History & Culture

Celts, Romans & Teutons

Our home region of Rhineland-Palatinate is well-known to be one of the earliest settled regions in Germany. And Nickenich probably belongs to the oldest settlements of Rhineland. We owe spectacular witnesses from the Neolithic Age, 5000 to 2000 B.C., up to Roman epoch to 450 A.D., to the mining of volcanic pumice.  
Numerous archaeological artifacts such as earthenware, weapons and jewelry show the cultural development of the Pellenz village. You may have a close look on these unique artifacts at the Pellenz Museum for archeology in Nickenich. Our history begins with the Celts more than 2000 years ago. The first tracks of human settlements are confirmed by archeological finds in the form of cremation graves of the indo-Germanic people.  
Even the name Nickenich is most probably derived from the Celtic. The original form NIGIDIACUM includes the name Nigidius which means “settlement of Nigidius“. The Roman general Gajus Julius Cäsar put an end to the power of the Celts around 50 B.C. In fact, the Celtic settlement survived among the new inhabitants, but it was romanized.    
This is still confirmed today by the Tumulus, a Roman tomb in form of a rotunda found in the Laacher street.



Just like the Celts the Romans lived in Nickenich in single farms and villas.
 

In the fifth century AD the Romans were finally ousted by the Germanic tribe of the Franks and these became the new colonists of our home country. The new inhabitants extended the settlement of NIGIDIACUM.
During the next centuries Nickenich developed to a self-contained place.

According to the first known documentation in 1069 the village had its own church consecrated to St. Maximin which was the center of local life. NETHENIS is the first written name documentation of the present Nickenich and is very close to the dialectically pronounced “Neekenesch”.
 
The historical development of the Pellenz village of Nickenich can be evidenced almost without gaps from the 12th century until today.
As a witness made of stone, the gate of the former Nickenich Castle built in 1677 still recalls the times full of change in which respectable families and high-ranking personalities have shaped the development of the place.