Bruttig-Fankel - History


The oldest evidence of settlers in the area is the very well preserved barrows on the Bruttig-Fankeler Berg (the local mountain) along the so-called Rennweg, an old linking road between the Roman long-distance roads, over which today runs the “Archaeological Hiking Trail” (Archäologischer Wanderweg). According to information from the State Office for Care of Monuments in Koblenz, some of these barrows date back to the Bronze Age.

Bruttig-Fankel has both Celtic-Roman and Merovingian-Frankish beginnings, with the constituent community of Bruttig likely being the older of the two. It had its first documentary mention on 4 June 898 as Pruteca im Mayengau in a donation document from the Lotharingian king Zwentibold, whose beneficiary was the Imperially immediate, free-noble convent in Essen. Besides many holdings in the Cologne and Bergheim area, the king transferred to the convent “…in pago magnensi in villa pruteca terra arabilis cum curtile et vineis…” (roughly translated: “…in the Mayen country in the village of Bruttig an estate with associated arable earth and vineyards…”). This document establishes that the village is at least 1,100 years old, likely even older, for there was already an estate with vineyards. A further clue as to the village’s Celtic beginnings can be found in the name “Bruttig” itself. Language scholars derive the modern name from the Celtic Brutiacum (“Brut’s Dwelling”) through the Latin Proteca (AD 898) and Prodecha (1250) to today’s Bruttig (or variant Pruttig)

The other constituent community, Fankel, had its first documentary mention about 1100. The name derived from the Celtic fank, meaning “wetlands”. Ownership arrangements in the Middle Ages were governed in both Bruttig and Fankel by several so-called Weistümer (a Weistum – cognate with English wisdom – was a legal pronouncement issued by men learned in law in the Middle Ages and early modern times). In the time of French occupation, beginning in 1794, both centres were assigned to the Mairie (“Mayoralty”) of Beilstein, which itself belonged to the Canton of Zell. Administration nevertheless lay with the Canton of Treis, and as of 1816, when Bruttig and Fankel were assigned to the Kingdom of Prussia at the Congress of Vienna, it lay with the former Cochem district. Since 1946, the two centres have been part of the then newly founded state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

In the course of administrative restructuring in Rhineland-Palatinate, the two formerly administratively separate municipalities of Bruttig and Fankel were amalgamated into one, named Bruttig-Fankel.

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