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Visiting Pruem, Germany: impressive ecclesiastical architecture in the Eifel region

Updated on August 14, 2012
Flag of Germany
Flag of Germany | Source
St. Salvator's basilica, Pruem
St. Salvator's basilica, Pruem | Source
Arms detail at St. Salvator's Basilica, Pruem
Arms detail at St. Salvator's Basilica, Pruem | Source
Map location of the Eifel district of Bitburg-Pruem, Rhineland-Palatinate
Map location of the Eifel district of Bitburg-Pruem, Rhineland-Palatinate | Source

Picturesque town from a region linked with family of the Eiffel Tower's builder

Properly, Germany's Pruem is known as Pruem-in-der-Eifel (1) . As such, its full name does not even immediately identify the town as being in Germany, since the Eifel region stretches into the German-speaking part of neighbouring eastern Belgium. However, the town of Pruem is indeed situated in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz ).

Some history

The Abbey at Pruem was founded in 720, with Emperor Charlemagne a noted patron. Pruem Abbey's existing building was built in 1721. Some of the remaining abbey buildings function as a school. In the 14th century the Archbishops of Trier sought to bring the Abbey under its control, although this was resisted, with Pruem and Trier even going to war in 1511.

In 1944, the abbey church and its surroundings were badly damaged during the Battle of the Bulge, which took place over a wide area around the borders of Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.

In 1950, the church was raised to the status of a basilica. Its twin towers are a significant landmark in the district.


The compactness of the town is evident by the close proximity of the surrounding forested hill country. A nearby peak of the Schneifel range has a height of 697 metres.

This range of low mountains is noted for its cold winters and the lingering presence of snow, which makes the area particularly popular for winter sports.

Spelling note

(1) The name of the Eifel region in Germany and Belgium is written differently from the name of the famed landmark in Paris, France: the Eiffel Tower. This is because the Tower is name for the distinguished architect Gustave Eiffel. So can it be assumed that this renowned Tower and its architect have nothing to do with Pruem's region?

Actually, no; this assumption would be inaccurate. Gustave Eiffel was born Gustave Boenickhausen. But his ancestors did come from the Eifel region. He later changed his name from Boenickhausen to Eiffel, in a different spelling from that of the region in question, but thus retaining a reference to the area where his family originated.

Also worth seeing

Waldhof-Falkenstein , Germany (distance: 38 kilometres) has an ancient castle overlooking the Our Valley, bordering Luxembourg.

Burg-Reuland , Belgium (distance: 36 kilometres), has an imposing castle and some noteworthy buildings.

Dasburg , Germany (distance: 34 kilometres), bordering Luxembourg in a picturesque setting on the Our River, has some castle ruins.

Monschau , Germany (distance: 75 kilometres) is a picturesque town on the Rur river, near the border with Belgium, overlooked by an ancient castle.

Lieler , Luxembourg (distance: 45 kilometres) is a village near where the borders of Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg meet; a commemorative park exists near to this point.


How to get there: The nearest large international airport is Luxembourg (AĆ©roport de Luxembourg ), at Findel, from where car rental is available (distance to Pruem: 90 kilometres). For North American travellers making the London, England area their touring base, airlines flying to Luxembourg include Luxair (from London Heathrow Airport and London City Airport) and CityJet (from London City Airport). Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


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    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      PETER LUMETTA: Yes, Pruem is an interesting place; thank-you for your comment.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image


      10 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      Interesting HUB nicely done.


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