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History: "Weißer Turm"

The so called „Weisser Turm“ (or Staffeler Turm or Alter Bau) is the last of three towers to live in. Those towers are the most northern evidence for house towers, which were mostly found around the river Rhine. Documents revealed, that the tower was built approximately around 1265, which is thus the oldest building of Ahrweiler. In 1277 the tower was held by the knight Anselmus von Staffel, who got it as a feud from the abbey of Prüm.

The gothic tower consists out of three levels and has rectangular windows, which were caved in around 1700. Originally, the window openings were in an ogival shape, which is still observable at the ogival north entrance to the ground floor of the building. The tower is built on a fundament of roman relicts.

Since the tower was a feud of the abbey of Prüm, owners changes quite frequently. The Blankart family owned the tower for many years and passed it on to the noble Nagel family, which then passed it on to the Metternichs. In the year 1666 the barons of Stein-Callenfels bought the tower.

In 1689 after the big fire in the city, the tower was in a bad state, but it was used as an administrative hub for the vine manors of Ahrweiler. The vine manors of Steinfeld were managed by man named Josef Schefer, who back then wrote that the building was in a very bad condition and tendered it for refurbishment. The rooms did not have proper floors, there was no glass in the windows and the stables were completely ailing.

Schefer also took care of new white paint on the walls, which is where the tower got its name from.

Today, the tower is home to the city museum. 

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