Eyn guter Nachbawer ist ein edel Kleynodt

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Peter Neu


Arenberg Foundation





Eyn guter Nachbawer ist ein edel Kleynodt

The book examines the coexistence of two neighbouring territories, the County of Blankenheim and the Duchy of Arenberg. This neighbourhood was - as is usual with neighbours - quite unstable. Periods of harmony were followed by periods of fierce quarrelling. While the noble families of Manderscheid-Blankenheim and Arenberg were almost always respectful and civilised in their dealings with each other, as befitted noblemen, the coexistence of their subjects was often characterised for decades by quarrels and malicious gossip. The disputes were mostly about imprecise boundaries, pasture and forest rights. Since border surveys were not carried out until the second half of the 18th century, there was plenty of cause for dispute between neighbouring villages. After all, it was not always easy to find enough fodder for the flocks of sheep and cattle on the Eifel heights. The disputes often ended in fierce brawls involving entire villages, and there were always casualties. In the large forests, the Blankenheimers as well as the Arenbergers apparently often helped themselves as needed, without paying attention to the rights of their neighbours. Especially at night it happened that whole gangs went about their work. Since this could not be done silently, every now and then all the male inhabitants of neighbouring villages were mobilised to prevent the logging and to defend their own alleged rights by violent means. A special curiosity: In the 18th century, the parish priest of the village of Dorsel that was part of the Duchy of Arenberg was the leader of a timber gang. Because the priest could not save himself in time when he met the inhabitants of Ahrdorf, a village that belonged to the County of Blankenheim, he was "captured" by the Blankenheimers. - Another neighbourhood problem arose from the numerous customs posts, which were apparently often set up arbitrarily and which could become a nuisance for the neighbours. - The treatise is thus mainly about life in the countryside until the invasion of the French Revolutionary troops in 1794.


Book presentation: "Eyn guter Nachbar ist ein edel Kleynodt. Das Herzogtum Arenberg und die…

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