon reach the outskirts of Alsheim. The vineyards lie directly in front of us, our view falls into the wide Rhine valley, nature is very quiet. The motto of the Alsheim network of sunken paths "Wine.Wind.Silence" is well chosen!
Even before we reach the first sunken section Melitta Schleich enthuses about the special nature of this geological phenomenon. phenomenon. Through natural rainwater runoff, but also through human hand (agricultural implements), the paths in the vineyard became deeper and deeper over over centuries - to the point of creating gorge-like ditches. Thus formed meter-high loess walls and steep slopes, about which the animal and plant world is flora is particularly happy about. For them, the ravines are an important habitat.
The network of sunken paths in Alsheim is a special feature of Rheinhessen. In many other communities, the sunken paths have been have been filled in over the years by land consolidation. Not in Alsheim. Nowhere else can you marvel at these habitats as well, nowhere else is the biodiversity as great as it is in Alsheim. is the diversity of species as great as here. That is why the people of Alsheim of a paradise.
Endiscoveries in the hollow way
As we stand in front of the first meter-high loess wall we can understand this. The sight is impressive and when we become very quiet, we hear an excited buzzing and humming. The loess is alive!
The many tiny holes in the loess are nesting nesting sites for wild bees and insects. Birds use the hedges of the hollow paths to build their nests in the hawthorn or elderberry. We discover a handful of lizards and tower snails. In addition Melitta Schleich shows us a rabbit burrow and fox tracks. It's really fun to look around here. Since the loess soil is particularly fertile, many plants grow in the sunken paths. even some southern European species. They like the warm and sunny Rhine-Hessian climate as well as we do!
The enthusiasm of the culture and Wine Ambassador is contagious. So is her concern. This kind of habitat is endangered. If hollow paths are not properly maintained, they become overgrown. The sun-exposed loess walls lose valuable light. That is why Alsheim has set itself the task of preserving the paths, carrying out and to show guests the beauty of this unique cultural landscape. show to visitors. We appreciate this very much!
We continue our hike through sunken paths and vineyards. Again and again we try to guess plant species and discover animal tracks. As if to finally convince us of Alsheim's rich biodiversity, a deer appears a deer appears in the middle of the vineyard. Melitta Schleich smiles Melitta Schleich smiles at our enthusiasm and is not surprised: "Deer love Dornfelder! The winemakers are usually less enthusiastic about this.
An enchanted ruin
Before we hike back to the community center, Melitta Schleich Melitta Schleich wants to show us something. We make a detour to Hangen-Wahlheim, a district of Alsheim with only a few houses. We follow a narrow path along dense bushes and trees - and suddenly we are standing suddenly in front of a small church ruin.
Mary Magdalene and James is a church built in the Church built in the late Gothic period. It was destroyed in the French war of succession in 1689 and was and in 2001 it was saved by an initiative. The ruin is still a consecrated church. You can even get married in this romantic even get married. It's like a fairy tale, says Melitta Schleich. She likes gladly here. She is particularly taken with the old grave crosses from the early century. particularly taken with them.
Full of new impressions and experiences, you can take a leisurely walk back to the town center. If, like us, you would like to discover the Hohlwegeparadies Alsheim, you can do so on your own along five well-signposted routes. But if you have the opportunity, you should definitely take a guided hike with a knowledgeable hollow guide. Otherwise, we would certainly not have discovered even half of all living creatures or guessed plants.
Tip: We leave the day in the ZAK - To the old wine press house in the beautiful garden with live music, a hearty meal and Rheinhessen wine. Also a real recommendation!